toilet training, house training puppies

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

460. Paper-training a Chow Chow puppy

Toilet Training Your First Puppy in Singapore

TOILET TRAINING SOLUTIONS: Chow Chow, Female, 2.5 months, apartment

50% success as the Chow Chow pees on newspapers in the pee pan when confined in the kitchen. She sleeps there. However, she will not poo in the pee pan or in the kitchen for some time after eating. When released to the living room or a spare bedroom, she poops. Why can't she poop on the newspapers on the pee pan and in the kitchen? Mum had to follow the puppy with newspapers in an attempt to get her to poop on newspapers. If newspapers are put over the poop areas in the living room or spare bedroom, the puppy pees onto the papers only.

1. Insufficient toilet area. Pee pan was too small for the fast growing Chow Chow. Its width is twice the body width of the Chow Chow (observed from above).

2. The soiled newspapers were not promptly changed. So she did not poop onto the soiled papers and now is used to pooping on tiled floors.

3. The dry kitchen is small and the sleeping area and den for the growing Chow Chow appears to be small. So the Chow Chow does not want to poop on the floor since she sleeps there. She controls her bowel till being released by the owners out of the kitchen to the living room. The owners wait for over an hour and let her out. So she goes to the living area or spare bedroom to poop. Now she is conditioned and used to pooping on the floor tiles. Therefore, it is difficult to re-train her to poop onto newspapers. Carrying newspapers to catch her poop while she is passing stools will not train her to be paper-trained as she does not associate this act with what the mother wants.

4. Signs of elimination. Owners not around sometimes, so they did not carry the Chow Chow to the newspapers in the pee pan to poop. When the mum is around, she holds the newspapers to catch the poop. This is an incorrect way of paper-training.

For the next 2 - 4 weeks, confine the Chow Chow inside the spare bathroom with the fence barrier at the door entrance. Do not shut the door. Pee pan with newspapers at one corner. Chow Chow will have no choice but to poop on the tiled floor at one corner and sleep at the other end.

Try covering floor 100% with newspapers if you wish to try paper-training the Chow Chow to poop on papers. Reduce the papered area to the location where the Chow Chow poops. After 2-4 weeks, allow the puppy freedom when she is 100% paper-trained.

JAN 20, 2009
Chow Chow came onto heat. Refused to use the pee pan now, according to an e-mail from the owner.

Monday, September 15, 2008

459. Crate + Pee Pan bought by the puppy owner. Not possible to paper-train this way.

Case study:
The first-time puppy owner is sold a Crate + Pee Pan but actually wants to paper-train the puppy. So, can he do it or not? The answer is No.


E-mail to Dr Sing
Fri, 9/12/08, <> wrote:

Subject: Toilet train a dog

Dear Judy,

I bought a Cavalier King Charles for 10 days. I wish to toilet train my dog using newspaper. I wish to get a book in regards to toilet training my dog using newspaper.

I bought a cage that came with a plastic pan under it, I lay newspaper under it, on the pan. The dog eats, sleeps, drinks and eliminates inside the cage - it was recommended by the pet seller. However, quite a few books that I read did not recommend this.

These books indicate that we should not mix the dog's den, sleeping place with their pooping and urinating place. I wish to get the book and also need your advice.

E-mail reply from Dr Sing
Sep 14, 2008

As the book on toilet training for Singapore puppy owners by Dr Sing is out of print, the following is the reply:

1. To paper train your puppy, you need to confine him for the first 2-4 weeks.

2. History of his toilet habits. You ought to find out what the breeder has been doing to paper-train him. Has he been staying in the crate + pee pan? Or in a play pen?

If yes, is he successfully peeing and pooping in one area and sleeping in another? Did you observe him? If not, you will not know.

If he has just arrived at the puppy seller's place, he may not be doing what I describe. Some puppies just can't do it. But most will be able to pee and poop as far away from their crate as possible.

3. Assuming you have not observed his previous toilet habits, then you have to start new. There are 2 layouts commonly used by Singapore's puppy owners:

3.1 Playpen.

A Playpen is basically 4 panels of fencing to confine the puppy. Newspapers cover 100% of the flooring for the first week. You will see that the puppy will eliminate in one corner, usually the back half. Gradually reduce the paper cover till the puppy just eliminate onto the newspapers.

Around 2 weeks later, take away the play pen. Allow the puppy inside a confined area e.g. the kitchen for the next week or two. The kitchen entrance is shut by a baby-gate or panel of fences so that the puppy cannot run free to all over the apartment.

The puppy should run back to the papers to eliminate. After week 2-4, let the puppy out to the living room and observe that he goes to the papers to eliminate. If not, confine him back to the kitchen area and start again.
Confine him in a playpen with 4 panels of fences. That is my recommended advice for first-time puppy owners in Singapore.

Cover the floor with newspapers 100%. Put the water bottle at the left front. Feed bowl to be given to the puppy during feed times 2-3X per day. Let the puppy eat within 10 minutes and remove the feed bowl. Or feed the puppy in a confined area outside his playpen.

His sleeping area is the left half of the playpen. His toilet area will likely be the right half, in most cases.

Paper-shredding. Some puppies shred newspapers and step all over the stools on the first few days. You need to be patient and change the papers as frequently as you can, without shouting or beating the puppy. If nobody is at home, it cannot be done till after work. Some owners tape the edges of the papers.

3.2 Crate and Pee Pan. The following pictures show the crate and pee pan sets usually sold by various pet shops and breeders for first-time puppy owners in Singapore.

Not possible to shred newspapers and therefore dirty himself unlike the situation of being housed in a Playpen. In addition, the floor tiles of the apartment does not get stained by puppy's pee and poo as the Pee Pan catches the waste. The water bowl should be in the front left half in this Crate + Pee Pan set. Otherwise the puppy eliminates in the front half area and steps on the stools while greeting the owner.

Puppy stools may drop into the Pee Pan preventing some puppies from eating stools and their paws from soiled by stepping on stools. In this picture, the puppy will eliminate on the left half of the Crate and keep his drinking and eating and sleeping area clean.

Puppy's paws are much cleaner using the Crate + Pee Pan set as the puppy pees a lot of times and the urine flows down into the Pee Pan. Stools are removed by the owner immediately and the soiled floor area is cleaned up fast.
The same layout and general advices given for the Play pen applies to the Crate and Pee pan.

In this case, the puppy lies on the wire flooring (floor grate). He is likely to pee and poop far away from his sleeping and eating area. Now, some puppies are very active, e.g. Jack Russells.

Positioning of the water and feed bowls.
If you put his feed bowl or water bowl (assuming you don't use water bottle or feed him outside the crate) in the back half of the crate, you will expect the puppy to pee and poop on the front half. Therefore, the puppy steps on his stools when he runs to greet you.

The newspapers on the pee pan is meant to absorb the urine and therefore is of not much use in paper training the puppy using this method.

Various outcomes of toilet training from reports by Singapore puppy owners.

However, some puppies, after 2-4 weeks of inside the Crate and Pee pan, can just walk onto the newspapers (urine smell of puppy) now placed on the pee pan and just eliminate him there. The Crate is then kept away.

Other puppies happily run inside the Crate to eliminate. The owner just remove the stools and clean up the floor grate. Otherwise the puppy refuses to get inside to eliminate.

Yet there are puppies that sleep inside the Crate and will never eliminate there. There is such a variety of cleanliness personalities that it is hard to say how your Cavalier King Charles will react to the Crate + Pee Pan set.

The advantages of the Crate + Pee Pan is that the puppy's paws are dry and cleaner than using the Playpen type of housing. Many owners still have to wash the paws of the puppies at least once a day but they don't need to see dirtied paws smelling of stools. Some stools may drop into the Pee Pan through the floor grate but this is rare.

4. Remember: It takes 2-4 weeks of confinement to be successful. It is not possible to provide you the various scenarios as this takes a lot of time.

5. I have recorded real case studies of toilet training by Singapore owners in in: Goto: Dr Sing's Toilet-Training Cases for first-time puppy owners.

About 600 cases of toilet training are in my blog and you may have to read through to find out which scenario is appropriate for your case. Many owners read through and discover for themselves what they have had missed doing by reading what others have or have not done during toilet-training. The blogs are:
Toilet-training your first Singapore puppy (introduction by Dr Sing)

First Toilet-training Research blog

Second Toilet-training Research Blog

Third Toilet-training Research blog

The Crate & Pee Pan set sold to you by the Puppy Seller is one of the two housing layouts frequently recommended by the Singapore pet shop and Puppy Sellers. Unless your crate (cage) is extremely small, it does work to train your Cavalier King Charles very well on the floor grate which is the wire flooring. Below the wire flooring is the pee pan. On the pee pan, the Puppy Seller recommended that you put the newspaper.
But what you want is to paper-train your puppy. Therefore, the set you purchased is not appropriate for paper-training as the puppy has no direct contact with newspapers.

The playpen, confinement to a small room, area fenced up or tethering your puppy to a small area are 4 of the methods you need to do paper-training. The Crate + Pee Pan set is not suitable.

More details are in the blogs mentioned above.

In addition, success depends on time spent, patience, perseverance and the use of food treats and praises as motivational factors. I have owners who tell me that their new puppies just go to the newspapers or grate + pee pan to eliminate on the first day. "Such intelligent puppies," the owners said.

Some owners shake their heads and after 2 months post-purchase, the puppy is still not toilet-trained. In such cases, the owners are usually both working couples with no time to confine or train the puppy during the most important first 2-4 weeks after purchase.

I hope this feedback helps. Let me know your progress and e-mail me if you have more queries.

E-mail to Dr Sing
On Sun, 9/14/08, <> wrote:

Dear Dr Sing

Thank You! Very much. I appreciate the information given to you by me.


Name of owner

Toilet Training Your First Puppy in Singapore