toilet training, house training puppies

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A veterinary surgeon at and founder of a licensed housing agency for expatriate rentals and sales at

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Success in toilet training 2 Spitz - one case


July 19, 2009
Hi judy,

I hope this is not too much trouble for u. I recently bot 2 japanese spitz puppies. They are with me for 3 weeks now. The first 2 weeks, i admit i make some mistakes in the house breaking training.

Now i have confined the 2 puppies separately in 2 play pen. When the puppies are inside the play pen, they usually most of the time would pee n poo on the pee tray. When i open up the play pen to let them play ard, they would pee on other places. One pee very far, so i thought he prob couldnt find his way back. The other one pee abt 20 cm away from the pee tray. Why is it that when the play pen is opened up, they forgot where they shld pee just like how well behave they are when they are confined in the play pen.

Can u give me some advice as to what i shld do? I am so close to pulling out all my hair.

Thanks n regards

Name of Owner

From: Kong Yuen Sing <>
Sent: Sunday, 19 July 2009 2:55:33
Subject: Re: Pls help me, i need advice on housebreaking my puppies.

I am Dr Sing. Thank you for your e-mail.

1. In reply, I presume you have two puppies coming out of the 2 playpens at the same time.

2. The two are then given a much bigger area to play. They forget about their pee tray.

3. Ideally, you should permit one puppy to come out to an extended area which is around 2X the area of the playpen (e.g kitchen area). Open the playpen gate and monitor the puppy. If he goes to the pee tray, praise and give food treat. If he shows signs of wanting to pee, carry him quickly to the pee tray. Be observant.

4. The other puppy should be confined and not be seen by the other puppy while you train this one.

5. Repeat paragraph 3 with the other puppy.

6. In cases where there is only one puppy, it takes 2-4 weeks of confinement inside the playpen 90% of the time before they know that they must go to the pee tray to eliminate when they are let out of the playpen into a bigger area (not the whole apartment, just the kitchen or bathroom as an example). It is not just 1 week as that was what I presumed you did.

7. Therefore, go back to the basics as mentioned in paragraph 3.

Date: Sun, Jul 19, 2009 at 8:06 AM
Subject: Re: Pls help me, i need advice on housebreaking my puppies.
To: Kong Yuen Sing <>

Dear mr sing,

Thank you very much for your prompt reply. I really really appreciate it. I will listen to your advice and do as u said. I will definitely write back once the house breaking training is successful for the 2 puppies.

A big thank you.

Name of Owner

From: Kong Yuen Sing <>
Sent: Friday, 20 November 2009 8:17:02
Subject: 2 puppies - toilet training in July 2009

Dear Ms ...

I am Dr Sing from Toa Payoh Vets. We corresponded in July 2009 regarding your 2 new puppies and their toilet training. I hope all are OK now in November. Do you mind letting me know how you got the 2 puppies toilet trained?
On Thu, Dec 17, 2009 at 7:02 AM,> wrote:

Hi dr sing,

Sorry for the late reply. Yes they are toilet trained now.

Well out of desperation, we hired a trainer to come to our place n teach us how to toilet train the 2 puppies.

Basically he came to see how we set up the playpen. The big mistake we made was putting the pee tray on the outer side in the playpen. The pee tray should always be behind where they will usually walk, jump and sleep.

At first they are in the living room. We told the trainer that in future we like them to pee/poo in the kitchen area. So we moved the playpen to the kitchen. Due to the setting of my kitchen, We know that the puppies will walk along 3 sides of the playpen while the other side is the wall so they won't be there often. So we placed the pee tray leaving space for them to lie down and walk along the 3 sides. So in a way, the pee tray is behind where they move ard.

They stay in there for abt a week or 2 and of course occasionally we let them out to play. While out playing the female went back to the pee tray to do her business. So we started to let her out most of the day time and only put her inside the playpen in the nite. After a few days later, the male started doing the same. So we let the 2 out in the day and put them inside the playpen in the nite. At the same time we expand the playpen size n give them more space.

1 or 2 weeks later, we remove the playpen and let them out day and nite. They are already toilet trained. Once in a while they make mistake by pooing outside. They hardly pee wrongly though.

Now that they are 8.5 months old now. They don't make mistake anymore.

Hope this helps.


Name of Owner

Many thanks for your feedback. It will be very useful for owners with 2 puppies and for me to advise other owners with 2 puppies. There is a lot of questions asked by puppies about toilet training in my practice.

Is it possible for you to give me an estimate of the length and width of the playpen and the pee tray at that time? The standard 4 panels of fencing for a playpen is 3 feet x 2.5 feet. Was yours much bigger since you need to put 2 Spitz puppies in one playpen. Is it 6 feet x 2.5 feet? An estimate will do since it is so long ago.

Is it possible for you to email a drawing/sketch of the floor plan of the pee tray being against one side of the wall so that the pups could walk along 3 sides by drawing and then taking a pic with your handphone if you don't use camera? Do you have a picture of the floor plan of the time you toilet train them and email to me the picture? It will be much clearer as I may be interpreting incorrectly.

Thank you once again for your detailed reply. I wish you a Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year.

It is a big challenge to get 1 puppy to eliminate in the pee tray (pan). With 2 puppies, it can be very frustrating.

It seems that the location of the pee tray is important.
Locating in the front part of the play pen means that the puppies have to step over them to get out and this makes them soil their paws. Being clean by instinct, they will avoid the pee tray and so it was difficult to pee-tray train them initially.

A house-visit by a dog trainer was important as the housing plan and management was reviewed during the house visit and this resulted in success. I presume that the 2 puppies were pee-pan trained together and that the pee-pan is washed frequently. Is it a grate+pee pan? A follow up is necessary.


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