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

Friday, March 27, 2009

455. Pet Shop Advice to keep puppy indoors when there is a garden

Toilet Training Your First Puppy in Singapore

Pet shop seller advised strictly to keep the American Cocker puppy inside the house till 2 weeks after the 3rd vaccination. Husband was not too happy with the puppy eliminating all over the living and dining room.

"Did the pet shop advise buying a crate to confine the puppy?" I asked.
"Yes," the wife said. "But we don't want to cage the puppy. We want the puppy to eliminate in the garden. That was what our previous dogs did."

"The reason is that the pet shop seller does not want the puppy to die from parvoviral infections as the shop gets the blame. In the garden your dog may meet other stray dogs at the gate or other dogs." I explained the rationale.

It was already 2 weeks. The commercial liquid sprayed onto the newspapers to entice the puppy to pee on the papers did not work. The puppy just shred the papers.

"You are anti-dog", the wife remarked.
"No, I am not," the husband replied, shaking his grey-haired head.

"Please understand that some spouses can't stand the smell of dogs, especially pee and poop," I explained. "Some wives of vets I know don't even want to go near a pig farm as it is so smelly to their noses. There are such wives who prohibit keeping of dogs in the apartment."

"Why do they marry vets?" the wife has the stereotypical veterinarian's spouse who must love animals to marry one.

"I guess it is fate," I said. "Just like why you marry your husband who is not so happy with this puppy."

To change the topic quickly so as not to pour oil onto fire, I said, "The puppy can be permitted to go to the garden as the other dog is vaccinated yearly and there are no stray dogs around. In that way, this puppy can learn from the older one and will eliminate naturally in the garden."

This puppy came for the 3rd vaccination as it had a free vaccination voucher from the pet shop. Well, his ear edges are scaly but there were no crusts as in scabies. His neck is reddened due to scratching. I advised an anti-fungal cleaning shampoo for a week and clipping of the long ear hairs. Wait and see for one week. If no more scratching, there would not be a need for a review.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

454. Mar 2009 Draft. New puppy toilet training queries

Toilet Training Your First Puppy in Singapore

MAR 2009. DRAFT COPY. TO REVISE LATER TO SUMMARISE. E-mail has questions most new puppy owners encounter. Many of the over 500 owners in my survey mention that their puppies take at least 2 months or longer before they know where they are supposed to pee and poop. Others mention 7 days in paper-training success. There is much variation as methods and tools used vary widely

Re: Re: Maltese misses the tray
Sunday, March 22, 2009 2:50 AM
From: XXX

"David Sing"
Thank you Dr Sing. He still misses pees on the edge so not quite on the pee tray. We will be taking him out this week for the first. He has had his 3 jabs already. Pretty soon we will be neutering him what is a good age for that? he is 4 months now.I appreciate all the advice. Dogs can be lots of work but they are a joy to have around.

From: David Sing
Sent: Sunday, March 22, 2009 6:19:40 AM
Subject: Maltese misses the tray

Thank you for email.
1. I presume your Maltese did not miss the tray for the last few days. Pl let me know if I am incorrect.
2. However, you changed his routine by bringing him to the groomers. Therefore, he did not do what you want.
3. Persevere in your training. It is not so easy for some dogs.
4. Privacy. Yes, some owners report that their dogs don't like being seen to pee or poop.
5. If the problem is not submission or excitation urination, you are progressing to your goals. You just need to persevere. I don't think that your puppy is suffering from ADD but then I can be mistaken.
6. You may pick up some tips from this case. See:

Best wishes

Subject: Re: Re: Maltese misses the tray
To: "David Sing"
Date: Saturday, March 21, 2009, 2:46 AM

Thanks Dr Sing, we have tried getting him to pee on the tray by guiding him there. we also tell him that its bad to pee on the side. both of us are rather strong personalities. he seems okay for the last few days with no new changes in our behavior or routine. he did pee on the floor in his toilet after we brought him back from the groomers.
he seems to only do his business after we shut the gate and we are not looking. usually doesn't do it when the gate is open even when we are not looking -- guess he is just too eager to get out.
so what can we do about his ADD?

From: David Sing
Sent: Friday, March 20, 2009 8:47:53 AM
Subject: RE: Re: Maltese misses the tray

You may be right about distraction or ADD.
1. Put the puppy onto the pee tray and give command "pee here".
2. When you put him in after playing, give the command "pee here." It may work after some time. Praise and food treat on success. Persevere as first few X may not work.
3. Can it be "submissive urination or excitation urination"? That may explain why he "pees" off target. Is one of you or both quite "forceful" in your personality?

Subject: RE: Re: Maltese misses the tray
To: "David Sing"
Date: Wednesday, March 18, 2009, 1:27 AM

Thanks dr sing. You are right the puppy is clean. We clean the tray daily and replace the pee pad. After which we wipe the floor clean with the blue odor removal that is offered at the pet stores. I wonder if the puppy has ADD and he really cant focus or he is too eager to come out. Back to cleanliness though, the puppy resumes peeing correctly after he is in his room for a while. what else can we try. He made the same mistake again last night after we let him out and played with him. Thanks a bunch. XXX

David Sing wrote:
> Hi 1. Thank you for your info and pictures. Pl correct me if I misunderstand. What you are interested is that the Maltese "misses the tray" after being let out to play. I will focus on this aspect in my reply. I suspect you have a very clean puppy. Most likely reason is that the puppy "smells" the tray and finds it to be "not clean". How often do you wash your tray and the surrounding area? Some puppies are so clean that they will try to avoid "soiled" tray later in the day, as apparently, in your case. Try white vinegar:water at 1:3 to wash the tray and toilet floor the next 7 days before putting the puppy in and let me know. If this is successful, other owners will benefit. Best wishes.

From: XXX Subject: Re: Maltese misses the tray To: "David Sing"
Date: Monday, March 16, 2009, 11:37 PM

Dr Sing, The puppy generally sleeps thru the morning. when I wake up, I clean up his poo if there is any. he poos quite a bit and it is usually on target in the tray -- usually once after breakfast (around 1030 ~11) and then in the after noon or in the evening. Mostly after dinner. he poos around 4 ~ 5 times a day. he pees alot more and I am not surprised since he drinks a lot of water. he is usually on target about
> 60% of the time when he pees but when we take him out of the toilet (he is caged in as you can see in the pictures) and plays out for about 1 ~ 2 hours he tends to make mistakes when we take him in. the toilet is at the back of the kitchen. meal routine -- breakfast 10.30 ~ 11.00 / dinner 6.30~ 7.00 night time -- he
> is let into the cage at 9pm. he won't be let out until 10.30 the next day for breakfast. play time (out time from the cage) 6~9 pm. rest of the time he is in the toilet. he gets let out for a short time during breakfast. but since I work and my wife works from home. we try not to disturb him during the day and keep to the routine. eventually we want him to have free roam of the house but we need to ensure that he can go on his own. thanks for your help XXX

From: David Sing To: XXX
1. If your concern is that the Maltese pees "off target" - not directly onto the pee tray (or newspapers in the case of paper-training), this is one of the most common complaints. What type of pee tray are you using? Pl send me 3 pictures of the pee tray and the toilet location so that I can advise further. 2. What is the routine for this puppy every day as regards sleeping area, exercise, eating, drinking times?

Mon, 3/16/09, From: XXX Subject: Maltese misses the tray To: Date: Monday, March 16, 2009, 11:08 AM

Hi Judy, I have been reading your blog and have gotten some good pointers. We have a 4 month old maltese. he has been confine in the kitchen toilet for the last 5 weeks since we brought him home. initially he was doing well and peeing on the pee tray with the occasional mistake. with that in mind we let him out and trusted that he would go into his toilet on his own when needed. this he did for 3 days. after that he made some mistakes outside when we let him out. now we have resorted to taking him in to the toilet and let him pee. but he doesn't do it in front of
> us. once when we
> are out of sight he would pee just on the edge of the tray and onto the floor. we still confine him in the toilet and let him out after dinner for about
> 2~3hours. pees on the tray most of the time. he makes the mistakes mostly after we have taken him out and bring him back in. we want him to be able to roam the house freely, what can we do? Thanks for you help. cheers XXX