toilet training, house training puppies

Community education supported by

My Photo
Location: Singapore

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

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

484. 5.5-month-old Silkie plays with poo

On Tue, 3/23/10,> wrote:

Subject: How to prevent poop playing?
Date: Tuesday, March 23, 2010, 2:33 PM

Hi Dr sing, read some of your toilet training guide in the website and it is really interesting. Hope you can give me some advices if possible.

Pet: Jenny, Silky terrier, 5.5 months
Playpen + pee tray with metal grating to cover the newspaper + a bed (In the Housing and Development Board living room)
Playpen size: 3’ by 4’, Pee tray cover 50% of the playpen
Feed twice a day at 7am and 6 pm, usually finish food fast (<5 min), water is provided at playpen.
Allow to come out to play at 7pm-10pm. Other timing is in playpen.
Problem No.1:
Jennie has being with us for the past 2.5 months. She is left in the playpen during the daytime when we went to work. She will know where to pee and poo at the pee tray when kept in the playpen. After 1st meal at 7am, she will poo and it will be cleared and change of newspaper. Only till 6pm then we can provide her the 2nd meal as we are working. For the past 1.5 months, when we reached home around 6pm, all the poos at the pee tray will be scattered around at the playpen and we suspect she tried to eat and play with it. Usually during the weekend, if we saw the poo, it will be removed as soon as possible to prevent her from trying to lick and sniff it. 2 toys and a chewing bone will be in the playpen when we leave her inside. Sometime she will whine as do not like to stay in the playpen. Is it because she was kept in the playpen too long or too bored? Is it due to hunger? Please advice.

Problem No.2:
When we are at home, the playpen fence will be opened and allow her to roam in the living room and in the kitchen (other rooms are not allowed to enter). Every 1-1.5 hrs, toilet train her to the pee tray by guiding her to the playpen and close the fence. She is smart and knows where to pee and treats will then be given. Sometimes, if left unattended, for e.g. I went to the study room for awhile like 30sec, she will pee at the living room walkway. Pee spot will be clean with commercial cleaner. If we happen to witness it while she pees, we will scold her and give a spank. But she will try to run away and hide. So far peeing seen to be the only problem when we allow her to left unattended, otherwise, she will go back pee tray to poo even if left unattended.

Thank you,
Name of owner

I am Dr Sing from Toa Payoh Vets. Thank you for a detailed report on your "puppy". As no two puppies behave alike in an apartment, I can only provide you the following practical guidelines which may or may not be useful. These are:


1.1 CHANGE FROM PLAYPEN AREA TO ROOM WHEN YOU WORK. The puppy is nearly an adult soon. She needs more space when you are at work so that she can move and exercise. The playpen area is too small. At this stage, you may need to give her a bigger space. One example is fencing the kitchen door or next-to-the-kitchen bathroom door with the playpen fences. The pee tray will still be inside this bigger space. A bigger space may distract your puppy from playing with her stools.

1.2 BOREDOM. Buy one of those toys with food packed inside. Some puppies spend time trying to get at the food. Buy chew ropes. There is one writer who suggests hanging a play toy from a rope so that the puppy will try and get at it and exercise while at home alone. This is probably impractical for you in the apartment.

2. PEEING WHEN UNSUPERVISED FOR A FEW SECONDS. This action appears to me to be urine-marking. Female dogs do mark territory too. Have you tried white vinegar:water at 1 part to 3 parts in a piece of rag to neutralise the urine smell? Let me know if you try it.

Urine marking occurs naturally in female dogs that are more dominant. Urine-marking is well known in male dogs but relatively uncommon in female dogs.

If your female dog starts urine-marking, neutralising the urine smell will not work. The owner has to spend time catching her before she urine marks and that is difficult for you. Does she urine-mark outdoors?

What is the solution? Will spaying her work? I don't know. My advice is to bring her outdoors when you come back from work and before you go to work. I guess you can't wake up early. Try this. She may then urine-mark on the grass outdoors and forget about the corridor which should be neutralised properly.

I hope the above helps. Best wishes.
Do let me know if I have not answered any questions and let me know your progress.

Update at: - toilet training articles