TRAINING PUPPIES

The easiest method of housetraining a dog is to set a schedule.

Housetraining a dog using a schedule requires that an owner remember two things.

1.  The digestion process

Regardless of breed, size or lineage, a puppy cannot control their urinary or bowel movements before 11-12 weeks of age.  The muscle control has not yet developed to the stage where they can hold it when they feel the urge to urinate or defecate.  When a puppy 12 weeks of age or younger feels the need to void or defecate, they need to go NOW! If your puppy is younger than 12 weeks of age, have odor nutralizer, paper towels, carpet cleaner and other supplies handy, because at this age, they are not able to control their bladder or bowels more than a few short seconds when they feel the need to go.

A puppy processes and digests its food, just like people do. This is an important factor to remember because many house training mistakes are made by owners who don't understand that it takes a puppy approximately 4 - 6 hours to digest their food.  If your puppy has a bowel movement shortly after eating, this bowel movement will not be the digested food that he consumed in his meal just a short time earlier.  It takes a puppy approximately 4 - 6 hours to digest his food to the stage where it will be expelled via a bowel movement. 

Schedule Based Training: A Pugs' Mentality

Pugs are sensitive little creatures. All breeds of dog are eager to please to be sure, but Pugs are people dogs. They are a social breed that needs human interaction and because of this, your Pugs psyche plays a strong role in successful housetraining. None of these concepts need explanation, but read on anyway just to get an idea of what a Pug puppy wants out of life...

Your Pug puppy wants only to please you. In return for pleasing you, she gets to be the one place she truly wants to be...Next to you. Whether your Pug likes to sit on your lap, next to you on the couch, or at your feet, she wants to be with you. At 12 weeks of age, a Pug puppy already knows that if she does the right things, you'll welcome her presence next to you. Your Pugs' mentality is to do whatever it can to stay on your good side, but don't forget, at under 12 weeks of age, a Pug can't control whether it makes inside or outside. Because of this, your young puppy without this control really has no idea that making in the house is wrong. It can't help it, it can't stop it and it doesn't yet know that making outside is the thing to do.

A close second to being next to you in a Pug's eyes is food...I like to think Pugs care more about love than food and until proven otherwise, I'll insist they do. Beyond your company, a treat for doing something good, like making outside is a big motivation for your Pug. Petting and hugs and verbal praise are high on the list of a Pug too, but food, that's where the action is!

So let's take the Pug's physiology and mentality and put it all together to create a Schedule Based Training plan that will work for both you and your Pug!

The Schedule Based Training Plan

What you'll need: You'll need commitment and consistency, a bottle of odor neutralizer, a supply of your Pugs regular chow stashed away near the door, a pocket to put the chow in, an umbrella by the door, and a sense of humor.

Until your Pug is 12 weeks old: It's an excellent idea to condition your Pug by rewarding him for making outside even if before he's able to hold his urges. Get him used to being rewarded, even if you can't yet expect him to make on the schedule you create. Until he's able to control his urges to make, take him outside every two hours until he makes, and at least 15 minutes no matter what.

Examine your schedule: Before you can create a outside schedule for your Pug, you have to figure out what schedule will suit you. The goal here isn't to develop a schedule that suits your Pug, it's to create one that will suit you...With SBT, you bring your Pug to your schedule, not the other way around. You'll need to give yourself 20 extra minutes every morning, and also in the evening. For example, if you normally wake up at 7am in order to get to work on time, now you must wake up at 6:40.

Two meals a day: Pugs do not need to eat 4 or even 3 times a day. Our temptation is to feed them more than twice a day because we always worry about them being hungry. But Pugs are chow-hounds. They love to eat, and just because you feed them 4 times a day, doesn't mean they won't be camped outside your kitchen around dinner time...They'll camp there anyway. Feed your Pug twice a day based on your veterinarians' recommendation. This will make for less need on your Pug's part to have to go outside.

Before before Before: The SBT method works best when you take your Pug outside before either of it's main meals

The numbers game: A Pug, once able, can go 4-6 hours comfortably between making. Yes, they can go longer, and as they get older they will, but we're talking about waiting and being comfortable. Given this time range, using a "5 hour" schedule is a good number of hours in between making and it will optimize the SBT you're going to use.

The sample schedule: This schedule is only a sample. It may be perfect for you, or it may need tailoring based on your own personal schedule. If you alter it to suit your needs, just remember to stick to the "5 hour" rule, feed them twice a day, and feed them after they go outside and make.

What you'll see here is a Pug puppy that goes outside 4 times a day, no more than 5 hours in between trips outside (except for the final trip which is six hours) and a schedule that makes use of the knowledge you now have of the Pug's Physiology. Here it is:

7am-Outside

7:20-Morning Feeding

Noon-Outside

5pm-Outside

5:20-Evening Feeding

11pm-Outside

Why it works: This schedule works for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, it does not force your Pug to work at holding their urges to make. Second, it covers the digestive process of your Pug putting them outside when they'll absolutely need to make. Finally, it has two built in conditioning/motivating elements...Your Pug will not put up much of a struggle to avoid going outside if she knows there's a meal waiting for her when she goes inside after making. Believe me, it won't take long for your Pug to figure that out!

Where did that come from? Or should we say, when?: To further understand the idea of feeding twice a day, combined with the physiology of the Pug, take a second look at the schedule.

At 7am, your Pug will make outside, and what he makes is "leftover" from the evening feeding before. At Noon, what your Pug makes is the result of the morning feeding. At 5pm, what your Pug makes is the "leftover" from the morning feeding. Finally, at 11pm, what your Pug makes is the result of his evening feeding. Can it be this simple? Yes!

Neither rain nor sleet nor snow nor driving rain...: Should keep you inside while you're training your Pug. No matter the weather, your place during this training period is outside with your Pug. By being outside, you'll be a presence watching over your Pug, making sure she makes and adding a tiny bit of pressure to make.

However long it takes: Though you probably won't have to wait long at the 7am and 5pm trips outside, it may not be so fast and easy at Noon and 11pm. Your job here, and you'll do it more effectively if you're outside with your Pug, is to send him a message; "We're not going inside until you make". It may take a little time for your Pug to get this message, but when he does, he'll understand this for life and it will help speed up the process.

All work and no play: Many people take their Pug outside to make and wind up playing with them instead. Then, when they stop playing, their Pug doesn't make...until about 3 seconds after he gets inside. Remember that your goal here is to housetrain your Pug, not to play with her. She already knows how to play.

Food rewards: Get a sandwich sized zip-lock baggie, fill it with your Pug's regular chow and place it near the door leading outside. As your Pug goes outside, reach into the bag and snatch a piece or two, and place them in your pocket. You're going to be the magical master who can make food appear into your hands! When your Pug gets the job done outside, reward her with a piece or two of the chow. Initially, you'll do this at each outside time, but once your Pug has figured out that two of those trips are followed by full meals, you can restrict this reward to only the other two trips.

Physical rewards: To further enhance this training, after rewarding your Pug with food, you should also reward him with physical contact. We're not talking about a quick tap on the head, or a bried short stroke across the back. No sir, we're talking about heavy petting! Pet, rub, hug and yes, once the deeds are done, you can also play a little too. You know you want to!

Verbal rewards: To cinch the deal, reward your Pug with one of it's most favorite things...The sound of your voice. Pugs are extra-responsive to their owner's voice and it gives them great pleasure. Make your voice high in pitch, and give her lots of "good girls" and "good puppys" while you're petting her.

Consistency: I just can't say this enough; The SBT method, like all other methods, will only work if you're consistent. You must be consistent in the times you take your Pug outside, in the rewards, in always being outside with him, and in your demeanor.

Your demeanor: I've said it before and I'll say it again. You're going to have accidents no matter what method of housetraining you try and the best way to handle these mishaps is to stay calm, pick them up, clean them up and be neutral. Don't yell, don't have a tantrum, don't scold your Pug and most of all, don't hit her. Be calm.

Patience: Does the SBT method work? Absolutely! Does it work overnight or in a matter of a week? No. Housetraining takes time, and it can take as few as 3-4 weeks to work or as long as 3-4 months. Some of this depend on your dog, much of it, even most of it in fact depends on you.

Logs: Though not a necessity, it is useful to maintain a log of your Pug's movements outside and inside. Writing down what they did and when and where they did it may sound foolish or silly, but it can also be the place where you find the key to the puzzle as to why your training method isn't working. For example, you may use the SBT method and find that your Pug has adapted well to it, except for one particular time of day, such as the afternoon. Check your log, you might just stumble across a pattern where your Pug's accidents always seem to happen around 4:30pm for example.

Adjustments: Again, the sample schedule above is just a sample. You need to create one that suits your own needs. While the goal here is to bring your schedule to your Pug, there may come a time when you realize the schedule needs some minor tinkering. Don't worry about that as long as it's just a minor alteration, such as 10 or 20 minutes or even a half-hour. But if it's longer than that, you'll need to re-evaluate the entire schedule.

That's all folks: Having helped Pug owners to housetrain over 200 dogs, I've found the success rate of the SBT method to be truly amazing. It works about 90% of the time, and this is when dealing only with Pugs that have failed to respond to being housetrained by their owners...Or, maybe it's the owners who are behind the housetraining problems? In many cases, a dogs' failure to grasp housetraining is the result of mis-training where the owners need to be trained to train. There's nothing wrong with that, it happens to the best of people. Good luck!

People are often very surprised to hear me recommend that Pugs should be properly Trained in Good Manners and Obedience.
 
Given their gentle nature and reputation for being non-aggressive and highly affectionate little dogs, many owners assume that Pugs don't require obedience & good manners lessons.  
 
Pugs are still dogs and if they are not taught how to behave appropriately, they can develop very bad manners indeed. 
 
Every dog should be provided with the information that they need so they can learn what is expected of them.  Family Dogs should learn to respect rules and boundaries and be taught good manners.     
 
Dogs benefit tremendously from Good Quality Manners & Obedience Lessons.   Dogs also benefit from lots of  Positive Socialization Interactions with other dogs (look for well-supervised dog interaction & play groups, run by qualified dog professionals). 
 
Dogs must be safe if they are to be with Children. 
 

We live in a fast-paced, frantic, noisy, smelly, time-consumed Human World and without proper guidance and training,  it can be difficult for dogs to become safe, clam and relaxed family pets.  
 
Don't forget that humans go to school for 14 years; it isn't unreasonable to provide your dog with some schooling too.
 

 
There is nothing worse than a dog that has been allowed by its' Owners to
develop bad manners and unpredictable behaviors that place children and others at risk.
 
When dogs are not taught Good Behaviors and don't learn to accept and respect Rules and Boundaries these poor untrained dogs often develop behavior problems because they don't know any other ways to behave.
 
Humans who make a decision to bring a dog into their home and family are 100% responsible for ensuring that their dog receives the training, education and positive social experiences necessary to teach them how to behave properly and appropriately, and so they learn to develop good manners.

 

 
 

Click Here to view links to our Favorite Websites

Howard & Louise Larsen ~ Eckville, AB ~ (403) 755-6345 ~ E-mail us