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Lisa, Certified Veterinary Technician
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 16554
Experience:  CVT with a special interest in behavior modification through structure, boundaries and limitations with positive reinforcement.
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Any clues on how I stop my pup from using the garage floor

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Any clues on how I stop my pup from using the garage floor as a toilet
Hi there. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm happy to help you with Peggie's house training today.

Unfortunately, there are some breeds of dogs who tend to be a bit harder to housebreak than some others and Poodles (and poodle mixes) are at the top of that list. The independance in them makes them stubborn and headstrong, so it can be quite a challenge to get them housebroken.

Part of the issue we see with puppies in general is that they simply have smaller bladders than their larger counterparts and often the owners (myself included) aren't as consistent with house training as they would be with a larger dog. We worry that putting these little pups outside in the cold or wet could make them ill and we dismiss the messes in the house as minor mistakes written off to bad weather or the fact that the dog is 'just a puppy'. However, small puddles and piles add up to bigger problems that need to be addressed and all dogs..regardless of their size...need to learn the bathroom is outside.

Of course, the first thing to do is to have your vet take a quick peek at her. There are some medical problems such as urinary tract infections that can cause a dog to eliminate in the house. Additionally, both males and females will mark their territory in the house with urine...especially if they haven't been spayed or neutered. Clearly it's unlikely that the issue here is that she's marking since she's too young for that.

If the medical exam comes back clear, then we need to start from the beginning and retrain your dog to use the bathroom outside. Establish a routine where your pup is taken outside first thing in the morning, after each playtime and before bed. Keep in mind that dogs generally need to urinate or defecate (or both!) about 20 minutes after they eat, drink or have playtime, so pay attention to the time and make sure the dog gets outside during this time frame. When she potties outside, make sure to give her lots of verbal praise and some tasty treats (I love freeze dried beef liver...available at any petstore). If you happen to catch her going in the house (and you probably will in the beginning), clap your hands loudly to startle her, then pick her up and take her outside. As soon as she goes outside, again, give lots of praise and treats. Make a VERY big deal of it so she knows you're pleased.

Keep in mind that accidents are going to happen during this training time, and no matter how frustrating it is, you need to try not to vent this frustration. When you get upset, your dog stops trying to learn and can become fearful, anxious or confused. It's also silly to discipline the dog when she eliminates in the house because all she'll do then is learn to sneak away and go to the bathroom where you're not looking to avoid getting in trouble.

Another key step is to make sure you clean the places she's eliminating with an enzyme based cleaning product, rather than something that contains ammonias or other harsh chemicals. The enzymes actually break down and destroy the protein particles in the feces/urine instead of covering up the scent. Some of these non-enzymatic cleaners actually smell enough like ammonia to bring the dog back to the scene of their crimes. You can pick up an enzyme cleaner at any Home Depot, Menards, Ect.

I know it's frustrating to get puppies house-trained...but with a great deal of consistency and patience, you can get it done!

I hope this helps.
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