It’s been a while since my last post and I think it’s time to provide a few helpful tips and tricks... so here goes!
The mind of a dog is roughly equivalent to that of a human who is 2 to 2½ years old. A child that age clearly has emotions, but not all possible emotions, since many emerge later in the path to adulthood. Dogs go through their developmental stages much more quickly than humans do, attaining their full emotional range by the time they are 4 to 6 months old. Much like a human toddler, a dog has the basic emotions: joy, fear, anger, disgust, excitement, contentment, distress, and even love. A dog does not have, and will not develop, more complex emotions, like guilt, pride, contempt, and shame, however. You might argue that your dog has shown evidence of feeling guilt. In the usual scenario, you come home and your dog starts slinking around and showing discomfort, and you then find his smelly brown deposit on your kitchen floor. It is natural to conclude that the dog’s actions show a sense of guilt about its transgression. However, this is simply the more basic emotion of “fear”. The dog has learned that when you appear and his droppings are visible on the floor, bad things will happen to him. What you see is the dog’s fear of punishment; he will never feel guilt.
Do not physically hit, spank, or shout at your dog. Do not rub your dogs nose in it’s accidents.
Instead change your emotional reaction. Give your dog a new focus and try to create a clear routine. If your dog consistently has accidents try to pinpoint the time. Then define and refine, meaning create potty “consistency” by giving your dog a daily potty routine so eventually your dog learns - hey it’s time to go outside and reward that potty outside because it’s a positive behavior! 🥳
If you see your dog going to the door or it begins barking at you and it just doesn’t make sense?
Look at the time.
Ask yourself, “is it my dogs potty time?” 🦮⏰ you’ll find out that they are smart enough to tell you it’s that time! I know right, how awesome. 🙌🏻
Typical potty times: 6am 🌞 (or right when you wake), 12 noon, and 6pm 🌚 - (and it’s always good to take him one more time before you go to bed, this will prevent night accidents)
When starting a potty routine: Come home and take your dog out to do it’s business immediately - no kisses, no high baby voices, no petting or physical touch. Try to refrain from even having eye contact and minimize all communication until the deed is done. Lead your dog outside and focus on one thing, potty time. This training does not go on forever but in the beginning it’s smart to give your animal this potty time structure. Create the boundaries - meaning no love until the deed is done!
If you come home and you find there is an accident you must “ignore it” until you have taken your dog out. Then put your dog in a crate or a safe place to clean up the area. After its clean you should really act completely normal... it’s hard I know. But ignoring the bad behavior allows your dog to focus on what you really need from him.
Give your dog as much attention and love after they exhibit a good behavior and in this case it’s going potty outside.
Give your dog playtime after a potty because he really missed you and you both need to link coming home with happiness - not stress, fear, and anger.
Your dog should not be scolded on accidents or bad behavior like chewing furniture “after the fact”. Because unless he’s actually doing it right in-front of you - he simply has “no clue” what he is even doing wrong. Remember your dog is a toddler.
If you catch your dog in the act that’s when you say “NO!” and immediately take your dog outside and use the “GO POTTY” command. When your dog does go... say, “YES - good potty!” and I recommend giving your dog a treat to reward that specific good behavior.
If you dog chews furniture in front of you say, “NO!” then replace and provide your dog with a chew bone. Giving your dog items “it can” safely chew will really help. Know that dogs only chew out of pure boredom. Provide your dog with positive healthy physical activities, like a good run in the park or a 15 minute ball toss!
Remember: Puppy’s need to go out 3-5 times a day. Older dogs at least 3 times. Get your dog to know the words “outside” and “go potty”. Say it one time - and say it every time. Reward your dog when it exhibits good behavior. This will help! Remind your dog of the potty time as it will help him get onto a specific time of day routine. Try to make sure that the potty times work with your schedule and do your very best to provide positive outside consistency. Dogs can typically hold it 20-30 minutes after a feeding and 5-6 hours after a #2 potty. Most dogs especially small dogs can’t hold it longer than 5-6 hours, so provide a relief area like a puppy pad if you know you’ll be away for more than 6 hours.
*To learn more about your breed and for more tips and tricks on how to positively train your dog into good behaviors - please send a DM. I am now scheduling classes on Saturdays after Spring Break. 🏖