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This week I’ve been charged with an 11m old papillon, who happens to not be house broken.  To the tune of on average 4-5 accidents in his owner’s home per day.

Over the course of this week, he’s getting a crash course in house breaking 101, and has so far passed each day with flying colors.  Since his drop off on Friday night, we’ve had only 1 indoor toilet of him attempting to mark a dog bed.  Monday evening he began to consistently signal in a clear, easily understandable way when he needs to go out.  He’s an incredibly smart, fun and active little dog.

With any age dog, puppy or adult, the keys to successful toileting habits are really rather basic: supervision, proper cleaning of any indoor accidents, appropriate exercise, monitoring of food and water in, ruling out medical reason for the challenges (not fair to expect a dog with a UTI to hold it and so forth) and data tracking.  Really that’s it.

With this little guy, data tracking over the course of his 1st 2 days here gave me a wealth of information to then apply to aid in his success.  Through data tracking I easily could see that like clockwork 15-20min post drinking any water, he would need to urinate.  So know when he drinks = able to prevent indoor urinating accidents by proactively taking him out or setting up the environment in a way that increases the likelihood he will signal he needs to go out, then take him outside.  Through data tracking I could also see that, also like clockwork, 60-90 post a meal or large amount of food (which for this little tiny guy can mean about 5 mini zukes treats) he will need to defecate.  Like clockwork.

With these 2 key pieces of data about his body’s natural functions and rhythms, I now could set him up to actually learn to a. toilet only outside and b. gain some more control of those bodily functions himself ie working toward a long term end goal of him being able to hold it even if he has to go until taken outside.  And I could more easily get his toileting needs on a schedule that worked for my daily life and routine.

This informative video about the routine we have when we’re outside shows the pieces of the puzzle with this particular dog to teach him to value toileting outside.  He does love his ball and it’s a huge motivator for him.

He’s hear for a few more days before heading back home.  But he’ll head home with a solid foundation for toileting success that his owners with care, thought and dedication can continue to build on.

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