Housebreaking Your Dog

Crate Size

The crate should only be big enough for the dog to lay down, stand up, and turn around.

Dog Scent Remover

Nature's Miracle effectively takes away the smell left behind by "accidents" in the house, which is of primary importance for breaking the cycle of going over and over on the same spot.

The UgoDog Potty

The UgoDog Potty is another approach at housebreaking - works good in cold or rainy weather. In our prior house, we installed a Doggie Door between the kitchen and the garage. Whenever our dogs wanted to go potty, they would go from the kitchen into our closed-in garage and relieve themselves there on the UgoDog Potty.

Housebreaking Your Dog

Abounding Poodle Puppies come pre-housebroken. That means that they are crate-trained and do well at our house. However, they will have to "learn your house." The best way to pick up where we leave off is to continue with the crate-training.

How Crate Training Works

Dogs have an instinct to have a clean area to sleep and will "hold" it if they can at all help it as to not mess up their bedding area. This is not true if the puppy comes from a puppy mill, a pet shop, or a place where this instinct has been destroyed by unsanitary conditions where the dog simply gets used to living in filthy conditions. For this reason it is important to always clean and separate the puppy from any waste as soon as an accident happens. *See more about cleaning below, very important.

When crate training a poodle, remember that poodles are smart dogs and if you do this right, he / she will be crate trained within a couple of weeks. Afterwards the dog can have more liberty roaming around the house.

You must first get a crate that is not too big for the dog, but just big enough for the puppy to lay down, stand up, and turn around. This is the dog's sense of personal space - his / her bedding area. If you have anything bigger than this, your puppy will sleep on one corner of the crate and use the other corner for his / her bathroom needs. Here is the Dog Crate we suggest.

Nowadays they are also making crates with divider panels that are removable and can be adjusted as the puppy grows, giving him / her more space in the crate. There are some new dog crates in the market now that allows the crate to "grow" with the growing puppy; they have a divider panel that can be adjusted as needed. For one of our puppies, a 22-inch crate is ideal. For a teacup poodle, the 19-inch will suffice. A Crate Pad works great to make it cozy in there.

As a rule of thumb, during the day time a 2 month-old puppy goes to the bathroom every 2 hours; a 3 month-old puppy every 3 hrs; a 4 month-old puppy every 4 hrs... and so on. At night, a 2 month-old puppy can go overnight without having to go potty - about 8 hrs - if you are careful with the feeding schedule. Remember to take the food up at around 5 pm at the latest so the puppy does not have to go potty in the middle of the night.

Basic Steps

1. Put the puppy in the crate at night. If it's the first night and he / she cries, cover the crate completely with a dark towel until no light or movement can be seen from the inside. Ignore the cries or the puppy is training you!
2. In the morning, open the crate and carry the puppy to the place where you want him / her to use as their bathroom. For example, a patch of grass. If you let the puppy "walk out" of the crate instead of "carrying" him / her, they are liable to have an accident immediately after crossing the threshold.
3. Choose a "trigger word" (ours is "poopy") that you repeat until he / she relieves him / herself. Then throw a big party, lots of praise and celebration. After this, the puppy is rewarded with free-rein of the house. Keep an eye on the puppy to see any signs of sniffing around, curving of the back, squatting, or circling around. If you see this, pick the puppy up and again place him / her on the grass. Repeat this Step 3.
4. Repeat Step 3 also immediately after the puppy eats or drinks. If the puppy does not relieve him / herself when it's about time, put him / her inside of the crate and close the door. This will cause them to "hold" until they are given the opportunity to go out again, and by this time they will be ready.
5. Make sure the puppy goes out just before going to bed so they will be on "empty."
6. If you want to train the puppy to ring a Dog Potty Doorbell on the way out of the door, make sure to let him / her see you touch the bell with your foot whenever you open the door. Encourage him / her to touch the bell while saying the word "OUT." Eventually the dog will touch the bell him / herself. When this happens, even if it's by accident, go ahead and let the dog out immediatelly to reinforce the idea. Just be consistent.
7. Make sure to use that "trigger word" every time. Here at Abounding Poodles, the dogs we keep as pets are able to go potty on command and where we point our foot. Toy Poodles are so smart that they will associate that word with going potty. My pet neutered dog squats on command, even though he is dry and nothing comes out (neutered dogs often squat like girls). LOL

The UgoDog Potty

When going potty outside on the grass is not possible or convenient, the UgoDog Potty is a great alternative.

In our old house we had a Doggie Door installed between the kitchen and the enclosed garage. In the garage we had a UgoDog Potty, so our dogs were free to jump out of the kitchen doggie door and into the enclosed garage during the day. Believe it or not, they would use the UgoDog Potty really well! I never worried about their safety or it being too cold or too hot outside. This is a great alternative.

The UgoDog Potty can be used in conjunction with the Dog Crate and an Exercise Pen as a way to contain the puppy in a safe space during the day if the puppy is to be left alone for a few hours.

In Case of an Accident...

Remember that dogs follow the scent and will repeatedly go back to the same spot if it is not thoroughly cleaned. Beware that cleaning products containing AMMONIA will attract dogs to go potty because ammonia naturally occurs in urine. Because of this, dogs will associate cleaners like Pine Sol, Windex, Odo-Ban, etc, with going potty. A good alternative is using Nature's Miracle No More Marking as it completely removes all scent of urine or feces. A Black UV Flashlight will help you find spots you may have missed when cleaning.