As well as being a trainer I also foster pups for the SPA at Carcassonne. It’s very rewarding!
Should you have the time to dedicate to this, new fosterers are always welcome and support is on hand.
As a trainer, it is easy to stand in front of a group of puppy parents and tell them “if you do this, the result will be.. “
In reality, the pups I’ve fostered have taught me a valuable lesson, one that I hope will make me a better trainer.
One size does not fit all!
Poppy is now 5 months old and already knows all the basic commands – sit down, come, stay and she walks well on the lead. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? I have put the training in place of course but can claim little credit I fear! That honour goes to my two other dogs from whom she has learned ( SIT/DOWN/COME/STAY ETC =REWARD !!!), plus she is part Border Collie, reputed to be one of the most intelligent breeds.
Indeed one size does not fit all but that just means that you need to adapt to the dog you have and these particular training guidelines apply to all.
In the next few episodes of Poppy’s training snippets we are going to cover, not sit, down, stay but the questions I most get asked at ‘dog school”.
Contact/teaching your dog its name
Destruction in the home
Plus a subject very dear to my heart- socialisation.
For me, this follows on from cage training and is linked to feeding.
By training your dog to sleep in a cage /crate as described in the last snippet, and also in a leaflet obtainable from Dog Rescue Carcassonne, you will be well on the way to having a dog who sleeps all night and is clean/dry in the morning. This is because they are hardwired not to foul their own den/sleeping area. Imagine how it would be in a den with a whole litter of pups if they all pooed and peed where they slept. Yes, of course, there are accidents at first but every pup I have fostered and trained in this way has ‘got it’ within the first few days.
If you don’t want to use a crate for your dog do at least restrict the area they are allowed in unsupervised. A couple of movable child safety gates is all that is needed. Dogs need boundaries and a feeling of security and will settle much quicker if not allowed to roam. Place their bed in a corner, against a wall even under a table, but never in a corridor or the middle of a space. Some toilet training and behavioural problems are caused by anxiety due to too much freedom and the lack of a ‘safe’ place to sleep.
Puppies can, and will, poo up to 10 times a day and wee even more. Like young children, they cannot at this stage always control their bodily functions. So, to avoid ‘accidents’, ideally, take your pup out at regular intervals and always as soon as they have eaten/drunk, giving lavish praise when they ‘perform’.
Pups up to 6 months old need to eat 3 times a day (daily ration based on final adult weight ÷3). Whatever food you choose, make sure it is good quality and suitable for puppies. Always weigh the food so you can monitor how much your pup is eating. To make sure your pup eats regularly never leave the food bowl on the floor. Place the bowl in front of your pup (if they have learned SIT now is a good time to reinforce this behaviour) if they refuse to eat or walk away, remove the bowl. Give no more food until the next mealtime and only the prescribed one-third ration. In this way, your pup will quickly learn to eat when food is given.
Bonus – regular food = regular poo
Dos and don’ts
Never tell your pup off for pooing or weeing in the ‘wrong’ place. They don’t know it is the wrong place, they may think you are telling them off for toileting which in turn could cause stress. You will almost certainly prolong the toilet training period.
It is us up to you to teach your new companion where to relieve themselves so just remove them to where they should go and clean up calmly. White household vinegar (vinaigre d’alcool) in solution is excellent for this purpose as it neutralises the smell of the urine.
Take your pup to the same place each time to ‘toilet’ as the scents will help them to ‘go’
Always praise your dog when they toilet outside in the ‘right place.
Never leave a food bowl on the floor. Your dog will learn to graze rather than eat properly. This will affect your dog’s ‘output’ and possibly the workings of his digestive system.
Always feed as good a quality food as possible.