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Does Your Poodle Need Housebreaking?

Jul 8, 2019 | Poodles, Training | 2 comments

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The question of poodle housebreaking, or potty training, is crucial for you and your Poodle. It’s imperative that they are trained to go to the bathroom in designated areas. If your dog is not housebroken, you will end up with accidents all over your home as they will just go whenever they feel like going and there will have no ability to control the mess.

A lack of training is not only damaging to your rugs and furniture, but it is also unhealthy for both the dog and people who are living with it. Housebreaking your dog also allows them in other people’s homes and businesses without the threat of accidents. They can be more social and well mannered.

Toy, Miniature, and Standard Poodles are all extremely smart and there should be no reason, other than perhaps a physical issue, why your pup cannot be taught to go outside or on pee pads. Early training is important for puppies and retraining older dogs that are new to your home may be needed as well. It never hurts to praise your Poodle, trained or not, when they do things properly.

Rules for Poodle Housebreaking

Poodles are highly intelligent dogs that love to learn. They have an innate drive to please their handlers and respond positively to praise, as well as to repetition, and positive reinforcement. If you are starting to train your puppy or new canine companion, make sure to follow some easy guidelines to make the training successful:

  • Make sure to follow a schedule for potty training—outside when first awake and before bed or crate time
  • Constant visits outside until trained
  • Consistency—make sure your Poodle is corrected for peeing in inappropriate spots (only if caught in the act) and given lots of praise when they go outside
  • Lots of praise is needed. Your dog wants to make you happy so offer lots of positive reinforcement when they do what is correct
  • Never use physical punishment—only use the word NO to correct the wrong behavior. If you use fear or pain, they will either misbehave or become withdrawn
  • Don’t bring your new puppy home before eight weeks of age, preferably after 12 weeks—they learn from their mom and it hinders training. Watching an older dog behave properly helps the younger or untrained dog learn

The Basics of Housebreaking

Dogs of all ages and sizes need to go out on a regular basis when training so they get used to going to the bathroom on grass. They should go out first thing in the morning and before bed. Watch for signs that your puppy needs to go to the bathroom throughout the day.

If they start circling and sniffing, take them out. If they start to pee before they get outside, pick them up (if small) and take them to the designated area so they begin to understand that’s where they are supposed to go. They should be taken out every hour or so whether they show signs or not. If they don’t go, try again 30 minutes later.

If your Poodle goes to the bathroom outside, praise and reward it with a small treat such as Zukes Mini Naturals Peanut Butter Treats.  Positive reinforcement is a big help.

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Crate Training

You can housebreak your dog to help with crate training. Before crate training begins, however, you need to have the correct size crate and all the items that make it welcoming for your Poodle. The crate should be one that is big enough for them to stand up and lie down in. Too much space is not always helpful for housebreaking. You will need:

Once you have the crate, find a spot that is nice for your Poodle. You can make the crate comfortable with a bed and a toy or two with a clear view out. The aim of a crate is to make it a positive and cozy space for your Poodle to retreat to. A water dish can be added once your pup is housetrained and remains in it for longer periods of time. Until they stop peeing inside the house, water in the crate should be limited or avoided.

Use the crate to overnight or if you are away for an extended time as it trains your Poodle to hold their urge until you return. They will not want to pee in their sleeping or living space. When you’re crate training, take your Poodle outside right before and after their crate time. Reward them for waiting to go outside and do their business.

Watch the Fluid Intake

It will also help with housebreaking if you take their water away two hours before bedtime. This will reduce the need for bathroom breaks in the middle of the night. Having water in the crate can be amended as they become more adept at having time alone without accidents.

If you would rather not crate train your pup, then you will need to create a space in the house where they can go to the bathroom if they cannot get outside. Training pads should be placed at one end of a room opposite to your Poodle’s bed and toys to help potty train young puppies. This is helpful as they won’t go to the bathroom near their own living space and they will gravitate toward the pads. It’s another positive step in housebreaking your Poodle.

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Final Thoughts

In answer to the original question about “Does your Poodle need housebreaking?” the answer is a hearty yes. Being housebroken is not only good for the pup but keeps everyone’s living space sanitary and odor-free. Whether a Toy Poodle, a Miniature Poodle, or a Standard Poodle is part of your family, they are all wonderfully smart and have great potential to learn quickly.

Therefore, other than physical reasons, they should have no issues in learning to go to the bathroom in designated areas. Being house and crate trained to give you a pet that is respectful of the places they visit, their personal space, and your home.

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2 Comments

  1. Sonnie

    I have just discovered your website. Great source of information!! We have had our puppy for almost 4 weeks. She is turning 4 mos old. She is doing very well with pee training but we are missing a lot of poos except in the morning. I think we are doing pretty well following your recommendations. She sometimes goes outside doing nothing and then comes into house and right away poops!! Getting frustrated!

    Reply
    • Chyrle Bonk, DVM

      Hi Sonnie!

      Good job with your progress so far. Here are some other tips that may help keep those poops outside. 1. Puppies are easily distracted, especially when outside. They may spend their entire potty time sniffing around only to remember that they really had to go once they get back inside. You may be able to help this by not allowing playtime until after she has pottied. Take her out on a leash when it’s quiet to help minimize distractions and don’t let her play or come inside until she has gone. Then praise and let her play/sniff around after she’s done. 2. Stick with a schedule of first thing in the morning, right after meals, and right before bed. Again, don’t let her in or let her play until she’s gone. 3. Some puppies develop a substrate preference. If you notice that she only goes in one place in your house or on one type of flooring, try to simulate that outside. For example, if she likes to poop on newspaper, place some outside until she really gets the hang of pooping outdoors. 4. Make sure you’re thoroughly cleaning up her accidents. Often pups will return to the scene of the crime and be reminded that they need to go again by the lingering odor. Use an enzymatic cleaner or vinegar and baking soda soak to fully remove odors and the memory of a previous accident. 5. Try to interrupt her indoor accidents if you catch her in the act. Without startling her too much, move her outside and then praise her if she finishes up out there. Anytime she poops outside, praise and reward with treats and affection until she gets the idea.

      Good luck!
      Dr. Chyrle Bonk, Poodled Vet 🙂

      Reply

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