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House Training Your Dog

Sweetheart Cosmo

Midge's House Training Experience At the End of This Document

( I chose to take my puppy outside and this is what I did )


( I did 2 hours for the first month I had her , then 4 hours etc. )
( the first trip when awake for example: ( 6 a.m ) in the day and the last trip
just before bed time( 10 p.m ) )

( now is the time to get your puppy on a routine feeding schedule )


TAKE OUT SHORTLY AFTER A BATH or any stressful or exciting event ( of course dry your dog first. Cosmo gets excited with baths and usually pees/poops shortly after )

PRAISE/PET YOUR DOG WHEN IT GOES in a soft calm voice. Give it a small food



Paps are sometimes very stubborn!!!
So.... Patience, love and consistency training pay off well; leaving both dog
and owner very happy!!!

Paps do best with a set schedule and crated when left alone or unattended for
long periods of time.



ON House training a Papillon:


From my readings I have found that often some Papillons may pee/poop more than some other breeds because of their active nature and perhaps their small bladders. Paps also rely on their owners to take them out at specific schedules.

House- breaking is an individual issue related to diet, activity, age etc.
Personally I have had no major problems with Cosmo. Please read the information below.

Please note there are a variety of ways and strong opinions concerning house breaking. You must do what you feel is best for you and your dog. Some use the crate method , others a dog litter box, some use wee wee pads or newspapers and yet others use doggy diapers and so on. I listed quite a few dog links further on below and dear reader it is up to you to decide which method you wish to try.

Remember to be consistent and be patient. Your puppy, no matter what breed will become part of the family and a reflection of your love, patience and quidance.

I cannot tell you what the best method is. I can only tell you what worked well for me and my dog Cosmo!

To house train, I used the crate for up to 8 months. That seemed to be the point where she was reliable enough in the house.

During the day the crate was in our warm kitchen and I used a baby gate to close off the kitchen from the rest of the house when Cosmo was allowed to play .

When she got older eventually the space was enlarged until she became familar with each part of the house.

In the beginning,  especially at  night ( day time the crate was moved into the kitchen ): we put the crate in a small , warm, quiet bathroom downstairs.

We used a baby com to hear her stir. She often arroused between 2 and 3 am in the morning. If I didn't take her out when she would first stir, she would often poop in the cage and very neatly push it under the towel we had in the crate.

At 8 months we decided to keep her in our bed upstairs. She often would sleep the night but also often would awake again about 2 a.m. and I knew it was time to take her out.

After 12 months she would often sleep a full 8 hours.. At a year and half she slept 8 to 10 hours. Only on rare ocassion ( if she is sick or ate too much or ate too late in the day ) she does get up early.

Now, the crate is always kept in the kitchen unless we travel and take it with us. She also has a pet bed in the kitchen.

Sometimes she gets in her crate or
rests on the pet bed when we are in the kitchen.

 And when I work, or can't take her with me, she is in her crate with the radio and lights on until hubby comes home for lunch and let her out, and walks her. She is returned to the crate until I get home. She is very well adjusted and familar with the routine.

Her crate is her warm, secure, doggie home. For me, the crate works. We use the crate even when we travel. It is stored in the car.

Read what you can on crates. Buy the right size for your dog. Too big a crate is not good. There is a link  on the links page about choosing the right crate.

Being a first time dog and Papillon owner; here are my opinions about the issue of house breaking. I think Paps are so smart that they have figured us out but we haven't figured them out!!!!

I have found out by talking to my neighbors that this issue in general (House breaking ) is very varied. Some owners of big and small dogs have had their own woes. My neighbor's Cocker Spaniel took almost 2 years before he could be trusted in the house, A friend with a Jack Russell, no problem etc. etc.

I am guessing house breaking may be an individual pet issue - not a specific breed issue. Yes, I have read that small dogs and Paps have house breaking issues and that Paps may be difficult to house train perhaps because of small bladders, tendencies to go the bathroom more frequently , or to rely on their owners to take them out at specific schedules.

By the way Papillons do well on set schedules.

I personally don't think house breaking has anything to do with small bladders
but perhaps with:

1. individual personality
2. past learning experiences
( i.e.when the dog was a young puppy and still with it's mother)
3. or taken away from it's mother to soon-
4. or placed into pet stores where the pups relieve themselves in cages
causing a set back in housebreaking training.

But dogs are smart and they can learn and change with love and patience.

As for Paps I can only use my own Cosmo as a reference. The dog is very smart, eager to learn, loves praise and probably can read my body language better than I can hers!

I trained Cosmo to go outside to do her business. I also chose to crate train her .
Cosmo knows where the door is to go out. She definetly knew this at 6 months
Any place we visit she seems to zoom in where the door or entrance is to go in
or out. I usually leave her leash on the door knob anyway as a reminder.

Many Paps are not big barkers but I do not consider this a negative.
They can learn to come and get you or signal you. You just have to learn to know the signals (whining, jumping up on you, etc. etc. )

However here are some variaitons ( or inconsistencies - only in my mind and NOT hers ! ) in her ability to signal me for an outdoor bathroom trip.

I finally figured out the inconsistencies are really not inconsistencies but the
Papillon's ability to use more than one type of communication ( verbal and non
verbal ) to make known her needs! Obviously my Pap knows more than one way to signal me! Pap's are very smart dogs!

See below:

1. In the car she will whine and scratch at the windows when she wants to go
out to go to the bathroom . She loves the car and it is a much smaller "den"
space than the house .
2. When sleeping on my bed at night: she sits at the side of the bed and usually "errs".
Sometimes she may bark, or whine or even may walk up to my face. Thank goodness I am a light sleeper.
3. In the house: most of the time she runs to me, gives me " the look" and runs to the door! On rare occasions she may bark ( And I especially give her a ton of praise/treat with a bark/bathroom trip ) , other times she jumps up on me..
My house is a very large "den" space compared to the my bed or the car.
I think it helps when I leave some of her toys in each of the rooms too

In any event I "always" praise her when she poops and pees. She actually turns
to look at me for approval as if to say: "Hey Ma, I am doing good! "

Now I used to ignore the rare mistakes done in the house, in the past unless I
actually saw her do it that second. A lot of books on house breaking say to ignore what you don't witness! Don't punish after the fact!

With her ignored mistakes she just went on her happy way. I never raised her with any quilt. I wanted to do nothing to damage" her affectionate, friendly, happy go lucky personality!

Several months ago my nephew recommend a book called

"Smarter Than You Think" by Paul Loeb. It's considered controversial concerning training and feeding issues etc. However, I have come to agree with the author that dogs are really smarter than we believe them to be. He believes that dogs know if they made a mistake in the house even it was a minute, hour or even days later they know they pooped and they know they did it.!

I used his technique on Cosmo many months ago and she hasn't had any
mistakes with me since then..She is still the same affectionate sweety pie.
This is my experience and I suggest you only do what you consider best for your

I used the author's technique.:

Say if you found a small pile of poop in the house .Go to your dog and don't say a word. Gently pull or drag the dog by
the collar ( Cosmo wears a harness and there is no neck pulling ) to the
spot with the poop. Have ready a paper towel ( in your pocket ) and scoop
some up and "show" the dog this poop ( no don't shove the dog's face in it and do not scream or yell) while you are using your most displeasing/angry tone of voice while briefly talking and telling the dog your are very unhappy etc. etc.
Then firmly tap/spank the dog on the behind ( no hard hits- you don't want
to hurt the dog ). Then immediately take the dog outside and tell it to pee
or poo whatever. If the dog goes, great -give praise etc.
Otherwise , continue with your normal routine.
Other authors advise to scoop up the poop after shown to the dog, and take it outside along with the dog so it knows it should poop outside!

Your dog really wants to please you and it must know outside is the place to do
its business if that is how you train it!!!
Positive, patient, loving behavior is most important. Love and praise your dog
all the time.

I only used the above advice once or twice on Cosmo and she hasn't had another mistake with me. 


Keep in mind: full bladder/bowel maturity can take longer than a whole year ( some almost up to 2 years )
for some dogs!

Also remember Papillons do best on a set schedule and crated when left alone or unattended for long periods of time.

Some people have E-mailed me seeking advice and with their frustrations of
having to house break their Papillon. Further updates always indicate that patience, love and consistency training pay off well; leaving both dog and owner very happy!!!

Anyway, these are my opinions, experiences and I hope they can be helpful to some, esp. Papillon and small dog owners! 

I also used another technique with
Paul Loeb'a book in teaching Cosmo "to come " each and everytime when called ! Many Papillons tend to be very stubborn!!!




Just a litter update for you all.

I just got the third contact in 24 hours raving about how easy it makes life
with a new puppy when that puppy was reliable to use a litter box. So here
is my latest discovery about litter boxes.

Every one asks how I train the pups to use the box. I don't. I put the
litter box in the x-pen with new pups as soon as they can toddle, and they
just crawl into it and use it. But there does appear to be a secret. The pups will go straight to a box with alfalfa pellets in it. They will ignore a box with pine pellets in it.

Once they are reliable to the box with alfalfa pellets, they will switch to pine with no problems. I use pine pellets in the litter box in my bedroom because I have hay fever and it is hard to sleep next to a box full of alfalfa.

Anyone who has been around both dogs and horses knows that alfalfa is irresistible as a place for dogs to pee. There is something about it that attracts dogs.

My litter box pups will switch to outdoors with no problems, but I see them still use the litter box if it is raining outside and they don't want to go out and get their feet wet.

The tiny guys use a heavy pottery lasagna pan with low sides because they can get into it. As soon as they get bigger, they switch to a big Rubbermaid under the bed storage container. That container has a lid, by the way, and it can actually be used in the car on long trips so the pup doesn't have to be put on the ground in strange places, and also the pup will use it in a motel.

My best litter box, and I wish I could find more of them, is a long oval cat litter box. The ends are high and the sides are low. Since the dogs tend to line up long ways in the litter pan, this oval pan with the tall ends prevents "over the edge" drops. Because pups will sometimes stand in the box and hang their butts over the side, I keep something washable under the litter pan.

............. further details from Chris :

You'd want a pretty good size under-the-bed plastic storage box.
Rubbermaid makes a good one. I have to have really low sides for the Paps,  but a larger pup could step into a taller box.

 I keep my pups in an exercise pen on a clean piece of vinyl flooring, and  then they have the box with alfalfa pellets in it. They will be attracted  to the smell of the grass hay and will get into the box to do their  business.

 If they are trained to relieve themselves on hay, they will switch to  grass outdoors without any hesitation.

 I have nice bedding until the pups start to toddle and then everything is  removed except for the litter box.  Once they are reliable to use the  litter box, they get a tiny bit of fluffy bed that is barely big enough  for them to fit onto to sleep.

 They want to pee on something that doesn't splash, and you don't want to  risk them learning to pee on their bedding, or they will think it is OK to  pee on carpet.

 I pick the poop out every day, but let the urine accumulate for the  attractive pee-here smell. The chlorophyll in the hay keeps the smell down  to a human nose.  Change the pellets when they get yucky, but not every  day.

 Alfalfa pellets are about $8 for a 50 pound bag at any feed store. Be sure  to get the small rabbit pellet size, because some of them are as big as  rocks and the pups have trouble walking on them.

 The pups doesn't need deep litter, because they don't bury their stuff  like a cat does. But I put the pellets into the box deep enough to make it  easy for the pups to get over the side of the box. When the Pap pups are  really tiny, I have an upside down box that sits by the litter box that  they can use as a step.

 Long before they are 12 weeks old, I am taking them outside and they  relieve themselves outside during the day and they use the litter box at  night or if they need to pee between their outdoor trips.

 My adults who were raised with the litter box will occasionally use the  litter box if it is raining hard outside and they don't want to get their  feet wet.

 Best wishes
 Chris Watkins
 The Clan of Woodsmoke
 Papillons and Scottish Deerhounds in  Central   Oregon





Training Tips for the Puppy

The best advice I have ever given puppy owners is to get a newspaper and roll it up very tight. Secure it with a rubber band and leave it on the coffee table. Then, when the puppy piddles in the house, chews up a slipper or does anything s/he's not supposed to do, simply take the newspaper and bang it on the top of YOUR head very hard while repeating...

"I should have been watching my puppy!"
"I should have been watching my puppy!"

Midge's Story About Her House Training:
We got Midge at 2.7 lbs and 8 months old. She came from a good breeder and she lived in a kennel environment and knew to do her business outside. She didn't know her name nor was house trained
I could not believe this dog who could sleep the entire night, could pee almost hourly and poop up to 4 times a day.
I fiqured the stress of the flight, new environment , age and immaturity etc  all contributed to her frequent bathroom habits.
I crated her when I could not be with her and had her on a leash attached to me all times. I accounted for her every second.  Hubby did the same when I had to work.
I took Midge out every 1 to 2 hours during the day, to the same spot and using the same words for pee, poo poo and singing praises each time she went ! I sounded happy and excited. I could not care what the neighbor's thought!
I had almost forgotton how it was with Cosmo but I knew a window of 3 months might be the realistic  time period and goal.
All my patience , consistency and love paid off.
Midge indeed knows that the house is off limits. Sure she has had  few accidents  which were my fault because I was not as attentive as I should have been !
She also has gotton older and able to hold in longer. She is starting to show me signs either of a whine, a look, just a subtle difference I have picked up. I now can ask her: "do you have to go out". She will run to the door when she needs to go.
Three months went by fast but what a relief to know that she knows where to go.
Some Papillons pick up house training quite easily and other take much longer. No matter what, don't give up. 
Sure their poop may be small and their pee pees a tiny puddle and of course they are so cute you know.
Give them the credit they deserve. They are smart and want to please you. Persistency pays off big time.
You and the dog will be happier  companions !

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