Dig, Service Please!

Housebreaking a dog can be a huge challenge.  Frequently dogs won’t let you know that they have to go. It was always kind of eerie, but I knew when my girl Shadow had to go potty. It always became super quiet, then I would find her just standing at the front door.  I think she was willing me with brainwaves for me to open the door for her.  Maybe she thought that standing there long enough, somebody might notice that there was an eighty-five pound Black Lab with her paws crossed. Sometimes I wondered how long she was there before I noticed her. Hey, I’m human!

So how do we get the dogs to tell us they have to go potty? One of the easiest ways to teach your dog to let you know that she has to go potty is to stand by the door and act like a goofball! The idea is to jazz up your pup. You stand by the door jump up and down or hop from one foot to the other foot while clapping your hands as you excitedly ask your dog “who wants to go potty?” Do this every time before you take your dog out for potty. Now if you notice your dog jumping around at the door or even barking at the door, she’s letting you know she has to relive herself. Take her out on a leash even if you have a fenced-in back yard. Don’t fall into the trap of I-really-only-wanted-to-go-out-and-play. The idea is when the dog does go potty you take her for a walk or let her off the leash to go play. These are huge, real-life reinforcing rewards for your dog.

You can teach your dog how to ring a bell or push a button for potty service. Make your own potty bell by using any bell (loud enough to hear from another room) tied to a ribbon then hang it from your door handle. It should be about nose high.  You use a push button toy that’s says “I gotta go” when pushed.  It also comes with instructions. You can even use a concierge bell. Clicker training is one of the quickest and easiest ways to teach your dog how to use any of these tools (to find a great dog trainer go to CCPDT.org). It took me about two days to teach my Ziva to - Ding, service please!


New Classes Starting:

Puppy Bowl Party                 2/4 Sun 2:00 p.m.   

Puppy I Manners               1/25 Thur. 7:30 p.m.

Teenrover/Adult-Manners   1/22 Mon. 6:00 p.m.

Teenrover/Adult-Manners    1/28 Sun. 11:00 a.m.

Novice Trick Dog (NTD)            2/24 Sat. 10:00 a.m  

AKC Canine Good Citizen 2/19 Mon. 7:00 p.m.  

Puppy I Manners                 2/10 Sat. 12:30 p.m.

Teenrover/Adult-Manners   2/11 Sun. 1:00 p.m. 

Check calendar for more scheduled classes!