High Rise Potty Training

Michael Baugh, CPDT-KA, CDBC

Dear Michael;

I just got a little furry baby from the rescue in my area. She is a mix of who knows what, cute and cuddly with curly fur. I live in a high rise apartment building and am starting to use puppy pads for training. I know there will be times when I cannot be there to take her out. How would you suggest I use puppy pads and crate training together? We are just starting and already unsure as to how to get the message across.
Thank you, Jess
Dear Jess,

Great questions!  Potty training a puppy is a pretty straight forward process, regardless of where you want the puppy to “go.”  Most dogs seek out absorbent surfaces, like grass.  Unfortunately some seek out carpet as well.  The potty pads are absorbent too, which is good news.  I can tell you, they are most effective if used in an area with hard flooring.  Don’t put them in a carpeted area.  If you want to train your dog to use the potty pads some or most of the time in your apartment, then lead her to the pad right after letting her out of her crate.  As soon as she’s done doing her business, praise and treat her.  Repeat this process often and she will learn the pad is the preferred indoor potty area.

(read more on All Things Dog Blog)

Crate Complications

Michael Baugh CPDT-KA, CDBC
To: Ask the dog trainer column
My little heinz 57 rescue dog is almost perfect. She is quite well crate trained but has 2 odd quirks. When I got her a new crate that has a solid lid we started having trouble with it. She does not have visibility through her roof; now it is solid. Everything is higher than her, when her crate is on the floor. She will whine until I take her out. If I put her in her old crate she is fine. How can I get her used to her new crate? I like this one better for our travels since it collapses easier. I thought she would like the side door that opens like a garage door but instead she fusses about the roof. She has always liked to be within sight of me, and this roof is an obstacle. 

Dear reader:
Change is always tricky business isn’t it?  My Dad, for instance, loves his Grand Marquis.  He’s had several over the past 20 some odd years.  He won’t look at anything else.  I, on the other hand, love change.  Let’s mix things up a bit to keep life interesting; that’s my motto.  Regardless of where you fall on this spectrum (or more importantly, where you dog falls) change can be a little stressful.   Fortunately, you can help smooth out the transition.
First, make the new crate awesome for your dog.  Assuming Skittles is willing to go in the crate, leave her in there for short visits of 10-15 minutes.  (If she won’t even go in, watch this video to learn more about teaching her the ins and outs of crate training). Include a delicious stuffed Kong Toy to make the deal even better.  I like to stuff Kong Toys with a full doggie meal, not just some peanut butter and a few treats.  Let her out before the Kong is finished and when she’s not whining.

On Leadership and Training

Photo Courtesy Robyn Arouty Photography

Michael Baugh, CPDT-KA, CDBC

I was looking at my dog, Stella, this morning and wondering to myself, does she really want me to be her leader? It was obvious by the look on her face that she was definitely interested in my poached egg.  She was sitting obediently across the room, wagging fiercely and staring adoringly.  Egg?  Absolutely.  Leader?  I don’t know.

A lot of trainers, even some respected reward-based trainers, are still big on the idea of establishing yourself as a pack leader and garnering your dog’s respect.  You have to admit, that’s a pretty heavy burden for a lot of people.

( Read More from my guest blog entry on www.allthingsdogblog.com)