Tips n’ Tricks ~ Potty Training

Potty training… it’s never fun! You might get lucky and bring home the smartest puppy ever that never has an accident in the house, but we all know that most puppies aren’t so easy to potty train. Some catch on pretty quickly but some can take months to fully train!

We litter box train our puppies with natural pine pellets to try to help with potty training as much as possible. By the time our puppies are picked up, they are using the litter box, making them used to going potty in a designated area that smells like outside. Unfortunately there is still always that one that wants to be more difficult than others!

So what do you do? How do you potty train your puppy? First, remember that your puppy is a toddler. They have tiny bladders and it takes time to learn the rules, just like human toddlers, and they need to be taken out often to avoid accidents. I recommend taking your new puppy out every hour to two hours max. Take them out immediately after eating/drinking and if they don’t go potty, try again in 15-30 minutes. At night time, you may want to set an alarm for every couple of hours and put their crate somewhere near your room so you can hear them cry. If you hear them moving around a lot, whining or crying, take them out right away, if you wait, it may be too late!

During the day, in between potty breaks, keep an eye on your puppy at all times. Try not to give it full roam of the house as this is sure to cause more accidents and you may not always find out about them until later. Keep a look out for signs that your puppy needs to potty. They will usually sniff around, often in circles, and most of the time like to go in the same spot. Pick up on these signs and your puppy’s behavior to learn when to take your puppy out.

Another thing I like to recommend is to feed your puppy/dog on a regular schedule and do not let them eat after 4-5pm.

These recommendations are things that I have personally tried with my own puppies and dogs. I am not a professional and am only sharing my personal experience on what has worked for me.

Here is a link to some information on the AKC website about potty training a puppy.

Tips n’ Tricks ~ Food Aggression

What is food aggression? Food aggression is when your dog shows signs of aggression while eating food, treats or even playing with toys (toys are like treats). These signs are growling, biting, and/or barking at anyone who comes near their food or treats. Also watch for body language. If you know your dog, then you should recognize the different body language when they are eating.

Does your dog have food aggression? This can be a serious issue and can be quite scary. Some dogs are worse than others and may need professional help. But there is hope!

First, I would like to give some tips on how to prevent food aggression and how to resolve minor food aggression issues (They are protective over their food but not necessarily showing signs of biting or aggression). In my personal experience, and from stories I’ve heard from others, you want to start making your puppy/dog comfortable with you being around their food and treats from the very beginning. You want them to trust you. To do this, I recommend starting a routine and teaching them sit, stay, and go. Have them sit before placing their food in front of them, stay while setting their bowl down and they cannot eat until you say “go”.  This will let them know that you are the one giving them their food and that you are the boss. Pet your puppy/dog while they are eating and give sweet talks. Rub their head, neck and legs. I also put my hand in their bowl and move it around and then pet them some more. Do this at every feeding even just for a second. Hand feeding is also a great idea, especially if they are already showing some signs of aggression. Just simply feed them one piece at a time and always hand feed your treats. This will let them know that you are their provider. With toys, I recommend always being involved in their play time. Let them know that you are fun and you aren’t going steal their precious friend.

As for those of you who might have some serious aggression problems, check out these websites I found. They give some great tips and can help you on your journey to resolve your doggo’s food aggression! Good luck to you!