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Potty Training a Small Dog

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Potty training a small dog can be a little different from house training other dogs. They often get a late start with house training. And, due to their small size, owners sometimes prefer to use indoor potty systems.

Small Dog Syndrome

Small dogs can be harder to house train than larger dogs. There are a number of possible reasons why this can be true. Small dogs are sometimes “babied” more than large dogs. If a small dog has an accident in the house, an owner might be more forgiving than if a Saint Bernard has an accident. It's hard to overlook poop from a Saint Bernard, even when he's a puppy. Owners of large breeds can be more insistent that their dogs learn their house training. Or, perhaps some small breed dogs are better at giving their owners an appealing look when they have an accident. Whatever the case, there is such a thing as 'small dog syndrome” in which small dogs are often spoiled more than their large dog brethren. Owners will sometimes let small dogs get away with some bad behaviors that they would never allow big dogs to do because it's “cute” when a small dog does it. Left unchecked, a small dog can become quite bossy and demanding. This behavior can include a lack of house training.

Small Dogs Potty Indoors Longer

There are other reasons why a small dog can be harder to house train, even if he is not spoiled. Toy breed puppies and puppies of many small breeds often stay with their breeders longer than large breed puppies do. Most large breed puppies go to their new homes when they are 8 to 10 weeks old. This is a good age for these puppies. They are big and strong at this age and mentally prepared to start bonding with a new family. However, Toy breed and other small puppies are smaller at birth and they usually go to their new homes when they are around 12 weeks of age. This gives them more time to grow and develop. However, it also means that house training is postponed for a month or so later than when large breed puppies start learning. During that month these small puppies are usually pottying on papers in the breeder's home. They are encouraged to potty indoors instead of learning to go outside and potty. This delay can make it a little harder to house train your small breed puppy later, especially if you are trying to teach him to potty outdoors.

Pottying Indoors

In many cases, people who get Toy dogs and small breeds prefer to house train them to potty indoors. This can be due to several reasons. If you live in an apartment you might not have an outdoor space for your dog to potty. If you are elderly, it might be hard for you to walk your dog. If you are in poor health, it might be hard for you to walk a dog. If you live where the weather is often bad, it can be helpful to have a dog who is trained to potty indoors. And so on. There are lots of similar reasons why someone might prefer to train their dog to potty inside.

In some cases it is easier to teach a small puppy or dog to potty indoors, especially if he has been raised by a breeder who has encouraged him to potty on papers. You can continue too put down papers for your puppy. Your puppy should understand the papers and use them. Or you can buy potty training pads. These pads have a chemical scent added to them which encourages puppies and dogs to potty on them. Then you simply discard the pads once they have been used.

You can also purchase more elaborate indoor potty training systems. Most of these systems are set up with a tray on the bottom and real sod or artificial grass laid over it. The puppy or dog can potty on the grass. Urine goes through the sod to the tray so you can empty and clean it. You can remove feces from the grass after your puppy or dog relieves himself.

To train your puppy to use training pads or an indoor potty system, be sure to give him treats and praise when he uses them. If you see your puppy looking for a place to potty, steer him toward the place where you wan him to go. If he has an accident, remember that it's pointless to get angry. Your dog won't know why you're mad. Just clean it up thoroughly with vinegar and water so your puppy won't be tempted to go to that spot again.

You can certainly teach your small dog to potty outside and many small dogs learn house training without any problems. But if you and your dog do encounter any difficulties, remember that you do have some alternatives.

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