House training a puppy, a Bichon Frise puppy, may be your single greatest challenge as a dog parent. That is because Bichons can be very difficult to housebreak.
Of course when you are house breaking a puppy, you need to be committed, patient, consistent and willing to spend some time to get the job done.
If you are not successful with puppy potty training, you may find hidden piles of poop and smelly stains on your carpet and behind your sofa. In places that you may never have considered looking. If your little Bichon is leaving surprises for you, consider a UV ultraviolet black light flashlight to help you find and clean any urine spots.
If you have had children, you know that toilet training isn’t always an overnight success. Your little Bichon puppy is a baby, and he may take a little time to get used to the idea.
Dogs do not have built-in instincts, that tell them to go outside to do their business.
Get Started with Puppy House Training
If you will be crate training your puppy, line your puppy’s crate with newspaper or disposable bed pads made for people. These bed pads are the right size for a small dog breed crate, and they do not contain an attractant that encourages a dog to pee on them. They are simply lining the crate to catch accidents.
Regular puppy pads are used differently. Used for house breaking, they help train your dog to pee and poop in a particular location, which is on the pad.
Dogs have a natural instinct not to eliminate in their crates, so you can use this to your advantage. Naturally, until they become familiar with their crates, puppies will pee and poop in them. The newspapers or pads will make cleanup easier.
Your Mind Set
Place your Bichon Frise puppy in his crate several times a day for short periods of time until he becomes used to being in it. Eventually your puppy will learn to love his crate and will consider it a little home within his big home (your house).
Decide now that you will dedicate yourself fully to the process of house breaking. If you are serious about getting the job done, your puppy will be house broken in less time.
Bichon Frise puppies are intelligent. Your Bichon Frise puppy will catch on quickly, especially if you give him lots of love and praise. These cute little dogs so want to make you happy! Learn from Doggy Dan how to get your dog to want to listen to you.
After all, you’ve just been thrust into the role of pack leader. That means you will have to be stern sometimes, but never harsh or physical with your dog.
Yelling or physical discipline will actually undermine your training efforts, and your puppy may start nervous peeing.
Questions about Training Your Puppy
When to Start Potty Training
Your number 1 priority when you first bring home your new Bichon Frise puppy is to begin housebreaking training. When you bring your puppy home, he will probably be 6-8 weeks old. This is the perfect time to potty train a puppy.
You should have all your puppy supplies ready when she arrives. You can start to potty train a puppy on very first day.
At first, you’ll just take your puppy outside for a few minutes. Do this after meals, before you put her in her crate and after playtime outside the crate.
How Long Will it Take?
Generally speaking potty training for a puppy will take a minimum of several weeks.
And, with some stubborn Bichon Frise personalities, house training a puppy can take several months.
When to Schedule Outdoor Trips
To be successful with potty training puppy, you will need to be consistent. Take your puppy outside, on a schedule, so her body will adjust to eliminating at specific times.
The most common times that your pup will need walking are:
- When he first awakens (morning or after naps)
- About 15 minutes after eating or drinking – You will find out this is how quickly food and water is passed through his system. This is especially true for younger puppies.
- If you have had a play session indoors, take your puppy outside when you are done playing.
- Bedtime – For the first three months of potty training, you will need to walk your dog at night. Your puppy’s digestive system simply isn’t ready to “hold it” for much more than two hours. So plan to take a little walk each night, just before your puppy’s bedtime.
Show your dog where you would like her to “go” in the yard, and using that spot will become routine.
Puppies have a natural desire to eliminate when they go outdoors. They don’t like to soil their living spaces, and they love to mark their territories.
Your Puppy Will Give You Signals
Nearly every puppy gives signs that they need to go outside. You may find that your puppy:
- Goes to the door.
- Some puppies will begin sniffing.
- Others will turn in circles
- Some just look at you with that LOOK.
- Still other puppies may whine.
- Or, your dog may bark to let you know that she needs to go out.
Pay attention to how your puppy tells you that she needs to go out. No matter what – take your dog out right away and let her try.
In the beginning, this is a semi-emergency. Your puppy may not be able to wait a long time, after she gives you the signal.
Commands for House Training a Puppy
You may find your puppy is having trouble connecting the dots when you are outside together. Your puppy needs to understand why you go outside together.
You are the pack leader and using a simple command helps a puppy understand what you want him to do.
Try a verbal command and repeat it the whole time she is sniffing around the yard. Say something like “Go potty, YOUR DOG’S NAME“.
Repeat your command frequently. When your dog pees or poops, make sure you tell him that you are happy. You could say, “Good Potty, YOUR DOG’S NAME“. Make sure you sound excited, positive and happy.
This is also the time to give your dog a treat. He will quickly learn that he’ll get a treat when he goes potty.
Later you can teach your dog the command, “Poop”. He will learn exactly what you want him to do. In time, your pup will start pottying outside, on command.
Stick to Business
Going outside for business is NOT play time. Be present with your dog (but not playful), until he has either relieved himself or gotten completely distracted.
Use specific words like “pee” or “poop” to tell your dog what you expect, and redirect her back to the activity at hand. Reward positive results with lavish attention and a small treat.
House training a puppy can be a fun experience for both of you. In fact, it can build the bond between you and your puppy, making her love and trust you even more.
If you are still struggling with house training a puppy, you will find helpful information on housebreaking a puppy here.
Where to next?