Of all the many things you will teach your new Cairn Terrier to do in his lifetime, potty training should be the first and most important. The last thing anyone wants to continue dealing with is a dog who doesn't understand that the only place he is allowed to go potty is outside. One thing many new "puppy parents" tend to do is think they need to wait to begin potty training. On the contrary, you need to start working on this training from the moment you bring your new Cairn Terrier puppy home.
The task is in and of itself, relatively simple in nature. You want your new puppy to learn how to let you know he needs to go outside and that at no time is it ever acceptable for him to go potty in the house. Cairn Terriers are by nature very intelligent pups who tend to learn quickly. Providing you remain consistent in your training efforts, by the time your pup is six months old, he should no longer be making messes inside that you have to clean up.
There are only a few things you need to get started potty training your Cairn Terrier. You need to have a spot in your yard that your pup will use as his personal bathroom. One word here, be sure you keep this spot cleaned up or he may start going in other spots. The only real supplies you need are:
Beyond this, you need the time to work with your pup on a consistent basis and the patience to see it through until your pup no longer feels the need to go potty in the house.
My Cairn Terrier puppy is 5 1/2 months old and continues to have accidents. He may have them maybe three or four times a week. It’s always urine, never feces. I give him lots of praise when he does go outside; my question is should he be potty trained by now?
Hello Nancy, Some dogs, especially small dogs, do tend to take longer to potty trained. It is unlikely that he would never have another accident by 5 1/2 months, but it should be getting a lot better by now. The issue could be how much freedom he is being given. The more accidents that he has, the more successful trips outside it will take for to undo those accidents and for him to learn. This means that the more accidents you can prevent the quicker the training will go. I suggest crate training or attaching himself to you using a six or eight-foot leash. These two methods ensure that he cannot sneak off to pee. A combination of both methods is ideal sometimes. When you are home and want him with you, you can attach him to yourself by clipping his leash to your pants, and take him potty every two to three hours. When you cannot watch him, need to leave, or simply need a break, then put him into the crate with a wonderful food stuffed chew toy, so that he can entertain himself. In a crate that is the proper size, he should be able to hold his pee for five hours during the day since he is older. You can take him out every three hours while using a crate, to give him more opportunities to learn and to make him more comfortable though. After he pees outside, only give him two hours of freedom outside the crate. After that, put him back into the crate until it is time to take him back outside. This ensures that he is never free when his bladder could be full. Crate Training also helps prevent future separation anxiety, teaches him how to calm himself down, chew on his own toys when he is bored, and not bark if you give him a food stuffed toy to work on in the crate. Check out the article that I have linked below and the "Crate Training" and "Tethering" methods found there. You can do one of those or a combination of those. Also, start giving him four treats, one a time whenever he goes potty outside. The crate should be just give enough for him to turn around, lay down, and stand up. Too much extra space may encourage him to pee in there too if he can pee in one end and stand in the other end to avoid it. If your crate is larger, then you can block off the back section with a metal divider that comes with many crates or something else that he cannot chew up. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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He still pees in a diaper. But will also let me know when he needs to go out. He was a rescue puppy that somebody dumped when he was about six months old. I have the diaper on him because I have wood floors and don’t want him wetting on them. So I’m at my wits end as to how to get him potty trained and not go in the diaper at all
Hello, I highly recommend crate training pup and temporarily pup should always be either tethered to you with a hands free leash or in the crate while learning, unless you know he has just peed AND pooped and you have eyes on him 100%. That method will only give pup freedom when his bladder is empty if followed closely - to avoid as many accidents as possible. Check out the Crate Training method from the article linked below. Make sure that the crate doesn't have anything absorbent in it - including a soft bed or towel. Check out www.primopads.com if you need a non-absorbent bed for him. Make sure the crate is only big enough for him to turn around, lie down and stand up, and not so big that he can potty in one end and stand in the opposite end to avoid it. Dogs have a natural desire to keep a confined space clean so it needs to be the right size to encourage that natural desire. Use a cleaner that contains enzymes to clean any previous or current accidents - only enzymes will remove the smell and remaining smells encourage the dog to potty in the same location again later. The method I have linked below was written for younger puppies, since your dog is older you can adjust the times and take him potty less frequently. I suggest taking him potty every 2.5- 3 hours when you are home. After 1.5 hours (or less if he has an accident sooner) of freedom out of the crate, return him to the crate while his bladder is filling back up again until it has been 3 hours since his last potty trip. When you have to go off he should be able to hold his bladder in the crate for 5-8 hours - less at first while he is getting used to it and longer once he is accustomed to the crate. Only have him wait that long when you are not home though, take him out about every 3 hours while home. If he hasn't gone poop yet during that half of the day, he needs to be tethered to you or returned to the crate, then taken back outside again in 30-45 minutes if you know he likely needs to go, less frequently if he likely doesn't need to poop. Pooping outside equals more freedom. Less freedom now means more freedom later in life. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside If he is not already used to a crate, expect crying at first. When he cries and you know he doesn't need to go potty yet, ignore the crying. Most dogs will adjust if you are consistent. You can give him a food stuffed hollow chew toy to help him adjust and sprinkle treats into the crate during times of quietness to further encourage quietness. Work on teaching "Quiet" by using the Quiet method from the article linked below. Tell him "Quiet" when he barks and cries. If he gets quiet and stays quiet, you can sprinkle a few pieces of dog food into the crate through the wires calmly, then leave again. Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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