Knowing myself, house training was always going to be v. important – cleaning up pee and poo is not my idea of fun. Before Flo arrived home I read a fair bit about house training a puppy and decided I’d have a go at crate training her.
I prepared the crate with a soft bed and blankets, plus a couple of toys and put the crate in the bedroom. I must’ve given her a Puppy Kong in there too because I’ve got photos of her with a Puppy Kong in her crate the day she arrived home! From day one she was put in there to sleep unless I was right there to watch her while she slept. She was fine with this from the start, which surprised me. When she napped during the day she would let me know when she woke up and I would take her downstairs straight away and take her to where I wanted her to go to the toilet. I had fully intended to set the alarm during the nights so that I could take her downstairs without her having to whine to wake me up… what is it they say about the road to heaven? So, all good intentions went out the window and I let her whine when she needed to go out. Fortunately this hasn’t led to her turning into a whiney dog – I am counting myself lucky. She continued to need to get up a couple of times during the night for a few weeks.
From what I read about toilet training, during the day it is recommended that you have a slightly larger pen with a bed and toilet area. I tried this on a couple of occasions but Flo wasn’t having any of it. She destroyed the toilet area within seconds, spilled her water all over her bed and tried to chew her way out. She won. I lost.
During the crate training, she wet her bed once when I didn’t take her downstairs before putting her to bed. She also once had diarhoea in her bed when she had dined out on too many carpentaria palm berries. After about 6 weeks she outgrew her crate and I moved her into a pen in the bedroom so that she had more space. At 9 months she still sleeps in her pen as, even though I don’t think she would go to the toilet indoors, she would almost certainly find something to chew or a cushion to eviscerate.
Overall I think the crate training worked. She peed indoors on a handful of occasions, usually when I took my eyes off her or didn’t take her downstairs after she’d played. She never pooed indoors. I can’t compare it to other training methods because I’ve never tried anything else but it seemed pretty straightforward to me. I’d do it again.