Christine Xu: How to potty train my bichon inside?
Hello and this is my question:How do you know when a bichon is fully potty train in a litter box ?
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Answer by Jenny Manyteeth
Since the first thing puppies have to learn is being housebroken, in the beginning everything revolves around that.
At 8 weeks old, he gets four or five meals a day and he should be taken outside, on a leash, and guided to the potty spot you have picked out after every meal, drink, play session and nap, and once an hour every hour. Any time he is not being actively attended by a family member, he should be in a small airline crate, just big enough for him to lie down in. Whoever's taking care of him should bring the pup, crate and all, with her when she moves from room to room. While he's in the crate, family members should visit him, talk to him and walk away. He'll get used to being in the crate, and people walking away from him won't be traumatic.
If you have to go to work or school, and there is no one home to take pup out, you put the bed-crate inside a larger crate or puppy pen, the floor covered with green rabbit pellets (they smell like grass, not anything inside your house). Make sure the little crate's door cannot be fastened shut, because you want him free to get out of the bed-crate to potty outside of it.
When you go to bed, take the bed-crate into your bedroom with you. Puppy will feel safe enclosed in the crate and knowing that you are there, too, so he's not alone, he's unlikely to cry. When he does wake up and whine, it will be because he has to potty. That's your cue to get up and take him outside. Don't forget the leash; carry him in your arms on his back to the door to prevent accidents in the house, but make sure the leash is on him. You don't want to be hunting down a running pup at 2am in your bathrobe. Praise him when he goes, make much of him. Play a little if you want, and then everybody back to bed. Remember, you’re going to be doing this every hour!!!
Puppies 8-12 weeks old can only "hold it" for 60-90 minutes.
Puppies 12-20 weeks old can "hold it" for 2-3 hours.
Puppies 20-30 weeks old can "hold it" for 3-4 hours.
The small crate encourages the pup to learn to "hold it" which is not something animals do naturally.
I know it sounds odd, but the Komondor columnist in the AKC Gazette a few months ago reported that, given a pan of those rabbit pellets in a corner of their whelping box, four week old Komondor pups used the litter voluntarily, with absolutely no encouragement from humans. She thinks it's the smell of grass, but it could just be that healthy pups are disinclined to play, sleep or eat near their own waste.
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