American Eskimo Dogs Organization Of Vancouver
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Potty Training

Potty training an Eskie is not difficult.  Eskies are fast learners and if you do it right, you can potty train them in a few days.  Do not expect to potty train a puppy under 10 to 12 weeks of age.  They are very young babies at this stage and too young to learn.  Just make sure you have an area inside your home where you have layed down thick layers of newpaper or puppy pads on the floor and you can quickly pick up your puppy and take them there when they are about to go.

Designated Area

Potty training begins with designating an area in your home where your puppy has to learn to go when it is potty time.  If possible, this should be a floor surface without any carpets and easily accessible by your puppy 24/7.  Put down thick layers of newspaper or puppy pads sufficient for absorption.  If you have carpeting everywhere, lay down large plastic garbage bags or a plastic tarp on top of your carpet that will not allow for any seepage through to your carpet and then place newspapers or puppy pads on top of the plastic.  

Perhaps the most important thing about the designated area is that you always keep it in the same location.  If you have a larger home, say with an upstairs and a downstairs, you can have a designated area on both levels so your puppy never has too far to go.

24/7 Access

It is crucial that your puppy has 24/7 access to the designated area.  Make sure your puppy can access the designated area in a safe manner when there is no one at home.  Stairs can be challenging for a puppy and too far to traverse to the designated area.

If you decide you want to keep your puppy in a crate while you are away during the day or during the night if you don't want to take your puppy outside for potty in the middle of the night, then put the crate in a room and make sure the crate door is always left open.  Place newspapers and/or puppy pads outside of the crate and close the door to the room where the crate is located.

Do not force your puppy to go potty inside the crate where the puppy sleeps.  A puppy does not want to go potty where they sleep or eat and they should not be forced to do this.  Always leave the crate door open so the puppy can go into the crate to sleep and can go potty outside of the crate, even if it is just a few feet away from the crate.  Be sure to keep the puppy's water dish and food bowl away from the newspapers and/or puppy pads.

Look For Signs

Successful potty training begins with keeping a watchful eye on your puppy and looking for the signs your puppy displays when he or she has to go potty.  Some puppies will start sniffing the floor looking for a place to go.  Some may come to you and look at you with an intense look as if they are trying to tell you something.  Your puppy may also go and stand or sit by the front door.  You can also expect a need to potty shortly after drinking water.  When you see these signs, pick up your puppy and take them to their designated potty area.  Watch for these signs and respond immediately.

Training Your Puppy To Potty In The Designated Area

Ultimately, you want to train your puppy to go potty outside and not indoors.  However, until your puppy's bladder grows large enough to hold it throughout the night or throughout the day while you are away, you will need to maintain a designated area indoors.  You can expect Eskie puppies to start holding it sometime between the age of 6 months and 1 year.  It is different for every puppy.  

In the meantime, while you are at home with your Eskie, you can start training them to go potty outdoors sometime around 12 weeks of age.  Start by keeping a very close constant watch on your puppy. When your puppy looks like he or she is thinking about going or is ready to potty, pick up your puppy and take your puppy outside immediately.  Put him on some grass. This will help train your puppy to learn to go potty outside. When your puppy goes potty outside, praise him a lot and reward him with a treat. This way he knows he has done good. He will want to continue to please you and be a good puppy. Eskies love to be praised. This is the strongest incentive you have in training. Never yell, punish or spank your puppy or adult Eskie. This makes them scared of you and teaches them not to listen to you.  They will avoid you like the plague.

For training to potty outdoors, if you are late in catching the potty warning signs and your puppy starts to pee inside the house, pick him up immediately, say "No" and take him outside immediately. You have to discipline him while he is in the act, not after the fact.  Do not discipline your puppy after the fact.  He will not understand. 

Like Clockwork

Make sure you establish a regular schedule for taking your puppy outside for potty. Take him out for potties as often as you can at first to make sure he gets the idea he has to potty outside and not inside, say every hour to 2 hours all throughout the first few days of potty training. Then after he stops peeing inside, establish a routine schedule for going outside for potty. For example, first thing in the morning when you get up. Take him out again sometime around noon. Take him out in the afternoon and after dinner. Then take him out in the evening before you go to bed. All dogs need to potty at least 4 times a day. The most important thing is to establish a routine so he knows that he gets to go out at certain times of the day and night. This way he will learn to hold it until the next time he goes out.

Tricks Of The Trade

Eskies will not potty where there is food. So if you want your puppy to stop going on your carpet, put a bowl of dry food down where he has been going potty. Leave the food there all day while you are gone. Actually, you can put a food bowl down in all of the spots he has been going potty where you want him to stop. Don't worry, he won't overeat.

Marking

In terms of marking, you have to stop him every time he lifts his leg to mark. Just say "No" in a firm voice. If you keep a close watch on him and warn him every time, he will learn in a few days. If he doesn't listen to your "no", then just say it in a firmer, louder and deeper voice like you mean business. If he still doesn't listen, then point your index finger at his nose while you say "no".  Eskies hate that. If he looks away while you do this, then you know he knows he is doing wrong. If he just keeps looking at you while you are pointing at his nose, it is likely he doesn't understand. Then you can lecture him and he will get the idea. Just carry on for a couple of minutes talking directly at him pointing your index finger at his nose - keep your finger a couple of inches away from his nose and repeat a few times "No peeing, no marking, no going potty inside, no, no, no". You will see by the expression on his face when he finally understands what you are saying.

No Chemicals Please

Don't use harsh chemical repellent sprays on furniture or in your carpet where your puppy walks. These are dangerous and toxic and could lead to health problems down the road. Just watch your puppy with an eagle eye and tell him "no". You'll have him trained in 3 to 4 days. If you have a long work day and can't get home mid-day to let him out, then maybe you can ask someone you trust to come and take him out during the first few days of training until he learns he has to potty outside and not inside.

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