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Doggie Signs - How To Know When Your Dog Has To Potty

Potty training your dog can be a very frustrating process. The first and most obvious barrier you have to deal with is you and your dog both speak different languages. If it is your first time house training your dog, you may feel at a loss, but do not fret, your dog may already be trying to tell you he has to go, you just have to learn to speak your dog’s language, or better said, understand your dog’s potty body language.

While dog’s cannot say, “I need to go,” in plain English, there are a number of cues you can be on the lookout for that is your dog portraying the exact same message, the best way he or she knows how. The key is to understanding your dog’s potty signs. These signs could be your dog letting you that he or she needs to go outside in a bad way.

Whining

Whining is more than your dog simply annoying you with whimpers. You may think it is a behavioral problem or that your dog is bored and trying to entice you in a game of fetch, but in fact it could be your dog letting you know that he or she is uncomfortable because he or she needs to eliminate. When your dog whines, let him or her outside and if your dog eliminates praise immediately.

Circling

Another cue that your dog needs to go is if he or she is randomly walking in circles. It may be all your dog can do to stop from eliminating in the house. If your dog is giving you this cue, take him or her outside and see if he or she needs to eliminate. If so, show your dog approval with praise.

Hiding

If your dog loves to be by you and suddenly he or she is missing in action, that could be a sure-tell sign that your pup needs to go. This is one of the more troublesome signs, because typically your dog going off and hiding in a corner or behind furniture means that he or she is looking for a private place to eliminate. You will need to stay on top of your dog while housetraining and immediately let your dog outside so he or she can eliminate correctly.  Again, make sure you follow up with a lot of praise and love to encourage eliminating outside.

Standing/Scratching

One of the most obvious cues that your dog needs to go to the bathroom is when they stand or scratch at the door leading outside. It cannot get any clearer than this, unless you teach them to ring a bell to be turned outside.

Remember, if your dog is doing any of these cues you should let him or her outside immediately so your dog can do his or her business the good way - outside. Once your dog eliminates outside, praise your dog for this accomplishment to further encourage outside elimination.

One of the simplest methods is to train her to ring a bell that is hung on a door. That way, you can hear her request even if you’re in another room. Once you’ve taught your dog how to ring a bell by touching it with her nose, you’ll ask her to ring the bell right before you open the door to let her outside-every time. That way, she’ll associate the behavior of ringing the bell with your letting her out. In other words, she will learn that ringing the bell makes you open the door.

Author Bio: Geri Davis has opened her home to fostering at-risk dogs from her local shelter. Geri keeps her four-legged guests safe with a containment system and remote training collars.

House Training Your Kitten to Use the Toilet

Cat using toiletIntroduction

Whether you intend to have a house cat, or allow your cat into the garden, in the first few months, you will need to have somewhere in the house for your kitten to do her business. Instinctively, cats are clean animals so training a kitten to go in a designated place is relatively simple; you just need patience and understanding.

The Basics

You will need a cat litter box or litter tray that is easily accessible for your kitten. There are lots of litter trays on the market, including automatic ones. However, in the initial stages it’s easier and cheaper to have a simple litter tray that is easy to get in and out of. There is also a wide range of cat litter available and what may suit you may not suit your kitten, so in these early stages if your kitten refuses to go near the litter tray try changing the litter, especially if you initially chose a scented variety, cats have a heightened sense of smell and it may be too over powering for your kitten.

So you have a simple tray and basic litter for your kitten, now you need to decide where to put it. Imagine you wake up desperately needing to ‘go’ but the nearest toilet is a 10 minute walk away – being a human you will do the right thing and wait until to you get there – hopefully. But if you are a kitten, you will get halfway there, not be able to wait and go in the nearest available corner. This is not bad behaviour on the part of your kitten; it is poor planning on your part. Put the litter tray far enough away from family areas but close enough that the kitten can get to it in time. You need to have three areas for your kitten, feeding, sleeping and pooping. Keep a good space between the feeding and pooping areas, but the sleeping area near to the pooping area.

Making the Connection

You need to help your kitten make the connection between ‘going’ and the litter tray. The easiest way to do this is to catch her just before she goes and put her in the litter tray until she has done something. This is easier than it would seem as kittens tend to ‘go’ shortly after being fed, so use this time to put your kitten in her litter tray. Lots and lots of praise is needed when she finally uses the tray. Kittens sleep for quite long periods, so every time your kitten wakes from a nap put her in the litter tray.

After a few days you will begin to recognise the signs that your kitten is looking for somewhere to go, when this happens go to her litter tray and call her over, she may not pay attention immediately because she is concentrating on finding somewhere to ‘go’, if you cannot get her attention at all, pick her up before she ‘goes’ and put her in the litter tray.

Accidents Will Happen

It is highly likely that you will have a few accidents and when these happen, do not scold your kitten, just put her in the litter tray and make sure you clean the area where the accident occurred to remove any scent that may confuse your kitten. 

And Finally..

Remember cats are clean animals so you need to make sure the litter tray is kept clean otherwise your kitten will look for somewhere else to go.

Featured images:

Jason Balchand has helped many cat owners toilet train their new kitten quickly and easily. He also writes articles about pets and gives pet care advice on his Facebook and Twitter pages.