House Training Advice

By Sam Mazzotta

DEAR PAW’S CORNER: I’ve been trying to house train my puppy, “Genie,” but she still leaves puddles around the house in the morning before I wake up. I tried rubbing her nose in the mess, but it doesn’t seem to work. Can you help? — Claire W., Akron, Ohio

DEAR CLAIRE: Some dogs are a bit more difficult to house train than others, but don’t give up. First, however, stop rubbing Genie’s nose in her puddle. Dogs’ attention spans are pretty short, and trying to punish her long after the act won’t help, and in fact can set her training way back.

Does Genie make that puddle at roughly the same time each morning? If so, that’s a clear signal that her bladder is full by that time. You need to make an adjustment: wake up earlier, before Genie pees in the house. Take her outside on her leash and encourage her to go, praising her lavishly when she does. Repeat this every morning without fail — Genie will get it.

Now, to get your sleep time back, you need to try and adjust when Genie goes at night. If you’re taking her out at 10 p.m. and she’s wetting the floor at 5 a.m., take her out at 11 p.m. instead. Then take her out at 5:30 a.m. the next morning, and at 6 a.m. the following morning. See if her clock adjusts. If that doesn’t work, remember, Genie is still young and growing. She may be able to hold her urine longer when she gets bigger. So be patient, and keep working with her.

Send your questions or comments to If your question or comment is printed in the weekly column, you’ll receive a free copy of “Fighting Fleas,” the newest booklet from Paws Corner!

(c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

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