2 year old, baby, conditioning, house breaking, motherhood, parenting, positive reinforcement, potty, potty training, puppy, toddler
So, when potty training Owl, I’ve been working off of the basic tenets of puppy potty training. I’ve received tons of advice for potty training Owl and have incorporated some of it into my program, but it’s always easier to work off of what you already know.
And so, for anyone else who finds dogs easier than kids, I present:
Potty Training Your
Step 1: Allow your
puppy toddler to roam around the house, while you watch carefully.
Step 2: Take your
puppy toddler to the appropriate location on a regular basis, most notably whenever he/she wakes up, has played for 10-15 minutes, or has eaten.
Step 3: If your
puppy toddler urinates or has a bowel movement in the correct place, make a big deal out of it. Have special, very high value treats that you dispense only when your puppy toddler has voided in the correct location.
Step 4: If your
puppy toddler begins to urinate or have a bowel movement inside while playing, interrupt the behavior (by picking him/her up or simply saying “oops!” or clapping your hands to distract him/her) and immediately direct him/her to the correct location. Hopefully he/she will finish urinating or defecating there.
Do not punish mistakes; simply try to interrupt them. Potty training is about conditioning correct behaviors.
Step 5: If your
puppy toddler manages to urinate or defecate in the correct place once redirected, throw a big party and dispense the usual treats, even though this started with a mistake. What your puppy toddler will remember is that urinating/defecating on the floor resulted in interruption, while urinating/defecating in the correct place was highly rewarded.
Further adjustments: Since puppies are naturally naked, it is easy to spot urination and bowel movements as they happen. For this to work with toddlers, they must be similarly unencumbered. A
collar shirt is optional.
Further adjustments part the second: Toddlers seem to respond better to smarties and similar small sweets than they do to freeze dried liver or cut up hot dog, but this may vary from toddler to toddler.
You have begun the process of potty training your
puppy toddler! While you should see dramatic improvements within a few days, the process may take several weeks to months to complete. Consistency is key!
Erin B said:
Pretty much exactly what we did. We used plain cotton undies, not trainers because you could see pee and poo but it was less on the floor.
Brilliant post! 🙂
I have to admit I was lucky because the Daycare I sent my kids to practically “trained” the kids for me. I really wasn’t keen on having to clean up “accidents” all day, so I waited until my children told me that “diapers are for babies & I’m a big boy / girl” (thank you, Daycare Teacher! :P) before I allowed them to wear “big boy / girl” underwear! 😉 A combination of waiting for the child to be ready, and a lot of positive reinforcement is the best way to go imo.
Nice. Meanwhile I am really anxious about daycare tomorrow because my daycare lady is a germophobe who insists on pull ups which everyone tells me are totally counter productive to potty training.
Don’t stress about needing to use pull ups, it won’t interfere with the potty training process. I know because I was the “germophobe” and, when I fetched my kids from Daycare would put them into pull ups before allowing them into my car! Personally, I think pull ups are a great invention. 😛
Just keep doing what you’re doing and Owl wil be just fine!
Ha! This is pretty much *exactly* what I do! Made me laugh out loud — with delighted recognition. (So why did I stress so much about training my puppy?? Silly me.)
Brilliant! Seems like you’re making progress! 😀
Funny how once when we were a four people (two of whom were parents) discussing, and the two of us who weren’t parents drew similarities between dog training and raising a child, the two parents nearly bit our heads off. “It’s not the same at all! You don’t have children so you can’t understand!” …Oooor maybe it just gave us more perspective? 😉
Ha. People who think their children are precious snowflakes who aren’t basically just wild animals are deluded. Kids are easier than dogs in some ways because they have language but behavior modification works the same way for all creatures. In fact y behaviour mod text mostly uses human examples. You should forward this to the snooty parents :p
When I worked as an au-pair I was shocked by the following. A mom came to visit with a little boy who was about 3 years old. About a minute after they arrived the little boy removed his shorts and happily scampered off bare-assed. She told her son that it was ok to “wee-wee” outside but to tell her if he needed to do a “number 2” and she’ll put his nappy on “because we’re not at home now”. She then confided to the lady whom I worked for that; “You know, X doesn’t like to use the toilet. Even at night I have to open the door to the garden for him to “go”!”
I was beyond shocked at the totally matter-of-fact way she talked about it. To her it’s perfectly normal that her son uses the garden instead of the toilet! I think she took this “puppy training” analogy too far!! I can only pray that “peer pressure” cured him of his need to relieve himself in other people’s gardens when he got older!
LOL!! Oh my. I am sure he got over if but damn, lady, have some pride.
I knew a kid once who would only pee outside, against the shed wall. I’ve had people suggest to me that training boys is ‘easier’ because you can just let them pee outside! It’s never made sense to me. At some point they have to pee in a toilet and let’s face it, standing up & letting fly is *way* more fun than the alternative. :p
I can’t claim much credit for potty-training my two because Andrew (Ken) did most of it, but this is basically how we (he) did it.