Rusty is a gorgeous 12-week-old Chihuahua Jack Russell mix.

Puppy basics

There are just a couple of areas where the lady wants to make sure she gets the puppy basics right.

She has the perfect setup – a nice large puppy pen with an open crate in it for Rusty to sleep in.

And a puppy pad.

Toilet training

The first of the puppy basics for her to work on is toilet training. He’s becoming trained, but to use the pad.

This isn’t as simple as it sounds because they have to go through a couple of rooms to get to the door to the garden. It’s not quick. Also, it’s hard to reward him outside because he squats so quickly and the amount he does is so small she often misses it!

I suggest she pops a light lead on him and stays on the paving slabs so she can see when he’s performed, before letting him loose.

Whining in the night

The second ‘puppy basics’ issue is that a couple of nights ago he started whining in the night. She leaves him and eventually he stops, but she worries. If she comes down, it will encourage him to whine.

We looked into her options to find the best way for them both to be happy and the lady to get the best night’s sleep possible.

Working from home

Lastly, the lady works an eight-hour day, from home. Rusty is exceptionally good at being in the pen in her room while she works without making a fuss.

She wants to plan the puppy breaks that she takes to best advantage.

We looked at how she could spread Rusty’s meals over the day in ways that keep him busy, along with other ideas such as short training sessions. She already has play sessions.

The idea is to provide stimulation and enrichment without over-arousing him so that he doesn’t settle afterwards.

A perfect puppy!

Rusty is a little treasure. Unusually, he does very little puppy biting. The lady already has most of the puppy basics in place.

A couple of weeks later: “Just to give you an update on Rusty’s potty training – he’s going outside to do his business and even comes and looks at me (with no jumping up) when he needs to go outside! He still uses pad occasionally for a wee in the night (sorry I could not do 4am sessions 😀) but I am very happy with his progress…

What I’ve learnt is patience and consistency pays off. Also keep learning from eg I didn’t realise how important mental stimulation was to dogs/puppies 😊”

NB. For the sake of the story and for confidentiality also, this isn’t a complete ‘report’ and is always written with permission of the client. If you listen to ‘other people’ or find instructions on the internet or TV that are not tailored to your own dog it can do more harm than good. Click here for help