Saturday, January 23, 2016

Potty Training Your Dog

Potty Training Your Dog

 Puppy Training Hamilton, ON

House breaking a dog is something many new dog owners are going to have to deal with. Many people have done it, but what we'll focus on in this post is how to tackle this aspect of dog training in the correct way.

How often does your puppy or adult dog need to be let outside?

The general rule is, for every month of your pup's life, he can "hold it" for around an hour while resting. After this, he cannot hold it any longer, and the result is involuntary. Now, if your puppy is playing, drinking water, or eating, this time frame changes. The time in which your pup can now "hold it" begins to drop rapidly.

For adult dogs, you shouldn't be making your dog "hold it" for any more than five hours, even though he may be able to. I understand that many people work long hours and have other commitments, but you need to make arrangements for your dog to be let outside.

With your dog, understand that accidents will happen

For any further questions, and if you need some more advice on house breaking your dog, or any other dog training inquiries, we encourage you to reach out to us. We never charge anything for advice, or consultations. We're committed to what's best for dogs, and their new families, so, if there's anything we can do to help, we're always happy. 

It's important that you don't go into training your dog to eliminate outside with the idea of punishing him when he has an accident. It's understandable that you may be frustrated, but verbal or physical reprimands will only make your situation worse. Yes, I know your uncle Tom, who’s had two dogs before, may have told you to rub your dog’s nose in his accident, but do us a favor and trust us on this one. Using any type of punishment will only cause hesitation and confusion in your dog, and will make your training much more difficult.

You'll need to be prepared to clean up the accidents, because they will certainly happen. Many cleaners cover the smells to us, but the smell will still be there as far as your dog is concerned. Cleaning blends that we recommend are vinegar and water at a 75/25 ratio, less vinegar for surfaces prone to acidic corrosion (marble…), or water with 10% bleach.

What about pee pads for my dog?

These mats, marketed to allow your dog to eliminate inside your home, in a certain area, are effective, but not optimal for the overall goal. What you might encounter if using this product, is that as you begin easing the dog away from the mats, and leaving a mat out less, your dog is liable to find an alternative mat to do his business on. That mat for your company at the front door doesn't look all that different to your dog than the pee pads you've been putting out for him.

During the house breaking training, it can be helpful to limit your dog’s movement. Because dogs are clean animals, if you limit his movement to a smaller area, he'll be more likely to keep that area clean. If you allow him to roam around your entire house, there's a higher chance that he'll leave his waste in one area, and move on to another to play, nap, etc...

You need to go outside with your dog

During the potty training stage, you're going to have to bring him outside, with his leash on, and have treats at the ready for when he eliminates. Sure, it's inconvenient to have to go out with your dog so often, but let's get this done right. Allowing your dog to go out on his own, then treating him when he comes back in, is too late for a positive reward. You need to be sure to treat your dog immediately after elimination, to positively reinforce that this is the behavior you want from him. You should be bringing your dog outside after meals, drinking water, naps, and playing. 

Although it's important to watch for cues that may signal your dog needs to go outside, such as stopping what he's doing abruptly, or sniffing the ground, it's important to note that taking your dog outside is your decision. Be sure not to form the habit of allowing your dog to signal to you that he wants to go outside. If your dog does develop signaling behaviours, such as scratching at the door, be sure to ignore it, which should resolve this behaviour.


Potty training your dog may not be your favorite thing to do, but it's part of the commitment you've taken on as a dog owner. Follow the tips and insight above to get the training done right the first time, then, before you know it, you'll forget it was ever an issue. 

Hamilton Dog Training
762 Upper James Street Suite 162
Hamilton, ON L9C 3A2
(905) 537-2624

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Finding a Dog Trainer In Hamilton ON

Finding a Qualified Dog Trainer In Hamilton ON
Dog Trainer

As with any purchase, it's extremely important to do your research. In this instance, we're talking about paying for a service that will affect a member of your family: your dog. You want to be sure you're hiring an expert, with real qualifications and experience. In my experience, many dog trainers have a system that they've developed for basic dog obedience, but they don't necessarily have any scientific knowledge backing their system. You want to make sure that you have a dog trainer who will be able to answer your questions about specific dog behaviours, tell you why these behaviours are happening, and give you science-based solutions that will get you results.

With this post, I've laid out a basic starting point for some of the questions you should be asking to a perspective dog trainer you're considering hiring. During your conversation with these trainers, make sure to trust your instincts. Do you feel that your getting full transparency? If they seem to be giving you short answers and getting frustrated with you, maybe they're not as confident as they should be because they don't have the proper experience and education to fulfill the quality of work that you're expecting. A truly qualified and experienced dog trainer will take the time to answer these questions in detail, and they should be open about their methods and work.

What methods do they use?

Be sure that you don't let them throw out some confusing buzz words, that you may not necessarily understand. Don't let them simply tell you they're an "eclectic dog trainer", ask for specifics, and ask for examples. Don't be discouraged from asking more. Ask them about what well-known dog trainers and experts they respect and look up to, and then do your research on those dog trainers.

What makes them a qualified and experienced dog trainer?

Here you're looking to find out what experience and education this dog trainer has. Have they completed an apprenticeship under another well-known trainer, do they have a formal education, have they titled dogs in any specific dog sport? Don't be mislead by their number of years as a dog trainer. They may say they've been training dogs for 25 years, but is this a full-time passion, or do they moonlight as a dog trainer and work at 7-11 by day? Do you want the trainer who has an education from a reputable University, or the one who considers himself qualified because he watches a lot of YouTube videos?

What continuing education and qualifications do they have?

In any field, you never want to hire the professional that's not willing to learn the newest and most modern techniques and science. There's always more to learn, nobody knows it all, and you need a dog trainer whose passion for their profession leads them to keep striving to get new qualifications, and new knowledge. Don't be afraid to ask what they do to stay current as a dog trainer.

Who does the work with my dog?

Does this trainer claim that they are going to train your dog? Would they be willing to work privately with your dog, and can you drop Fido off and pick him up later when he's the obedient pup that you've always wanted? If the answer to either of these questions is yes: beware! You should always be involved in the lessons, and the majority of the time, you should be the one handling your dog and holding the leash. Dog training is as much or more for the handler/owner as it is for the dog.

How many dogs are in your group classes, and can I come watch a class?

Group classes are often over-packed, and you don't get the one-on-one attention needed to get the most out of training. If you do decide to go this route, you want to be sure that the class sizes aren't too large, and you want to watch a full class before you decide that this is the right thing for you and your dog.


Another important thing to look through is review sites. Check out what others are saying about the services they received on websites like Yelp.


Keep in mind, that these questions are just a starting point. Make sure to find a trainer with real qualifications and knowledge, that's transparent in answering all of your questions. To find out a little more about our dog training services, and what we have to offer, please visit our website at