Housebreaking Tips

This will be the most challenging time once your newest addition arrives. I recommend crate training. This keeps your baby in a safe and secure place when no one is watching him/her 100% of the time. Make it a wonderful experience though. Have his/her favorite chew toys and possibly one treat kept in crate so they WANT to go in. Crates should not be small and closed in. I love the open top crates. Ritchel has a crate where the top can be removed, this way your puppy does not feel so closed in. Even an x-pen or puppy playpen is wonderful. Your puppy should be in the crate at least 80% of the time.

FIRST thing in morning, take puppy out to potty. We use smaller crates that are kept directly beside our bed at the beginning so the new addition does not feel isolated and afraid. Make sure puppy is finished with all vaccinations before taking him/her out of fenced/protected area. Your puppy is still susceptible to viruses (parvo, etc.) until about 16 wks old. Ask your vet for his/her advice before taking for walks or around other dogs.

After your puppy as done his/her business outside, praise them for doing a good job. Pick puppy up and bring puppy back inside to play. Make outside at this point in his/her life for doing their business and not playing. About 15 min. after you bring the puppy back in, take them out again so that they now will do their #2 business. They are so excited to see you first thing that they forget about going #2. After this is done, now the puppy can come back in for playing. About every 2-3 hours, the puppy should be given a potty break (at least for the first 4-5 weeks). If you choose to pad train puppy, follow the same routine but put puppy down on pad instead of outside. Puppy should be offered at least 2-3 pad areas that make it easy for them to go. These areas should remain constant and should not be changed once the puppy has the routine down.

As the puppy grows, the time can expand in length between potty breaks. A good guide is that at 2 months they can hold it 2 hrs, 3 months/3 hrs and so on. If you do routinely have to leave the puppy for prolonged periods, (over 3 hrs) puppy should be offered an area to go potty in without feeling they are doing something wrong. I recommend attaching an exercise pen to their crate so the puppy can go in and out. Secure the crate door open and attach the exercise pen to each side of the door. Put down washable pee pads throughout the x-pen area and their favorite bed in their crate. This way you will not be training your puppy to go potty in the crate. They will be able to potty on the washable pee pads without feeling they are doing something wrong. 

I attach a water bottle to the exercise pen so they will stay dry. I use the Lixit 32 oz. glass bottle kit-large tube. This is a parrot bottle and does not leak like others. I recommend using distilled/filtered water.
Puppies are like toddlers and need to follow a routine. Cotons are very smart and will learn very quickly if you offer him/her the chance. Be patient and loving at all times. They will push your limits, but the love they give is so rewarding. NEVER pick your puppy up when it is barking/crying unless you are sure they really have to go potty; then take the puppy out for their potty break. If it is barking/crying only to be picked up, then wait until it stops before picking him/her up. Never reward the puppy for barking/crying.