Problem: We own a feisty little puppy Jack Russell Terrier named Freddy, who continues to pee and poop inside the house ignoring the custom doggie door installed over 8 months ago. We have trained Freddy to ago out the doggie door on command and pee, but he makes little effort to use the door on his own. We have corrected Freddy several times in the act, but this doesn’t seem to work to well. He will still use the carpet as a pee pad! We now use the crate when we are away to avoid any problems. Freddy sleeps with us at night and has never wet the bed or in his crate. Is it possible to train Freddy to use the doggie door on his own without our help? Will we always have to use the crate? Any advise would be very helpful. Jack and Diane Goldsmith
Solution: Providing your lovable pooch with a custom doggie door is a great idea, and a true luxury for the family pet. Its logical to assume Freddy will start to use the doggie door own his own after commanded to do so several times. However, this could be an issue of convenience for Freddy . What routine is easier and faster for Freddy , carpet or doggie door? Consider setting up a play pen that includes the doggie door in it. The pen should also be big enough to include a crate with the door open. Confine Freddy in the play pen when you are away and at home when you can not watch him closely. To much unsupervised freedom inside the house can complicate housebreaking problems. Confining Freddy in this small area with a doggie door should encourage him to ago out to pee on his own, and avoid soiling his pen area. Eliminate the possibility of an accident inside the house by keeping a very close watch on Fuji. Give him many opportunities go outside and pee. Practice walking Fuji to the doggie door from all areas of the house. Focus on rewarding good behavior! Use super praise when Freddy eliminates in the correct area and consider using a special squeaky toy or treat for rewarding good pee/poop behavior. Clean up house accidents quietly while Freddy waits in his custom pen with doggie door. As Fuji shows progress give more freedom, perhaps expanding his pen to include the whole room. Good Luck!