How to Potty Train a Silkie Terrier Puppy

By: David Codr

Published Date: February 21, 2018

For this Gretna dog training session we were called in to teach 4 month-old Silkie Terrier Hazel to stop having accidents in the house, help 8 year-old Bichon / Pomapoo Lilly with her fear of men and set some boundaries for Penny, a 2 year-old Silkie Terrier / Poodle mix.

Although the primary reason I was brought in was to stop accidents in the house by Hazel, Lilly’s fear of men caught my early attention. According to her guardians, it usually only happened around men.

Of course many male houseguests had attempted to befriend her by offering treats and some even tried to pet her. She disagreed with body language and movement and if that wasn’t enough, a nip usually sent the person away.

But if a dog is afraid of you, and you approach it, even with the best of intentions, it can cause the dog to engage its fight or flight response. If you keep approaching when it moves away, you are only leaving the dog with one remaining option; fight.

I recommended that the guardians have male visitors ignore her. Avoiding looking at, talking to or moving near can help Lilly stop feeling so confronted. As she gets used to male visitors coming by and ignoring her, she will start to feel less threatened.

Additionally, anything your dog is doing when you pet it is what you are amplifying. This extends to unbalanced states of mind like excitement, fear and even stress. By petting Lilly to console her, the family members were actually increasing her fearfulness.

Of course the humans didn’t do this on purpose. But to help them avoid this in the future, I recommended they start petting the dogs with a purpose. This will motivate them to start earring their attention which will help with their confidence.

Next I went over other ways to build up all the dog’s confidence and self esteem; teaching them new tricks, incorporating rules and petting the dogs when they engage in desired behaviors. Combined, these activities should help all the dogs, but will likely benefit Lilly the most.

Next I turned my focus toward Hazel’s unwanted habit of having accidents in the house. To make sure the family members didn’t miss any of the potty training tips I was about to share, I handed one of them my camera. They let me know several times that stopping accidents in the house was the number one priority.

Its going to be important for the members of the family to follow the instructions and most importantly have someone go out Hazel out into the yard for every potty break for the next 1-2 weeks to stop the dog from peeing and pooping in the house for good.

If the humans dont follow her outside, they wont be able to reward her with the proper timing. Without that, the dog wont be able to associate the action of eliminating outside with the command word and reward. This will make potty training more difficult.

But if the guardians change the command word for potty, escort Hazel outside for a week or two so they can say the command word and deliver that treat promptly, they should be able to teach any dog to only go potty outside.

Before wrapping up the session I shared a few additional dog behavior tips and tricks to help Lilly stop being so anxious around new people. Id like the guardians to invite male friend and neighbors over a few times a week for the next few weeks to help her learn the things have changed and she doesn’t have to worry about safety as her humans have that under control on their own.

We finished up the session by shooting a Roadmap to Success video filled with all the dog behavior tips I recommended in this in home dog training session. You can check it out for yourself with the link below.

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This post was written by: David Codr

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