When I started this blog, I didn’t really know where it would go. I just think it’s important to have good information available about dog training when there is so much junk out there. However, running this blog led to me having my first experience training someone else’s dogs – meaning I got to put my skills to the test.
Meet our three Pomeranian musketeers – Gizmo, Prada, and Bella! These sweet girls were born in September and weigh in at between six and ten pounds each.
These ladies’ puppy parents asked me to watch them for a week and see if we could house break them for good. They also wanted to have them evaluated on basic obedience skills, and of course work on them throughout the week.
I’m sure you are as skeptical as I was that we could teach these girls the potty training skills they needed in one week, much less round out their obedience training. However, I was confident we could see some improvement, so I took them to task!
The first couple of days weren’t so bad as they were learning the rules of my house. The girls definitely seemed more shy which is expected when in a new place. As the week went on, their personalities came out more and more and I was able to better evaluate their listening skills.
We definitely had accidents. A lot of them.
I worked backwards to find out how often they were needing to go. After I got a general schedule, I set them up for success by taking them out on their time so they had less frequent accidents. Eventually they were holding between and I was able to get their time up as the week went on! We ended up having about 36 hours straight accident free by the end of the week.
Another thing that helped keep them from pottying inside was working on mental stimulation through training and taking them outside to exercise. The saying goes, “a tired dog has a happy owner,” and I think that is true to some extent.
They were sleeping a lot by the end of the week, which means I was able to keep a better eye on them and take them out when they woke up. All six dogs in my house would nap as I got on my computer to work, which was way better than getting up constantly to check on them.
All three girls did alright on their obedience considering the environment and their prior training foundation. I was able to get all three to listen to sit, wait, their names, touch, all four on the floor, and come inside somewhat consistently by the end of the week. Of course more reinforcement will lead to better performance, but I was pleased with their progress for sure.
If you have any doubt that positive reinforcement training is effective, I would say the proof is in the pommie pudding. After just 1 week they had such noticeable improvement in their behavior by patiently working on the issues in a positive way.
Overall, I had a blast working with these dogs and I am so grateful that their mom gave me a shot! I hope to see them again soon because they were a joy to work with.
There are a few real training examples on our TikTok page! Follow us to stay more up-to-date on our training journey.