Got a Dirty Puppy?
I do!!! I have a dirty puppy at my house right now and for this article I am referring to potty training dirty!!!
Dirty puppies are so much harder than clean puppies! For obvious reasons, no one wants to wake up to the smell of poop flowing through the room; or a puppy that smells like a sewer!
Thankfully most puppies or any animal for that matter really wants to be clean.
Let’s Break it Down
Why Do Some Puppies Not Mind Being Dirty?
They Were Raised Dirty
I think a lot of it depends on how clean the puppies are kept when they are born and whelped.
Breeders or people who allow the puppies to be dirty all of the time, or even most of the time are setting their puppies up for more trouble when it is time to get a new family and begin potty training.
Puppy mills are the worst for obvious reasons, so puppies that come from pet stores and places like that are usually guaranteed to be dirtier than others.
But, some breeders also don’t keep their puppies clean; although sometimes it is hard to tell because when people visit the litter they clean up.
Sometimes an indication of possible problems is a breeder that keeps the puppies outside all of the time. It is much harder to ignore the smell of poop in your home than it is in some kennel outside you don’t have to visit but twice a day! That is certainly not to say that all breeder that keep pups outside are bad or dirty breeders!
But it is hard to convince a puppy that he CAN be clean if he is used to living in and laying in his own and his littermates feces. He knows nothing else!
You Don’t Get Him Outside Often Enough
Often times people come home with a puppy and they don’t realize how much work puppies are! They don’t know that puppies have to go outside every 2 hours at least, and after drinks of water, and after eating, and after naps.
If you don’t get him outside to do his business when he needs to go, he gets use to going where ever he is when he feels the urge to pee or poop. This creates problems which makes your job harder and makes inappropriate pooping and urination a habit.
Puppies need to go out ALL the time! And, you have to go with them to ensure they are not just playing and then coming back inside to go potty!
I believe, on the same note, that puppy pads also confuse puppies teaching them that going inside the house on a soft surface or rug is a good thing. So if at all possible avoid these products and instead just keep taking your puppy outside.
You Keep Him in a Small Crate Too Long
Puppies are like babies; they develop bladder control and the ability to control their bowels at different times.
Small crates are conducive to potty training because most dogs/puppies don’t want to lay in their own feces and urine… however if you leave them too long they really don’t have a choice!
Imagine expecting a baby to potty train itself, or leaving it in a dirty diaper all day.
This isn’t fair to a puppy and it teaches him to be immune to being dirty. Being dirty begins to be something he has to get used to, because he doesn’t have a choice.
Then he almost thinks his crate is his “cat box” it is the place he is use to going potty!
If I think I might be gone too long, I would put my pup in a bigger place or bigger area, just in case! This way if he has an accident in his crate because he has to he can go to another area to lay down. This gives him the option to choose to be clean.
On occasion I have seen dirty dogs and puppies. It is hard to explain how anything could choose to be dirty, but it happens.
I am not exactly sure why the pup I have is dirty, but I suppose it doesn't really matter, what matters is how to fix it!
How to Fix It
- First if you visit the puppies and the house or kennel or shelter smells terrible reconsider the puppy, or know that you may be in for a lot of difficult potty training!
- Then make sure that the puppy gets out of his crate, gets interaction and play time, and gets out to go potty often!
- Only use a very small crate or area if you are available to take the dog out every few hours! This includes overnight. Put the crate next to your bed and when the pup makes noise get him outside.
- Use a larger crate or area if you need to be gone longer than your pup should be left.
- Keep your puppy clean!
- Even if he doesn’t seem to care about being dirty and smelly don’t allow this… you have to teach him that cleanliness is next to godliness ;) as the story goes. If you clean his kennel but you don’t bathe him he learns nothing.
- And, vice/versa if you clean him but you don’t clean his kennel well he just learns to live in filth and the smell of it increases the odds of him doing it yet again.
- Be consistent and give him time and get him outside often.
Most dogs or puppies learn after a short period of time even though every day of dirtiness feels like a million years!
Treat him the way you would treat a baby and be patient, and don’t make him live in conditions that you would not live in!
I have been a professional dog trainer and pet sitter for over 20 years. I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, through the international Certification Counsel of Professional Dog Trainers. I have trained and worked with police, Schutzhund and personal protection dogs. I trained Assistance Dogs in a men’s prison and ran my own nonprofit organization to take adult dogs from shelters and to train them to assist children and adults with disabilities, at no charge to my clients. My nonprofit organization and I were nominated for several awards of merit and even made the front page of the Denver Post. I was a veterinary technician for many years, where I learned about all aspects of health and preventative medicine. I have trained and worked with exotic animals and cheetahs. I introduced a temperament testing program in my local shelter and sat on the board of directors. I volunteered with my dog “Mr. Snitch” and helped local children learn to read. I have attained obedience titles and several blue ribbons. I am constantly in search of ways to continue my education and excellence when it comes to animals, their behavior and their health.