Puppy Care (Part 4)
Rough collies are, by their nature, very clean dogs. They will not soil their living area unless it cannot be helped!
Coupled with a regular feeding routine, our favourite way to housetrain simply involves pre-empting when the pup may need to go to toilet and taking them outside and waiting ready to praise them for doing the right thing. So our routine will be:
- Get up early in the morning and take pup out side.
- Immediately following each meal again go outside.
- Be on the watch for tell tale signs of needing to go to the loo (circling to get ready, sniffing a spot prior to squatting or pacing u and down and panting for example) and quickly and calmly take the dog outside.
- Once outside, you wait for the dog to go to the toilet and then immediately (or within 5 seconds) calmly praise the dog for doing the right thing. Be mindful that after pup has been to the loo, you should not take him or her straight back inside – always stay out a little longer and play, so that going to the loo in the correct place is a rewarding activity.
You can extend the training by giving a command (we use “go toilet”) as the dog is in the act. If you consistently repeat this each time the dog pays a visit you will end up with a dog who has a very useful command in its repertoire, especially when you’re out and about!
The above method is simply based on praising your collie for doing the right thing. It is just as important not to punish it for doing the wrong thing. If there is an accident (and there will be) unless you were close by, just clean it up. Getting cross and making a big deal of it is pointless – the dog simply will not understand the fuss you are making or connect it with something that took place earlier!
A word of warning: Once a carpet has become soiled, it’s important to remove the scent as this will be a compelling sign of a place to use again.
To support this approach, use newspaper on the floor near pups bed at night. Each night move the newspaper closer and closer to the back door.
Vomiting / Diarrhea
It’s inevitable that as your pup develops, he/she will have the occasional bout of sickness or diarrhea. The following notes should help you deal with it.
If a dog eats something it shouldn’t it will usually vomit. Quite often this will happen as your collie goes exploring the garden and tries the taste of everything. What usually happens next, is he/she will eat most of what has just been brought up!
An isolated case of vomiting should not be cause for concern. In the case of persistent vomiting, or vomiting which occurs shortly after drinking you should always seek advice.
Remember, be sure that all dangerous materials such as weed killers, slug pellets and poisonous plants have been removed as a preventative measure.
The state of your collies’ motions is a useful indication that the digestive system is well. When the motions are loose or a wet diarrhea, you should starve your collie for 24 hrs. Quite often, resting the digestive system will sort things out.
It may be necessary to re-start on a light diet for a day – the following are low fat (which is important) and easy to digest:
- Boiled long grain rice (allowed to go cool) and small pieces of cooked chicken meat – NO skin.
- Boiled long grain rice (allowed to go cool) and small pieces of steamed white fish meat (but be very careful to make sure there are no bones).
- Scrambled egg with small pieces of brown (e.g. Hovis) bread.
- Persistent diarrhea or very watery motions indicate that you should seek veterinary advice. Dehydration would be a concern as a dog with persistent diarrhea can result in a lot of lost fluid.
In any case, if you are in doubt play it safe and get advice from your vet.
As a helpful preventative measure, a small amount (one or two tablespoons) of live natural yoghurt in your dogs’ daily diet will help maintain a healthy digestive system. Goat’s milk yoghurt is more digestive system friendly which is why we prefer it over other dairy products for our dogs!