Yes, they are THAT cute! However, like any other puppy, they need to be housetrained. Fail to do so, and you can easily become a faithful member of the Potty Club.
Toilet training a puppy does not need to be very demanding; it requires persistence and patience. Nevertheless, there are a few basic rules that should be followed if you wish to set your Cavoodle puppy up for success.
First of all, prediction is the key. Puppies tend to eliminate immediately after waking up, eating, drinking or having a play session. As soon as your puppy wakes up, you must take him to the designated potty area. If he eliminates, make sure to reward him; offer him a tasty treat (it can be a piece of ham, sausage, boiled chicken, dried liver, whatever your puppy likes best). If he doesn’t, don’t allow him to roam freely around the house; just wait until he does!
Knowing how to appropriately reward your puppy is extremely important. Most people offer a verbal compliment or a couple of belly rubs; unfortunately, that doesn’t work as well as food! Would you go to work if your boss gave you a pat on the back at the end of the month, instead of actually paying you? Of course you wouldn’t. Food is the ultimate paycheck for dogs and we shouldn’t be afraid to use it. Dogs have to eat, don’t they? We might as well take advantage of it.
In the beginning, your Cavoodle puppy shouldn’t have access to the entire house. He must be confined to a small area, such as a play pen or laundry. Why? Well, if he pees or poops on your favorite carpet, he’ll probably do it again. Remember: puppies are reinforced every time they eliminate; preventing any mistake from happening will surely ease the training process. However, real life happens and, eventually, there will be an accident. If your Cavoodle puppy eliminates where he’s not supposed to, there’s no need to panic. If you catch him in the act, don’t punish him; simply take him to his potty area. If he continues to eliminate, reward him enthusiastically. The next step is to effectively clean and remove the urine’s odor from the accident spot. Bleach and ammoniac detergents will only enhance the scent; look for an enzymatic product, instead, such as Urinoff.
Remember never to physically punish your puppy. Reprimands don’t usually work the way we expect them to and they end up contributing to the development of house soiling problems. If your puppy is afraid to eliminate in your presence, he may also develop coprophagy (the habit of eating his own feces), in order to “hide the evidence”. If there’s no poop, there’s nothing to be punished about!
Puppies don’t housetrain themselves overnight; this process takes time. In order to succeed, remember to respect your Cavoodle puppy’s learning rhythm!