Face it, sometimes the weather just won't cooperate when your bichon frise has to go outside to potty. Rain, thunder or lightning can cause bichons, young and old alike, to resist the "au natural" method of relieving themselves. That's when the potty pad can come to the rescue.
How to Train Your Bichon to Use a Potty Pad
Even before a storm, select a corner of a room that will serve as your dog's indoor toilet area. It should be easy to clean if an accident happens and it should be a place where your dog will not disrupt the rest of the family. Keep the area away from your dog's sleeping and feeding spots.
Cover a 3-by-4 foot area of the floor with potty pads, overlapping them so as to not have cracks or open spots where urine or feces can stain the floor. It's best to put a layer of plastic under the pads to keep the smell from staining the floor.
Lead your dog to the potty area first thing in the morning, after meals or drinks of water, after naps, exercise or play periods and before bedtime. Make sure she stays on the pads (they have an attractant smell to draw her in). Encourage her to go potty.
After she urinates or defecates on the pad, give verbal praise and a small treat, and then remove the soiled pad. If your bichon voids off the pads, clean it up with pet stain cleaner and simply carry her to the padded area, put her down and encourage her to go on the pads. Never punish after she has had an accident.
For the next few weeks, begin to remove a few pads to slowly reduce the potty area. Your bichon frise now should be trained to use the potty pad -- so let the rain fall, the storms blow!
- If your bichon is a puppy, you can confine her to a cage or play pen before letting her into the potty area. This makes it easier for her to transition from living area to potty area. Also, once your dog is trained to use potty pads, remember that all other papers will have to be kept off the floor, since your dog will view them as fair game.
Debra Levy has been writing for more than 30 years. She has had fiction and nonfiction published in various literary journals. Levy holds an M.A. in English from Indiana University and an M.F.A. in creative writing/fiction from the Bennington Writing Seminars.