Don't be discouraged if your King Charles spaniel isn't catching on to potty training. This breed takes longer than most to grasp the muscle control needed to "hold it" until you take them outside. They're eager to please and highly intelligent, so once they learn muscle control, they are easily housebroken.
Set up a schedule for potty training. Since your King Charles spaniel will have trouble with muscle control at first, you'll need to take him out often and on a consistent training schedule. Puppies should go out every 30 to 60 minutes or every two hours at the very longest. Take your pup out first thing in the morning as well as before you both go to bed at night. Take him out after each meal and whenever he wakes up from a nap. Consistency is required to train any breed, so take your pup out at the same times each day and to the same spot whenever possible. The familiar smell and feel of your designated potty training spot will remind your spaniel to relieve himself there.
Use positive and gentle training methods with your King Charles spaniel. Your pet is of a highly intelligent breed, so he will catch on quickly to what you want him to do. King Charles spaniels are easily motivated by food, so reward him each time he properly relieves himself outside with affection and a treat. If you forget to bring a treat, a quick play session or walk will show your pet that he performed well. Due to the muscle control problems in their puppyhood, your new friend will undoubtedly eliminate in the house. Never punish him for his mistake. This breed is eager to please, so punishment will only make him fear you and the training process.
Look for signs that your spaniel needs to go outside and always remain firm and consistent when training. If you catch him squatting, scratching at the door or sniffing around the floor, he probably needs to go outside. If he does start to relieve himself inside, remain firm and use a command such as, "Outside." Pick him up or guide him outside to finish the job there. It's important to be gentle with your King Charles spaniel in this case. Use a tone that is neutral, not too loud and abrasive and not too soft. Show him that you are the pack leader, take him to his potty training spot and reward him when he's done.
- Don't use commands to influence your pup to relieve himself when you're outside. If you're in a hurry, your pet will become stressed and view the training process as a negative experience.
Courtney McCaffrey graduated from the College of Charleston in 2008 with a B.A. in media studies. She has served as an editor for Blooming Twig Books and the MADA Writing Services publishing company. She is now a writer on various outdoor sports such as snowboarding, skiing, surfing and bodysurfing.