The following article was written by Dr Sarah Pilbeam:
Let me tell you a story about a friend of mine.....
Blissfully dozing one Monday morning at 6:58, she was snatched from the arms of Morpheus by a shivering and a whimpering and a nosing and a restless pawing at her face.
“Mmmph, two more minutes puppy. Just hold it, okay? Just two.”
With eyes like deep, blue-brown pools of limpid contrition, she cocked her head, blinked, squatted, and voided approximately a quarter gallon of urine. It spread with astonishing speed and within seconds struck through the blanket, counterpane, doona and both sheets to leave a matching stain of considerable size on the mattress.
The puppy, that was, not the friend.
Now, whose fault was that? Someone who should’ve known better ignored some of the most central precepts of toilet training, and was justly chastised.
Keep your temper. Cling to it. Grit your teeth, and smile and smile.
Remember: these are accidents, generally not unmitigated spite. However it might feel.
Puppies don’t understand. Not "I pee inside, I get in trouble", but "you saw pee/me pee, and I got shouted at". A subtle, but important difference.
In their minds, all they are learning is that a perfectly natural bodily function throws their erstwhile loving parent figure into a violent and uncontrollable rage. That they are clearly dangerous, mad and slightly unbalanced.
Obviously, if you don’t find out they pee inside, they don’t get in trouble. Please, don’t think they aren’t smart enough to work this out. They can apply this simple deduction in two ways:
Not get caught. This means presents in your shoes, behind doors, under the television, just about anywhere you don’t expect them. And trust me, they can get quite creative. Or… take a more, um, direct hand in disposing of the evidence. This is a particularly unsavoury habit, and really, really hard to break once properly routed.
Puppies pee. A lot. However often you think a small dog needs to go the bathroom, triple it. Now you’re somewhere close.
When you first bring your new little bundle of joy home, you’re probably going to need to set a timer to go off every hour. Twenty-four times a day. In rain, wind, sleet and any weather, you’re going to find yourself outside five minutes out of every sixty, raving in sheer delight at a pathetic dribbling tinkle.
You may want to work in shifts.
As they get older, you can gradually reduce the frequency. At 11 weeks old, Cliff can make it through the night if I take her out at before bed, then at twelve and four, and on the stroke of seven. But you’ll have to play it by ear.