How I Potty Trained My Brussels Griffon?

Having a puppy or even an adult dog makes potty training an essential issue, a must-do task for his/her owner. Having a small dog, a toy breed like Brussels Griffon, housebreaking might be a real challenge that will take you extra time, effort, and patience. You will often hear that small dogs like Brussels Griffon are hard to potty train. There is some truth in this.

I have 14 months old Brussels Griffon Cleo for which I can say that she is potty trained now. It wasn’t easy but we made it!

First of all, I took the potty training of my Brussels Griffon as a part of bringing up a pet and not a hassle. I learned how to read my puppy’s body language, to recognize the signs that indicate my dog needs to go ”toilet”. I tried to walk my Cleo every time when I thought that is the right time for potty. Giving her treats and praise every time she peed and pooped at the right place gave good results. Potty training puppy apartments can be very helpful, especially if you live in a high-rise building or you don’t have a yard.

When Did I Start To Potty Train My Brussels Griffon?

I got my Cleo when she was 12 weeks old. It turned out that it was the perfect time to start potty training. A general rule of thumb is that potty training should start when puppies are 12-16 weeks old. So I gave some time to my Cleo to adapt to the new environment and very soon started with the potty training.

Thing To Know Before You Start to Potty Train Your Brussels Griffon

As I knew that I would get the puppy ( It wasn’t a birthday surprise or anything ) I did some preparations before Cleo came to my house. I knew that small and toys breeds are harder to potty train. Since I wanted a dog ( it wasn’t imposed on me) I did a small research on this subject and found some really good advice.

First of all, it’s not the same if you potty train a puppy or adult dog. Puppies are not able to hold urine and feces since they don’t have enough muscular control. This means you cannot wait to see the signs that your dog needs to eliminate. In the case of a puppy, this would be too late.

If you have to potty train a puppy, as I had then you need to know that Brussels Griffon puppies need to go out as soon as they wake up ( don’t think they can wait for you until you brush your teeth), right after the meal or even a chewing snack, after the lively playtime and of course before bedtime.

Accidents will happen for sure, but remember the more you let your Griff puppy eliminate inside the habit of peeping and pooping inside becomes much stronger. So it’s better to take your Griff out more frequently than let him eliminate indoors and adopt a bad habit.

Brussels Griffon puppies start having much better sphincters control after 4 months of age but you still take precautions and take your puppy outside frequently not waiting for obvious signs of bowel or bladder action.

As your Griff grows you will be able to notice clear signals that he needs to go out like restlessness, sniffing, circling... It might happen that you see how your dog is going to the corner of the room, ready the eliminate.

Some professionals suggest you clap your hands or make some other type of noise to stop him. This might work but in the long run, your Griff may start associating potty with fear ( since sudden noise frightens him) which is not a good option. In other words, don’t do that!

If your Brussels Griffon has already learned some housetraining basics he might navigate towards the door, which is a clear sign for you to take him out.

Note that toy breed dogs need to go out for toilet business more often than other breeds since they have super-fast metabolism and tiny bladders.

How I Potty Trained My Brussels Griffon?

Cleo was very young when she came to my house. I have a big house with a yard, so even if I knew that many toy breeds owners use potty training puppy apartments I didn’t think I should.

Instead of that, I bought a regular crate to teach my Cleo where is her bed and the place that shouldn’t be soiled. Of course, I knew that accidents would be happening so I decided to buy disposable pee pads.

Generally, puppies are not able to control the bladder before 16 weeks of age. So during the first month, we were actually trying to get used to each other, and the fact that the yard is the right place for potty and not the house.

Dogs generally don’t like to pee and poop at the same place where they sleep but the trouble with toys breeds is that they are very small and another side of the big room is far enough from their doggy bed so they think they can peep in the corner of your living room.

This is another reason why you should limit the space in which your puppy roams free ( keeping your dog in a crate is perfect) until he/she is potty trained. If you let her roam free all around the house, you will have a greater area to clean every day.

I made a very strict potty schedule – which meant that I took my Cleo 8-9 times outside. The first time, right after she wakes up, then after every meal. In that period she had 3 main meals a day. Then we went outside after every lively playtime or chewing session. We went outside before bedtime and of course at least once, sometimes even twice a night.

Accidents in this period were frequent although we were going outside fairly often. But sometimes we wouldn’t be as quick as her bladder. On some occasions during the night, I overslept the hour in which we needed to go out. Fortunately, the pee pads reduced the damage.

After Cleo turned 4 months things started to get better. At the age of 5 months we were still going out pretty often, like 5-6 times a day but accidents were less frequent.

At the age of six months, Cleo was almost potty trained and accidents were very occasional. We still were going out pretty frequently like 4-5 times a day but I was very happy with the current situation.

How To Potty Train Your Brussels Griffon If you Live In Apartment?

If you live in a high-rise apartment, potty training a Brussels Griffon can be quite different. As a matter of fact, this toy breed can perfectly adapt to life in the apartment so I guess there are many people interested in this question.

As we said before, Brussels Griffons like other toy breed dogs have a fast metabolism and tiny bladder. If we add the fact that puppies are not able to control the bladder and bowels movement before the age of 4 months it’s clear that potty training in an apartment can be rather challenging.

Frequent accidents are inevitable since on many occasions cannot go out as fast as your dog needs to eliminate.

In case you live in the building you should think about getting a potty training puppy apartment. This is basically a larger crate divided into two sections.

The larger one is meant to be a sleeping area and the smaller one is a toilet area. The toilets area is covered with pee pads and you should encourage your dog to eliminate there.

Some people also buy a grass patch or a sod container which you can put on the patio or terrace if you have one and teach your Griff that this is the right place to pee and poop.

For whichever solution you decide on, make a strict potty schedule and stick to it, no matter you don’t have to go out. When your dog grows up I guess you will want him/her to eliminate outside, and this good practice will help you make a smooth transition.

For more detailed information, there is a good article written by AKC on how to potty train a dog if you live in a high-rise apartment.

Why Small/Toy Breeds Are Harder To Potty Train?

It’s true that small/ toy breeds are harder to potty train. There are several reasons for that.

First of all, there are physiological reasons- these dogs have tiny bladders and fast metabolism so they need to eliminate more often than larger breeds.

The second reason is that people see small dogs differently than their larger counterparts. Humans tend to treat small dogs as babies and not dogs so they are ready to tolerate their bad habits and intentional accidents.

Griffs produce much smaller waste than larger breeds so they can easily get away with potty everywhere around the house. A tiny piece of poop or a small dribble of urine is easy to clean up.

Sometimes you might overlook it and find it later. Anyhow, Griff’s waste is less likely to annoy you comparing the waste of larger breeds.

The point is that you should train your small/toy dog the same as you would train some big dog. Dogs are not supposed to potty inside, no matter how small they are.

Third – Due to its size, for a small/toy breed dog every space ( house/apartment ) is large. What does it mean? Well, it means, that if he pees in a corner of one room and then goes to another room, he won’t have a feeling that he has soiled his own home, because the pee spot is just ”far away” from his doggy bed or food bowl. Simple as that.

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