So you’ve convinced the landlord that your new pet will be a perfect fit in your apartment. Here are some tips to ensure that your furry new friend will smell like roses to your landlord (and to your security deposit).
For a puppy: The most practiced technique of house-training is the “paper towel method”. When you bring your puppy to his new home he needs to be kept in a confined space. The entire floor of that area should be covered in paper towels – this way he will learn to relieve himself on paper towels from the start. Every couple of days, remove a section of the towels from the floor. The puppy should learn in a matter of weeks how to only use the isolated paper towels, (and finally towel). At that point, the puppy will have developed some bladder and bowel control. Finally, when there are no more towels on the floor, (time length depends on how old the puppy is), the puppy should communicate to you when he needs to go out. You can expect that a puppy can ‘hold it’ for about as many hours as he is months old. Those first few months can be really tough – stick it out and it will be totally worth it!
For a dog: Dogs are tricky in new spaces even years after they have been house-trained. Often moving to a new apartment means leaving a yard and familiar ground to “go” on. Your dog may make errors in judgement in the new apartment for a variety of reasons. Dogs do not generalize. He may be scared, he may be confused, or he may simply be angry with you. (You can usually tell when it’s an “anger whizz”.) There are two ground rules for this move: 1. Get on a schedule with the dog. If that means hiring a dog walker, do it. Include feeding times in that schedule. Do not leave food out all day if the dog is on a regular walking schedule 2. Do not scold, cold shoulder or punish the dog if you do not catch him IN the act. That means IN the act. A full-grown dog’s memory only lasts an average of 2-4 seconds. If you yell at him three minutes after the whizz or poo, the dog might be so confused or hurt that he goes again!
For a cat: It is not uncommon for a cat to have a stage-five freak out over the replacement of a couch, so be warned that apartment-training your cat may be tricky. Cat training tends to be a much more individualized experience than general dog-training, but here are some tricks. 1. Keep the cat in one confined space or room in the apartment for a full day and night. The key to this is making this space the “cat’s safe space”. Include in it: Food, water and a litter box. Even if you plan on letting the cat roam indoors and outdoors, keep the cat in this space for at least a full twenty-four hours. Spend as much time with the cat in this space as you can.
For current pet owners – if you have any breakthroughs in how to accomplish the following, please comment!
1. Train your cat to buzz-in.
2. Train your dog to sit outside of your hot neighbor’s front door, (on command, preferably).
3. Train your puppy to go outside, but never grow out of puppy-hood.
4. Train your parrot to say, “she’s happier now” whenever your ex drops by.