Maxwell is in the House

Maxwell, the last male pup from Sadie’s litter is a Phase 1 Accelerated puppy so I thought I’d show you the indoor set-up that we use.

I really like the taller Iris pen that comes with 8 panels. Cavachons are capable of escaping over a shorter pen, so we always recommend one that is closer to 3ft tall.

The Iris pen can be made long and skinny as is shown below, or it can be a nice 4ft x 4ft square.

When the pup first comes home and during the training process, it is important to organize his pen and set him up for success.



Here, Maxwell has limited space, encouraging sleeping in the right spot, chewing his bully stick in the right spot, and most importantly, going potty in the right spot.  He naturally doesn’t want to soil his bed/hang out areas, so there is very little “other” space, making the litter box a natural choice.  We also take him out as frequently as we can, but if we are not home, he has everything he needs in this space.



I recommend, when the puppy first comes home, to make his pen skinny like this.  As he is more dependable, you can opt for a more square and spacious area.  At night, you can also remove some panels, so there are only 6, eliminating almost all floor space and having only bed or potty for his choices.

Maxwell is pretty content in this puppy safe zone.  It is right in our kitchen, so he is in the middle of everything that is going on in the household!!

PS, his crate is backwards only because the door was swinging out the wrong way and I didn’t take time to change it.  I like to attach the door to the side of the Iris Pen, so that it stays open.

Big Day For Louis

Our house is bustling with visitors and Louis is the center of attention, at least from our little visitors.


He loves the kids and let the little girl brush him and hold him and play with him till she finally had to stop because it was time for lunch.

After lunch I had to go to town and Louis got to go with me. He’s a great little traveler and just settles right in.


He is so pretty I forget that he’s on a girly bed:))

Front & Center (Accelerated Puppy Louis)

Louis is getting the royal treatment. He has all but taken over our kitchen with center stage in the busiest room of our house.

This is how it should be:). He is going to NYC, and from what I remember from my visit in the late 80’s/early 90’s, it is a bustling place full of activity and noise and people.

We’re taking Louis everywhere with us to get him used to as many people and situations as possible.


He seems to be doing very well in his puppy safe zone.  He is learning to use his new turf litter box and that transition is going well.  He has never had a poop accident, and just 2 pee accidents, so he has a pretty good record considering his age.  I do have to spray Bitter Apple on the edges of his turf every day to discourage him from chewing on it.



He has several toys to play with in his space.  He is beginning to chew on his antler that his NY mama sent him, and he readily plays with the other toys she sent.  I have a couple of bully sticks for him as well, and a little plushy toy bone that he throws in the air and chases.  He also has a tennis ball and loves chasing that around.






I have been feeding him exclusively out of the red Kong ball, just visible in the bottom corner of his Iris Pen in the above photo.  This requires him to use his brain to eat, and makes the process interesting and gives him something to do.  When I’m not in the kitchen with him, he goes in his crate and I close the door.  This is so important.  Puppies really should not be left unattended, even in their puppy safe zone (unless overnight, or gone for an extended amount of time), because they can still get into trouble doing things like chewing the litter box, the edges of their crate, or having pee or poop accidents and then walking through it.  Even now as I’m typing, he’s chewing on the tag that’s on the white bath mat/bed in his open space.

At night, I have been crating him and getting up somewhere around 1-3 am to let him potty.  This part of the process is quite intense and leaves me somewhat sleep deprived, but he will be well-trained when he goes home, and that is my goal!!  I maybe should put a disclaimer here–I will have gone through all the motions to get him well-trained, whether or not he learns his lessons, well, that depends on each individual puppy!

So far, he hasn’t been too active or wanting to get out of his space.  The way it’s set up with just two sides kinda pushed up against the wall, isn’t exactly the most sturdy of set ups, but because he’s not free, even within his space, unless I’m actually in the room, it has been working so far.

I’m liking the new litter box.  It’s not messy like the pellets can be.  He was raised on pellets, so seeing him make a successful transition has been very rewarding.  A grass turf system like this seems to work with one older puppy/dog, but with a litter of puppies, it could get pretty messy if they walk in their poop and squish it into the grass.  This is another key reason I am always nearby when he’s walking around.  If he poops, I can grab it immediately, and there is no chance for him to squish it into the grass, which believe me (as I have lots of experience), is super gross, and a cleaning nightmare.

Thank you Toni (his new mama in NYC) for sending us his litter box and toys.  He is doing very well at this point, and things should only keep getting better with time.  He can walk on the leash now, and completely can ride in the car without getting car sick.  Check.  Check.

July is going to be here before we know it!

The Puppies Woke Up

This happened yesterday after my 2 cents post…

I had to wake up the puppies to let them potty before taking them to town. Bella successfully used the box. Louis peed on the floor again. He is so excited about being with people I think he forgot to pee. I cleaned up his mess and we went outside in the grass.

The puppies love playing in the grass.

Today again: This whole training thing is a process. While in town yesterday, the puppies pooped in their crate and got icky. At home, I put them back out in the nursery and today we will do baths and start over again in the house.

And so each day turns, with moments of success and moments of failure. But persistence will pay off. I know from experience:)

My 2 Cents

Puppies are naughty. They are mischievous. They are bad. They chew things and they potty where they are not supposed to.

Since I’m also in the puppy training trenches right now I wanted to share my 2 cents on how this should be done, or maybe just how I am going to do it.

Have you ever wondered why service dogs are such good dogs? I have my opinion. From what I’ve learned from a friend, a prospective service dog is either with their people, on a leash, or directly interacting with their people, or in their crate. They are never left unattended unless they are crated. Period.

When a puppy is crated they cannot get into trouble. Period. They learn to be content and you have peace of mind.


The two naughty puppies that are living with me right now, Bella and Louis (pronounced Louie, the Blenheim Accelerated Puppy from Pansy’s litter-he finally got named this morning) are currently crated. I have peace of mind. They are peacefully sleeping. They just had a grand playtime where I was in the room next to them. I was watching them, had to spray bitter apple on the doggie door flap because they were chewing it (naughty puppies-it was Bella), so I offered them a bully stick as a replacement, which they happily chewed on for a solid 15 minutes until I plopped them in the crate.  Yes, that was a really bad sentence.

They might have been able to chew the bully stick longer, if one of them, and I don’t know who, hadn’t peed on the floor instead of going out the doggie door to use the litter box. I’m pretty sure it was Louis because he was the only one walking around.

So in spite if my efforts to be right near them and supervising them, I got busy shredding papers and had to clean up pee.

But back to crate training…I believe in it and I believe the more contained a puppy’s life is, the more content and calm he will be.

It is like having a new baby. They must be constantly supervised. And taught. And trained. It takes a lot of time. It takes a lot of effort.  These 2 puppies are going to be contained a lot, either in their crate, or in their small space shown in the photo, or on a leash with me in the house.  This is just how we do things here.  I can’t have pee on my carpet, even once.  It cannot happen, and it won’t happen because I simply don’t let them go there.  These puppies will have plenty of space to play and run and have fun.  But it will be on my time clock, when I am ready, and prepared, and willing.  Otherwise, they will be contained….because that’s how I think it should be done!!

I wrote the above about an hour ago, and I’m just finishing it now.  The puppies are STILL crated, sleeping like little babies.  Soon one of them will wake up and cry to be let out.  When that happens, I will let them out and guide them toward the litter box and we will have success.  We will then offer food, inside the crate with a kong ball, and water, and they will have another grand playtime together, and hopefully they will poop in the box as well.  And when things begin to tone down, I will put them in the crate again for another nap.  And they will be content, and fall asleep, and have sweet puppy dreams.

And the wheel will turn like that all day long, and tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day, and the next day….till Bella goes to her forever home, and till Louis gets a little older and can be trusted with a little more space!  Happy Potty Training Everyone!!

And that’s my 2 cents!

Puppy Training Tip

Training your puppy can be a fun and rewarding experience. Here is a quick tip for new and older puppies.

Every puppy from Silver Paw Cavachons comes home with a collar and leash. Use these tools, not only for daily walks, but for containment training as well.

Your new puppy does not need full run of the house to be happy. In fact, he will be more secure and settled if you control and confine his spaces during the first year of his life.

The picture below happens a LOT in our home! Whenever we are doing extended training with someone’s puppy, we bring them into the middle of our lives, and treat them as we would our own little dog.

Use your collar and leash to tether your puppy in a central location so she can see you and the family in action. Give her a bed and bully stick just in case she gets bored of watching you!

Knowing your puppy is close by and safe gives you peace of mind. Knowing your carpet and furniture are safe provides even more, and through the process your puppy learns to be content near you without having to be constantly held or in your lap.

I highly recommend puppy containment during the first year, and this is one simple way to do it, while still providing the feel of freedom for your puppy.


*This method is best when you know you will be in the room or passing through frequently. A puppy left on a leash with no supervision, could easily chew through if she decided to. Of course, your Lupine Collar and Leash are guaranteed, even against chewing, so you can easily get a new one, but its always best to supervise your puppy unless she is in her safe zone or her crate.

Covering For The Puppies

Training puppies is a 24/7/365 day adventure.  It doesn’t let up if you’re sick.  It doesn’t let up if you want to get away for a few hours.  It doesn’t let up if you want to get away for a day.  Forget about taking vacations!  It doesn’t let up if you need to cook a Thanksgiving dinner, or go Christmas shopping.  It doesn’t let up if company needs to sleep in the office/puppy room.  And most importantly, it doesn’t let up for the weather.


When the sky fills with clouds it means one of two things…RAIN or SNOW!!  And these two things make potty training puppies very difficult.

But I had a dream and I knew a solution was possible when we got our new house.  I knew the office would double as a puppy training room, and I knew there was a nice little back porch with a sliding glass door.  I knew we could install a doggie door into the sliding glass door, and I knew we could use the back porch for the potty boxes.  And I HOPED we would be able to figure out some sort of covering to shield this most important space from the weather!


And so the dream began…with corrugated hard plastic roofing, that allows the sunshine to still spill through, but blocks the moisture and snow from falling on the training grounds!


Lucky me, who has The Woodman for a husband, who can build and fix just about anything.  I knew this little project would be no problem for him, if he’d take the time to do it!  It’s well known that “the cobbler’s children never have shoes”, right?  I begged and pleaded and coerced and manipulated.

Ok, I only begged and pleaded.  I think he saw the need and I’m so glad he was willing to do the job!


It was a wet and miserable day, but he faithfully built the puppy shelter.


It was scarcely done before it was tested with great results!


It’s a little lean-to shelter, with just enough space for all the necessary tools…


To properly maintain the space, we need…

-4 litter boxes that will service up to 8 puppies
-an electric water dish to withstand our freezing weather (and a normal one in the summer)
-a metal trash can that holds puppy kibble
-a dark brown plastic container that holds the pine pellets
-a nice broom for quick sweeping (the pellets can be a bit dusty)
-and not shown in this photo, but in the following photos, a large round trash can for all the doggie waste (and there is a LOT)!!

And of course, a wonderful, tall, Iris pen to contain the puppies while they’re out on the porch doing their business, and playing!


We will paint the railings and framing white this coming spring.


It’s such a nice, compact space, with EVERYTHING necessary for successful litter box/potty training.  Redford is loving the space and uses the litter boxes like a regular champ!

I am so excited about this space.  Now it doesn’t matter how bad the weather is outside, we will still have all the puppies going through their training.

We just brought Sadie’s litter into this space this week.  It took them less than 24 hours to figure out the doggie door!  Redford is showing them the ropes.  They are having a ball playing inside and outside, and though it is dry right now, let the rain and the snow come!  This year, we are READY!!