educates and shares pet care problems and solutions with pet lovers all over the world.

Location: Singapore

Veterinary surgeon at Toa Payoh Vets, Singapore and operator of a Singapore housing agency,

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Educating the puppy buyer in writing.


TOILET TRAINING PUPPY Case 3. "Not a visitor for the whole day," the pet shop girl wiped her nose with the tissue paper said when I vaccinated 3 puppies at 5 p.m.

It was Tuesday, June 28, 2005, the second day of the school term for students up to the junior college level. Had Singapore slided into recession? Yet the well-stocked estabished competitor down the road had prospective buyers when I was there a few minutes ago.

A part-timer, a muscular young man in an orange sleeveless T-shirt, studying Chemical Engineering was surfing wireless on his note book. "Did you tap on the cafe's broad band," I asked him as the pet shop's policy was no broadband to discourage malingering. Several young adults of around 20 years old are employed shop to clean the cages and they love to chat and post on message boards like

The hours are long and the shop opens seven days a week. It is physically tiring. "Why don't you write a book on puppy toilet training just for your puppy buyers?" I asked the pet shop girl who was the proprietor of the shop. "Many of them have no clues as to what to do after buying the puppy from the pet shop. If you give or sell them a book on the Singaporean situation, they will remember you as no other pet shop bothers to do such a book."

She shook her head. The flu viruses drained her soul. "Have you got good antibiotics for me?" she asked. "Some good ones you use for your puppy's kennel cough. Or for cat flu." I asked her to seek proper human medical attention. She said, "My doctor's medicine are ineffective."

"You should be at home resting," I advised. "Antibiotics are ineffective against the flu viruses." Her obligations as a proprietor must be fulfilled as the shop must have two operators at any one time ideally.

She then explained to me how to toilet train the puppy. Good hands-on experience on what she would advise the buyer verbally. Don't ask her to write even if that would help her increase sales. There are better things to do in life when you are twenty-something. She is typical of the young adults.

If the puppy buyer can afford the $50.00, she would recommend the wire-less crate for small breeds like the Shih Tzu. This crate has a pee tray. The urine and stools drop onto the pee tray, keeping the puppy relatively clean. The newspapers on the pee tray cannot be shredded by the puppy. The tiled floor of the house or apartment will not be soiled as the pee-tray traps the puppy's output. In addition, the walls of the pee-tray will not collapse on an active puppy, unlike the 4 fences forming a play pen or puppy pen.

To toilet train the puppy, take it out to smell the newspaper. A house-breaking solution bought from the pet shop is sprayed on the newspaper and the puppy is supposed to go to toilet on the newspaper after following the instructions on the product.

That is the theory. How many puppy buyers remember the instructions. Who actually looks after the puppy at home? It may be the domestic worker or the mother who is not present when the puppy is purchased. So, the poor puppy does not get properly trained. Or worse, beaten up as it soils the whole house.

Readers who have practical experience with toilet training, please email to me. I am compiling a book for Singaporeans "Singaporeans: Toilet-training your first puppy." Email to Your contributions will be gratefully acknowledged and paid for.


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