h.viveros1 from Monroe, NC
The same way you train every other puppy? Take the pup out regularly and give it the command to potty. I use the word Piddle since not much else sounds like it. Say something like "Rover, piddle." Don't yell it, but don't ask either. Keep saying it until he goes. When the puppy does go, praise him a lot, make over him and say something like "Good piddle, Rover!" When he comes back inside give him a dog biscuit or a good rub at least. Eventually the dog will learn that when you say piddle he'd better do his business.
If there is an accident inside the house, don't rub his nose in it, that's just an old wives tale. Don't hit him with a rolled up paper either. Unless you actually catch him midstream, keep quiet about it. The dog won't understand that he's being scolded for something in the past, only what he's doing at the moment. If you do catch him mid stream, say "No! Bad Rover!" Don't yell, but be firm. Make sure to clean up the mess promptly with an odor neutralizer, or use white vinegar to saturated the spot and blot it up.
Most of all, be patient. Just because a dog looks full grown doesn't mean it's not a puppy. Some dogs can't hold it very long and if they get excited can't hold it at all. Also, if the dog was from a kennel he may take longer to learn because he went in his cage and he thinks that is normal. If it's a male, make sure to get him neutered. It's hard to fight the natural urge to mark territory! (10/17/2007)
Train your pit bull pup the same way you crate train every dog - with some patience and discipline on your part, and with the use of a few items if you can get them - ideally a crate, and perhaps puppy pads if you find them useful.
The first thing to remember is that you pup doesn't know what it's doing yet, so make sure to stay patient! Don't get upset when you pup invariably makes mistakes.
Get your pup on a regular schedule by taking it outside several times a day, and praising it when you see it go outside. Give it a treat the first few times to reward it further.
When inside, keep your pup within a fairly restricted area in your house to keep an eye on it. As you get to know your dog, you'll identify certain behaviors that indicate you dog is getting ready to go - like sniffing a certain way, or walking around in circles for a few moments (my dog did that as a pup.)
If you see your pup go in the house, don't rub it's nose in it - the puppy will not understand why you are doing it. Say, "No!" in a firm voice, and take the pup outside.
When you are not able to keep an eye on your pup, I recommend crating him - dogs naturally den in small spaces and will feel more comfortable in your absence.
Dogs will not go in the same place they den so they will usually not go in the crate. Be sure to take it outside immediately after letting it out of it's crate and praise heavily when the pup does go outside.
If you want more tips on raising a pup and training your dog, check out the website I run at http://www.dogexpert.info
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