Housebreaking your puppy is best started with puppies are six-sixteen weeks in age. When puppies are this young, they tend to go to the bathroom predictably and frequently. The earlier you start the housebreaking process, the happier you will be as a new dog owner!
The most important tip for successful puppy housebreaking is "Persistence is the key".
1. First, you need to teach your puppy where you want him to go to the bathroom. Your puppy will not know where to go if you don't show him. Therefore, he won't know if he went in the wrong spot. We suggest starting the housebreaking process outside. Many people tend to paper train and in essence you are making the training process harder for you and may end having to retrain him.
2. Praise is essential in the puppy housebreaking process. It will make him feel more confident when you praise him with a treat or pat on the back for a job well done - not messing in the house! While mistakes can and will happen and you may get frustrated - it is very important to not punish your dog, yell or swat him if he has an accident in the house.
3. Be aware of your puppies eating and bathroom habits this will help you get him out side in time to prevent any accidents in the home. Puppies usually have to urinate upon waking up; don't delay taking him outside upon starting his day. Puppies also defecate regularly after each meal - usually within twenty minutes from eating. Pay attention to your puppy, he will give you signals he has to go out but you have to be in tune with them. These signs include restless circling, squatting and sniffing.
Never carry your puppy outside! You should choose a command to signal him it is time to go outside and that should be the command you always use - puppies like and need a routine that they will become familiar with. When he makes it out the door and does finish his business, praise him - puppies also love attention and affection, let him know he did a good job for his master!
4. Some days will be harder than others but if he makes a mistake in the house, try to ignore it the first time. Yelling at him or swatting him will only make the training process harder for you and your dog scared! Avoid negativity at all cost. Again, we know this might be hard after a day at the office and dealing with the kids but you will be thankful later!
5. If you will be leaving your puppy alone for a couple of hours, barricade off a corner of the house or use a dog crate but don't just leave him free to roam the house! Puppies usually will not toilet the area in which they sleep.
Take your puppy outside right before putting him in the crate and then take him outside again immediately upon returning home. Don't leave any water down on the floor while in this housebreaking process, if you are gone too long he may not be able to help it and have to go. Do make sure to leave him plenty of toys to keep him busy.
A crate can be a very helpful training tool for your dog while in the training process and not wanting to give him full reign of the house just yet. This will happen over time. But remember along with bathroom accidents, puppies like to chew and they will chew anything in their path if they are able to reach it and you aren't there to tell him "No!"
In closing, Praise your puppy and set him up on a routine, the end result will be a happy dog and a happy dog lover!
Chrissie Cole The owner of Indulge Your Pet, http://indulgeyourpet.com - a site dedicated to providing information and resources for dog lovers, cat lovers and horse lovers. In addition we have a section for Pet Business Owners. Meet us on the Pet Lover Forums to chat with pet lovers!
How do you teach a puppy to come when called? We have a 6 months old mix; we think she's mostly Brussels Griffin; when I want her to come to me she thinks it's a game, starts running all around and won't let me catch her. I live in a split level house and she won't go down the stairs. That's good except if I plan on being in the TV room, she won't come when called. Any suggestions? Val (02/16/2006)
Val, what you want to do is be the most interesting thing there is to your dog.
Think of it from her point of view. Why should I come when she calls? What's in it for me? Teach her that you have treats in her pocket and will give her one if she comes when you call. Reward her for each step she comes down. You won't have to keep giving her treats forever. She will learn that it's okay to go down the stairs. She will learn that you MIGHT just have some treats for her and praise her when she comes to your call.
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