House Breaking Your Puppy Feb 12, 2008 15:05:44 GMT -5
Post by DogGoneGood on Feb 12, 2008 15:05:44 GMT -5
Proper House Training Techniques
by Shara Slorstad
Keep in mind, I'll be using a masculine term to describe generic puppy, simply because I'm use to having boy dogs, but it applies to both boys and girls.
When to start House Breaking:
You can start house training as soon as you get your puppy home! However, don't expect any immediate results, and keep in mind that it takes time not only for your puppy to learn the concept of doing his business outside, but also to train his bladder to hold it for longer periods of time!
What Tools Might Be Needed?
There aren't really any tools NEEDED for house training, other than patience and persistence! Though if you feel comfortable with the idea, and would like to try crate training, it can defiantly help the process along quicker and more effectively.
Make sure the crate is big enough for your puppy to stand up, turn around and lay down in, but not so big he can have an area the pee in, and an area to sleep in. If your puppy is going to grow up to be a big dog, you can buy dividers that you put in the crate to block off any extra room your puppy may be tempted to relieve himself in.
Teach your puppy that the crate is a safe, inviting place to relax and sleep in. You can lock him in the crate when you don't have the time, or aren't available to keep your puppy supervised to prevent accidents from occurring (this includes at night time when you're sleeping). Remember that the amount of time your puppy can stay in the crate and hold it depends on his age.
For more information on Crate Training, check out this wonderful article that will tell you how to properly train for the crate, and avoid problems with it: www.ddfl.org/behavior/crate-train.pdf (this file is read in Adobe Reader).
How To Start Training:
The easiest, and most effect way to House Train is supervise your puppy every second you can, monitor food intake, and take him out every hour or so (depending on age and how far along in the house training process you are) BEFORE he has an accident on the floor!
If you need to, leash your puppy to your belt loop to keep him with you around the house, and set a timer for when he needs to go out for a potty break!
I've found the easiest way to control your puppy's doings, and make it easier for cleaning up the back yard, is to bring your puppy to the same spot in the yard every time and tell him a command to go. I personally use "do your business" but you can use anything you'd like. Persistence is the key in training, so make sure to use the same command and bring your puppy to the same spot every time.
Meals and water should be controlled to help you know when your puppy needs to go. As a general rule, puppies need to go right after they finish a meal, are playing hard, or right after they wake up (so basically this means: ALL OF THE TIME!). Meals should be fed twice a day, with the amount depending on your dog food of choice and the age and breed of your puppy. Remember, if a bag says 2 cups of food and you're feeding twice a day, this doesn't mean two in the morning and two at night! This means one in the morning, and one at night!
No food or water should be given to a puppy after 8:00pm (or depending on what time you retire to bed, I recommend 8:00pm if you go to bed around 10 or 11 pm). Make sure your puppy has gone outside right before you put him in his crate for the night!
In the morning, it is always important that as soon as your puppy comes out of his crate he goes outside FIRST! I've made the mistake of getting up in the morning, letting puppy out and turning on the coffee machine FIRST, turned around to find a puddle on the floor!
It helps if you take your puppy out, and feed him at the same time every single day.
Praise your puppy when he goes in the correct spot!
REMEMBER: If your puppy DOES have an accident on the floor, you can NOT correct or punish him for it if you have NOT caught him in the act! This is extremely important! Puppies have very short attention spans. If you find a mess on the floor even 4 minutes after your puppy made it and then punish him for it, he will have no idea why you are getting mad at him and all you are doing is causing unnecessary stress, confusing and fear in your dog!
If you catch him in the act, THEN it is appropriate to correct and reinforce. When caught give a firm "NO". Pick up the puppy (if you physically can; if not move him from what he is doing), and rush him outside to the designated area. Place him on the ground and tell him "do your business" (or whatever command you have chosen). If it takes you 20 minutes waiting for him to finish outside, it's worth the extra effort. When he does go, PRAISE! Tell him "GOOD PUPPY! GOOD BUSINESS", THEN go inside and clean up the mess! It is important to correct and move puppy outside to the designated area as quickly as possible.
To clean up the mess: I suggest a product that will actually eliminate the smell! Vinegar and water work great for this. Any enzyme based cleaner should do the trick. Even if you can't smell it, your puppy still can and this will encourage him to go in the wrong spot again!
What NOT To Do:
I suggest NOT using the Newspaper Method. Some people put newspaper on the floor for the puppy to mess on, and then gradually move the paper outside to teach the puppy to go outside. No matter how hard I try, I can't seem to figure out how in the world it can benefit to teach your puppy to pee inside before teaching him to pee outside. I don't even think it's more convenient... you're still cleaning up a mess on the floor, the only difference is it isn’t directly on your flooring. I prefer to take my puppy out before he makes a mistake and then there's no need at all to clean up a mess off the floor!
Do NOT spank your puppy when he's had an accident on the floor, ESPECIALLY if you haven't caught him in the act while doing this. In my opinion, hitting a dog, no matter how hard or how many times, is considered abuse and is unnecessary when your voice should do the trick just fine of getting your message across.
Do NOT rub your puppy's nose in a mess. This is cruel, and a complete waste of effort. Most often when people do this it's because they've found the mess after it's been made and the puppy has no idea WHY you're rubbing his nose in this disgusting mess. Stop and think; were YOU potty trained that way?
REMEMBER: The most important rule of House Training is always keep your PATIENCE and PERSISTENCE handy!