Housebreaking Your New Puppy
Bringing a puppy into your home can be one of the most exciting experiences for you and your family. Puppies are cute and cuddly, and can bring lots of joy into your lives. But you should know that it is not all fun and games. Having a pup brings with it a lot of responsibilities. Among the things you need to provide for him are feeding, bathing, exercising, playing and going to the vet. But you not only have to take care of his or her wellbeing, you must also teach your new puppy how to behave in his new environment. This translates into a ton of training lessons. And amongst the most important ones is potty training.
This process, also called housebreaking, can be a stressful one for both the pup and his master. But it really should not be! With a little time, patience and lots of love, you can teach your dog to always use a designated area when he relieves himself. Properly training your pup will save you a lot of stress and won?t put you into an embarrassing situation.
Puppies learn to relieve themselves inside a den very early in their life. Their mother always cleans after them, so they live in a clean environment from the very beginning. When they grow up they?ll try and imitate their mother by using the outdoor areas to poop and pee. This is great because it becomes a habit for them not to eliminate their waste in the area in which they live. It can be considered a form of natural conditioning. Still, this won?t be enough to ensure that your pup will not get messy inside your house. You will still need to train them a bit, even if it?s in their instinct.
The first thing you should learn to do is feed your puppy at fixed intervals. Usually a pup needs to defecate about half an hour after he had a meal. This is a great time to toilet train him. When it?s time to go simply take your puppy to the place you want him to poop and leave him there. The place where the puppy relieves itself must be one where he feels safe and which smells familiar. This is because the scent will act like a trigger, meaning that if you do it for a sufficient number of times it will become a habit and your dog will go to relieve itself in the exact same spot.
However, you should be aware that this practice might still backfire occasionally. In the event of such a thing, you should never physically punish your puppy. Not only is it revolting to do so to such a small, defenseless animal, but it is also a totally useless behavior. Making him smell his little accident is also abusive. There is no evidence that supports abuse and trauma as effective training techniques. As long as you are an affectionate, responsible and dedicated pet owner, the times spent with your puppy will be one of joy!
How To Successfully Get Your Pet Through Crate Training
The crate can be your dog?s den ? they can associate it with home, a place to relax and to feel safe, a place to sleep, to eat and feel good in. A crate is also perfect for your peace of mind ? you will not need to be worried anymore about chewed furniture, books, shoes, table or chair legs, missing pieces of rugs and carpets or even the lack of internet signal due to missing pieces of cable.
Getting your dog used to the crate can be a difficult task, especially if that dog has had previous bad experiences associated with it or if it has been forced by the previous owner to do its needs in it, which will make it difficult for you to teach the dog to keep it clean even at adulthood. All these problems can be resolved, however, with a great deal of patience, goodwill and love or, in some cases, with professional help.
It is best to make the dog aware that the crate is not a litter and it should be kept clean at all times. Teach him or her some housebreaking rules. This is why dogs under 7 to 9 weeks of age are not crated, as they tend to urinate very often and they do not have a good bladder and bowel control.
After the puppy surpasses this primary stage, it can be taught how to use the crate and how to not feel afraid by it ? on the contrary, to enjoy it. The crate should never be used as a punishment, but instead more like a reward.
The first step in crate training is getting your dog accustomed to it. Put it in a place nearby you and place some food rewards inside as a reward, at various moments during the day. Encourage the puppy to discover the treats and praise him when he does. However, do not push the puppy inside the crate ? let him enter and exit at his own will.
You could also try to feed him closer and closer to the crate and, finally, inside the crate. That way he will associate food with this place and he will perceive it as a place to enjoy some personal time and space.
The third step, after getting him to eat the meals inside the crate, is to crate your dog for longer periods of time ? you should however be at its side at all times, so it should not get scared and associate it with you leaving him. Begin with 30 minutes and increase the crating time, varying on the puppy?s age (a puppy 17 weeks or more will accept being crated for 4 to 6 hours maximum a day).
You should also get your dog used to being crated when you leave the house and at night. Do not send him any signals suggesting you may consider crating as a confinement and do not reward him when you return home, nor be emotional when you leave, or else you may endanger the whole purpose of crate training. Make sure to leave him some water if the crate time is longer than 2 hours ? do not use the crate if the weather is very warm or if the dog suffers from separation anxiety, otherwise you may only cause him harm.
Now I know this sounds like a lot of work on your part, but if you want to successfully train your pet to not use your house as a toilet, then you?ve got to put in the effort to gain the reward!