Tips for House training Puppies
with most things in life, there are hard ways and there are easy ways to get things done. Make this fun, challenge yourself
or perhaps one of your older children to see just how many basic obedience and tricks that they can teach the new puppy/dog
to do. House training and obedience doesn't have to be an awful experience for the puppy or you - keep it light and make it
fun so everyone enjoys it! Rubbing a puppy's nose in a mess is an inappropriate way to house train. Keep in mind
-- ample amounts of supervision and positive reinforcement is the easy way.
Starting Off On the Right Track
The first course
of action in house training is to promote the desired behavior. You need to:
· Designate an appropriate elimination area
· Frequently guide your dog there to do his business
· Heartily praise him when he goes
giving a food reward immediately after your dog finishes, you can encourage him to eliminate in the desired area. The odor
left from previous visits to that area will quickly mark it as the place for the pup to do his business.
Timing Is Important!
six- to eight-week old puppy should be taken outdoors every one to three hours. Older puppies can generally wait longer between
outings. Most puppies should be taken out:
· After waking in the morning
· After naps
· After meals
playing or training
· After being left alone
· Immediately before being put to bed
Eliminating On Command
avoid spending a lot of time waiting for your puppy to get the job done, you may want to teach him to eliminate on command.
Each time he is in the act of eliminating, simply repeat a unique command, such as "hurry up" or "potty", in an upbeat tone
of voice. After a few weeks of training, you will notice that when you say the command your puppy will begin pre-elimination
sniffing, circling, and then eliminate shortly after you give the command. Be sure to praise him for his accomplishments.
Most puppies will eliminate within an hour after eating. Once you take control of your puppy's feeding schedule,
you will have some control over when he needs to eliminate.
· Schedule your puppy's dinner times so that you will be available
to let him out after eating.
· Avoid giving your puppy a large meal just prior to confining him or he may have to eliminate
when you are not around to take him out. Schedule feeding two to three times daily on a consistent schedule.
· Have food
available for only 30 to 40 minutes, then remove it.
· The last feeding of the day should be completed several hours before
he is confined for the night. By controlling the feeding schedule, exercise sessions, confinement periods, and trips outdoors
to the elimination area, your puppy will quickly develop a reliable schedule for eliminating.
Expect Some Mistakes
on his own, the untrained puppy is very likely to make a mistake. Close supervision is a very important part of training.
Do not consider your puppy housetrained until he has gone at least four consecutive weeks without eliminating in the house.
For older dogs, this period should be even longer. Until then:
· Your puppy should constantly be within eyesight
Baby gates can be helpful to control movement throughout the house and to aid supervision
· Keep them in the crate when
When you are away from home, sleeping, or if you are just too busy to closely monitor your pet's activities,
confine him to a small, safe area in the home.
If your puppy squats and urinates when he greets you,
he may have a problem called submissive urination. Dogs and puppies that urinate during greetings are very sensitive and should
never be scolded when they do this, since punishment inevitably makes the problem worse.
Most young puppies will grow out
of this behavior if you are calm, quiet, and avoid reaching toward the head during greetings. Another helpful approach is
to calmly ask your dog to sit for a very tasty treat each time someone greets him.
Direct Him Away from Problem Areas
and fecal odor should be thoroughly removed to keep your dog from returning to areas of the home where he made a mess.
Be sure to use a good commercial product manufactured specifically to clean up doggy odors. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations
· If a carpeted area has been soaked with urine, be sure to saturate it with the clean up product and not merely
spray the surface.
· Rooms in the home where your dog has had frequent mistakes should be closed off for several months.
He should only be allowed to enter when accompanied by a family member.
Don't Make Things Worse
It is a rare dog or
puppy that can be housetrained without making an occasional mess, so you need to be ready to handle the inevitable problems.
· Do not rely on harsh punishment to correct mistakes. This approach usually does not work, and may actually delay training.
· An appropriate correction consists of simply providing a moderate, startling distraction. You should only do this when
you see your dog in the act of eliminating in the wrong place.
· A sharp noise, such as a loud "No" or a quick stomp on
the floor, is all that is usually needed to stop the behavior. Just do not be too loud or your pet may learn to avoid eliminating
in front of you, even outdoors.
Do not continue to scold or correct your dog after he has stopped
soiling. When he stops, quickly take him outdoors so that he will finish in the appropriate area and be praised.
rub your dog's nose in a mess. There is absolutely no way this will help training, and may actually make him afraid of you.
The basic principles of house training are pretty simple, but a fair amount of patience is required. The
most challenging part is always keeping an eye on your active dog or puppy. If you maintain control, take your dog outdoors
frequently, and consistently praise the desirable behavior, soon you should have a house trained canine companion.
Jingle Bell Method
The Jingle Bell method is by far my favorite method of house training.
Try this method along with crate training for a sure fire way to get it done and get it done quickly. It is also
adorable when your dog "jingles the bell" to go out and use the bathroom. Your company will get a great kick out
of it and it sure is nice to not have your dog spinning in circles and barking to get your attention!
Step One: Visit your local craft store and purchase
a Large jingle bell. The larger the better. 1.5-2" is perfect.
Step Two: Hang the bell from the door that you always use
to take your puppy outside to the bathroom. Always use this door. Hang the bell at the correct height so that
your dog can easily ring the bell with it's nose or it's front paws. (You can use some matching ribbon or cord to make
sure that it blends well with the decor of your room.)
Step Three: Every time you take your puppy out to the
bathroom, jungle the bell. Make certain that your puppy sees you do so.
Step Four: Allow your puppy to explore the room in which
the bell is located. You will find that your puppy will be curious about what this bell is and the noise it makes.
Step Five: Every time and I mean EVERYTIME you puppy
rings the bell take him or her outside to the bathroom. This may drive you crazy for a little while but you will be
shocked at how quickly they learn - ring the bell & they take me outside. Puppies understand that you want them
to use the bathroom outside very easily but they lack the ability to communicate to you when they need to go. This
is simple for them to comprehend and you will no longer be expected to be physic and understand that the one "look"
they gave you while you were involved with making dinner or watching t.v. meant that they needed to go outside right
that second or explode!
Using the Jingle Bell Method along with crate training is the sure fire way
to house train any and all dogs - young or old. Yes old dogs can learn new tricks!
Training a puppy to be comfortable in a crate is a popular way to provide safe confinement during house
training. The majority of puppies will rapidly accept crate confinement when you make the introduction fun. Since it is important
to associate favorable things with the area where your puppy is confined, it is a good idea to play with him there, or simply
spend some time reading or watching television nearby as he relaxes with a favorite chew toy. If he is only in the area when
you leave, it becomes a social isolation area that he eventually may resist entering.
A good time to start crate training
is at dinner time. Feed your puppy his dinner, one piece at a time, by tossing pieces of kibble into the crate for him to
chase and eat. This way, you can make a game out of training.
When you pick up his toys, store them in the crate so he
will enter on his own to play. You may even want to occasionally hide a biscuit in the crate as a nice surprise.
not use the crate for periods that exceed the length of time the pet can actually control the urge to urinate or defecate.
If you are gone for long periods each day, you will need to provide a larger confinement area. You may want to consider using
an exercise pen or small room.
Provide an area large enough so that if your puppy has to eliminate when you are gone,
he can do it in a space that is separate from his sleeping area. A 15- to 30-square foot area is adequate for most puppies.
If he chooses a specific place to eliminate, cover it with paper to make clean up easier. I use children's play pens.
You can pick one up from a local resale shop or perhaps you already have one stored away in the basement from when the kids
were younger. This provides the perfect safe area for your new puppy while you are away.
Puppies: Basic Obedience
A puppy can learn a great deal,
even as early as 7 weeks of age, if learning is fun and presented in the form of gentle play. Motivational methods work best
for the tender young puppy soul. Reward desired behaviors by offering toys, food and praise so the puppy wants to obey. Whenever
possible, try to arrange the situation so he can't make a mistake. Never use physical punishment on a young puppy as you may
damage him both mentally and physically.
Most puppies, like young children, enjoy learning, but have short attention spans.
The following exercises can be done several times a day. They take just a few minutes, but will make a tremendous difference
in your puppy's attitude. To establish a positive rapport with your puppy and prevent many future problems, start training
a few days after your puppy settles in.
We can only offer very brief explanations here, and trainers have many variations
on these concepts. If you run into problems, consult a professional trainer. A puppy can start more formal obedience training
at about four to six months of age.
Sit: Move a toy or piece of food (the motivator) from a position in
front of the puppy to a point up over his head and say "Sit". The pup will probably raise his head to follow the motivator
and in the process, lower his rear end to the floor. You may gently help the pup at first by tucking his bottom under with
your free hand. When he sits, praise the pup exuberantly and give him the toy or treat as a reward.
Show the puppy a tantalizing piece of food or a toy to get his attention. Say "Down" and slowly lower the toy to the floor.
If needed, help him down with very slight pressure on his shoulders. (Don't put pressure on his back, or you can hurt him.)
Give him the toy when he lies down, even if just for a second. Reward profusely. Later you can extend the length of time he
must stay down before you give him the toy.
Stand: Starting with the puppy in the Down position, say "Stand"
and raise a treat or toy forward and upward in front of the puppy. Gently help position him with your other hand if needed.
Have him hold the stand position for a second or two, then release, reward and praise him exuberantly.
Have the puppy sit. Say "Wait" and back away from the puppy, one or two steps. Praise the puppy for staying. After just a
second or two, reward, praise, and release. Always reward the puppy when he's still waiting, not after he gets up, so he associates
the reward with waiting and not the release. If the puppy gets up too soon, simply repeat the exercise. Gradually increase
the time he waits.
Strut (Heel): Get your puppy's attention with a delectable treat at about his head
level on your left-hand side. Say "Strut" or "Heel" or "Let's go" (choose one and be consistent) and walk briskly forward.
Let the puppy munch a bit as you walk. Go only a few steps at first, then extend the range. Release the pup and praise him.
As the puppy progresses, lift the food a little higher, but do not reward the pup for jumping.
Come: This game takes two
people, and is a great way to get your puppy excited about coming to you. Person 1 holds the puppy back while Person 2 tantalizes
him by waving a treat or toy in his face, just out of reach. Then Person 2 runs away, calling "Rover, Come!" in an excited
tone of voice. Person 1 releases the pup, who comes running wildly after Person 2! Person 2 rewards the dog with lots of praise
and gives Rover the toy or treat she was waving. When teaching a young pup to come to you, call him several times throughout
the day around the house and yard, even if you don't want him to come for any particular reason. Each time he comes, praise
and reward him. (You can keep some of his regular dry dog kibble in your pocket and give him one whenever he comes if you
don't want to overload him with fancy fattening treats.) The puppy will think coming to you is terrific!
If you don't have
an assistant handy, try this game. Have the puppy on a loose long line or flexi-lead. Show him a treat or toy. Call his name
and then say "Come!" in an energized tone of voice. If he comes to you, reward with a toy or a bit of food and excited praise.
If he doesn't come right away, tug gently on the leash and move backwards, away from the puppy. If you run towards him, he
may think you are playing a chase game and run away from you!
As your puppy gets a little older and more independent, the
long line or flexi-lead will guarantee that he will always come when you call. This is especially useful outside or at parks
where he may find many new and interesting distractions. Always reward him for coming. Never scold or punish the dog when
he comes to you. (If you must punish the dog for some bad behavior, just go get him.) Don't use the "Come" command outdoors
unless your puppy is on a leash, so you can be sure he will obey. Soon he will realize that he must come every time you call
and that coming is fun!
Conclusion: Training your puppy is enjoyable and worthwhile. Everyone has different
ideas and different styles of accomplishing the same things. Like the Jingle Bell Method for housebreaking -- there
are all kinds of creative and fun ways you can teach your puppy or dog to do the basic thru advanced skills necessary to become
a valued member of your family. If you don't put effort into training you will end up frustrated and angry and no one
including your puppy is going to be happy. Make training fun and see just how many new and exciting things you can actually
teach your dog to do. I'm sure you will find it fun and rewarding-the bond you will develop with your puppy and
the sense of pride you will have will last a life time. An untrained dog can be a pest, a problem and a even a danger. A well-trained
dog is a good friend and an asset to his family and community. Sit, Stay and Come are the MOST IMPORTANT COMMANDS and all
dogs need to know these. These commands could very well save your dogs life. The most horrible thing that
could happen is you not teaching your dog these BASIC commands and have your dog on the other side of a busy street trying
to get back to you. The dog not knowing the commands could very easily die just trying to return to your side.
A simple "sit - stay" command would have solved that.
Having problems with house breaking or training? We would be happy to help!
Feel free to email us for any help that we can offer. Please be as detailed as you can. Make sure to include the
breed and age of your puppy or dog. We are looking forward to helping you accomplish your house breaking and training
goals with all of your beloved pets.