Housebreaking Your New Puppy

The more time you spend with your new pup or dog, the faster she will learn not to urinate or defecate in the house. A puppy is just a baby and must learn what you expect of her. An older dog may have to learn new habits, depending upon how she was housed and trained before.

How to Raise a Puppy You Can Live With
What Doesn’t Work
You have probably heard someone say, "If the puppy makes a mistake, rub his nose in it," or "Drag him to the site of disaster, point at the puddle or pile, and scold him." Don’t use either of those methods. They don’t work. All you’ll do is frighten the pup and make a mess for yourself to clean up. A dog is so upset when he is being scolded that he can’t even begin to understand exactly what you are angry about.

What Does Work: 6 Easy Steps
1. Watch out for the signs. Be with your puppy as much as possible so that you can learn his different noise and behaviors. You will soon detect that the puppy behaves in a certain way immediately before he begins to relieve himself like when you see your pup start to circle and sniff the floor, he’s almost certainly looking for a place to potty. Watch for this cue and use it to your advantage. You will only have a few seconds to get the puppy out to the place you want him to use. Don’t scold him if you are not fast enough.
2. Pick out your potty area. Pick a spot that you want your puppy to use as his potty area. Place a piece or two of his stool in that spot. This will be a cue to the pup. Take him to that spot immediately after eating. Praise him gently the instant he starts to relieve himself. The praise must be quiet and calm so that you won’t excite him to a point that he forgets what he started to do. When finished, shower him with praises and let him play in another area.
3. Be patient. Don’t play with your pup until he relieves himself. If he does not relieve himself within 10 minutes, put him in his crate and try the whole thing again in about 20 minutes.
4. Keep the potty area clean. Clean up the area everyday, leaving a small piece behind as a reminder for a few days. Once you are sure that the pup understands what the potty area is for, clean up the area completely each day
5. Maintain control. If your puppy is very small, you may have to carry him to the potty spot. Or take him out wearing a collar and leash. Never let the puppy follow you without any type of restraint. Keep a leash and collar by the door.
6. Introduce the puppy to the house in small steps. Confine the pup to a single room at first, preferably one with a tiled floor. Put a baby gate across the entrance when possible. You must be able to observe the puppy when he is out of the crate, so don’t lock him in the bathroom. The best time to allow the puppy freedom in his room is after he has relieved himself outdoors. When you are confident with his behavior, gradually allow him freedom to the rest of the house. Too much too soon may allow him to spot a nook or cranny as a perfect spot to relieve himself. Just take it slow and you will have a reliable puppy.

PuppyPerfect: The user-friendly guide to puppy parenting (Howell Dog Book of Distinction)Housebreaking & Training Your Puppy (Storey Country Wisdom Bulletin, a-242)Puppy Care & Training

© 10/19/2010 Athena Goodlight

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