Housebreaking Your Dog
If you've recently added a new
four-legged family member to your pphome, you will need to understand
housebreaking. Housebreaking your puppy or dog teaches them the proper
place to relieve themselves, which is of vital importance to any canine
Potty training your puppy or
dog begins as soon as they arrive home. Take them directly to the spot
where you want them to “go.” Do not be discouraged if they don't
understand what you want them to do at first. They'll learn!
Puppies are physically unable
to control their bladder function until at least three months of age.
Because of this, you will need to be extra vigilant in taking your
puppy to the designated potty area. You will need to take your puppy at
least six times a day in the beginning. Good times to do this are first
thing in the morning and last thing at night, after naps, meals, and
playtime. If you notice your puppy sniffing the ground or going in
circles, it is a good indication that they need to go.
An excellent method of
housebreaking is crate training. Crate training utilizes placing your
puppy or dog in a confined area for specified amounts of time. A dog is
unlikely to defecate or urinate in the area where he sleeps, and will
usually hold it if possible when in the crate. Upon removing your dog
from the crate, take them directly to the bathroom area so they can
relieve themselves. Be sure to lavishly praise your dog for
successfully going in the right place. Although your dog may whimper
and whine when first placed in the crate, he or she will become
accustomed to it and even enjoy spending time there. The crate should
be large enough for the dog to comfortably turn, but not so spacious
that the dog is comfortable using the bathroom in the crate.
When housebreaking a puppy or
dog, be prepared for accidents. It's best if you catch your dog in the
act. Give a stern “No!” then immediately take the dog to the proper
area. There are special puppy training sprays that can be utilized to
encourage a puppy to go in a certain area. If your dog does have an
accident in your home, remove all evidence and scent with a good
cleaning. There are special products on the market today designed to
remove all traces of pet urine and waste from your carpets and
upholstery. It's important to remove the scent because if the dog
recognizes the area as a place he has used as a potty area before, he
may be tempted to use it again.
The most important thing in
housebreaking is consistency. Housebreaking can be a tedious process,
but remember, it won't last forever. By staying consistent in your
training methods and daily routine, your dog will learn how to go to
the bathroom where, and even when, you want him to.
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