Sunday, June 10, 2007

Puppy Care - Part 6 - House Training...


Here, as in all training, consistency and positive reinforcement are of paramount importance in the speed of your success. Do not expect too much too fast. Remember that it takes most dogs 100-200 repetitions to learn a new behavior. The routine is fairly simple. Dogs love consistency, structure and routine. Carry the pup outside as soon as he awakens, after meals and every hour while awake. Soon you will learn the "signals" when he wants to go. Put him down outside (teacup toys can be taught to eliminate in a litter pan) and when he squats to urinate use a word such as "tinkle" or "go" followed by immediate praise when he goes. Do the same for his bowel movement and before you know it you will have a dog that goes on command? It is most important that you do not just put him outside but are there to praise. It is a good idea not to play with the pup in the yard at first, so that he learns its primary function. When you cannot keep an eye on the puppy, put him in his crate. Indoors, there is no value in scolding a pup for an accident after the fact. After a couple of weeks, if you catch him in the act, grab him up quickly, say no sternly and take him outside. If you are quick enough, you may stop him in midstream and he will continue outside and get his praise. DO NOT SPANK OR RUB HIS NOSE IN THE ACCIDENT. The most a pup will learn from this is to not go where you can see him. This is not only useless and disgusting but also harmful. For accidents, clean up the mess out of the pup's view. First, soak up the accident with an old towel or rag, then soak the area with Nature's Miracle or a similar product and soak that up in like manner. ALLOW THE PUP IN ONLY A SMALL SPACE IN YOUR HOME UNTIL HE CAN BE TRUSTED. ONCE GIVEN FREEDOM IT IS VERY DIFFICULT TO RESTRICT SPACE.


6 am: Carry him out to relieve himself, give lavish praise. Allow him to
eat in the kitchen. Out again. In to play and snuggle. Falls asleep. Put in

9 am: Pup wakes up, open crate and carry him outside. Praise and bring into
kitchen and play with owner and toys. In crate again.

Noon: Same

3 pm: Same, but practice grooming

6 pm: Same, except feed, out and play.

9 or 10pm: Out, play and tuck in for night

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