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House Train the Pup

How do I house train the pup?

House training the pup is done with a ton of praise and gentleness.  Most useful is to watch and anticipate.  The pup is but a baby and depending on its age will pick up the training slower or quicker.  Go into the house training with the expectation that it may take several months before a young pup will be able to pull all the systems together.  The little one has a lot to do.  Has to figure out that it needs to go to the bathroom.  Has to figure out how to get to the backyard.  And finally has to communicate that to you.  That is a lot of work for a possible 8 or 9 week old pup.

Strategy on house training: 

  • Where: Begin with deciding where you want the pup to eliminate.  And the quickest path there. 
  • Consistency: a consistent focus on the pups developmental stage and your preferences.
  • Confinement: a method that helps build elimination control.
  • Cleaning: a good enzymatic odor neutralizer to clean pet odors, especially urine odor, after accidents.

Highly suggest an elimination "word" that you use constantly in reference to the deed.  Pup will eventually answer your question, do you have to ___?, with a serious tail wag and / or bark in response to your "word".

Next, grab your egg timer and set it for half hour.  Every half hour take the pup outside to see if its time.  Lavish the pup with praise when elimination happens.  By going out everyhalf hour you get an idea of your pups system schedule.  Once you get this down you'll know when to expect the pup to eliminate which makes your life easier. 

As a rule of thumb, a pup can control themselves roughly one hour for each month of age. Up to about 9 months.  At 3.5 to 4 months they may begin to make it 6 hours a night, but usually eliminate more frequently during the day.

Pups usually need to eliminate after eating, walking, or exercising.  Noting how long after each it takes to eliminate will help you predict and schedule. Young pups need to eat often, so be prepared in the beginning for lots of events.    If you schedule the feeding you will soon be able to schedule the elimination time.

Pay close attention to body language and if your pup barks to communicate. 

If you are brand new to pups, they usually walk around a bit before defecating, sometimes they go in circles.  Urinating is usually just done.  If you have a female pup, she will squat her hind end down.  Male will pick up his leg. 

Expect and anticipate the pup to eliminate immediately upon waking from a nap or nights sleep.

Watch closely, learn the body language, observe pups signals, and scheduled feedings will all help you enable your pup to succeed and prevent accidents. 

Once the pup 'gets' the expectation he/she will do whatever it takes to fulfill it.  But you have to be available.  This is serious team work.

Expect an accident here and there.   Never - ever scold the pup for accidents.  Never - ever smash the pups face in it.  And forget about swatting with a newspaper.  All that makes your pup frightened of YOU.  If you remember 1 thing, let it be this.  Dogs live in the here and now.  They forget what happened 10 seconds ago. 

Once you've implemented  your schedule, if you catch the pup getting ready to eliminate in the house , you can say no in a calm voice, grab the pup, run like the wind to let him/her finish outside.  Even if the pup makes a drop outside, praise that it happened outside.  Note the time, and rework your schedule.

The crate is an extremely useful tool in house training.  Since dogs want their den clean they rarely eliminate inside the crate.  YOU however, have to be available to supervise when the dog needs to get out of the crate. Your crate schedule needs to be realistic and sensitive to the pups ability to control itself.

Remember very young pups need to eliminate frequently, so you need to take the pup out of the crate frequently and straight outside.  Doesn't matter if the pup doesn't go, what matters is that when the pup does go, you have set up the PERFECT situation for success.  That's what you want your pup to learn.  Repetition will solidify the lesson, and you will feel so proud. 

Walking aids the elimination process to kick into gear.  If you begin to notice your pup eliminates on the walk and then again upon returning home, try a longer walk.

You thought you were getting a pup, you didn't know you are now a teacher with a lesson plan.  Make your plan on which ever behavior you want your pup to learn and he/she will learn it.

Pet Supplies Needed

  • Pet Crate or Pet Kennel
  • Towels, small rug
  • Newspaper
  • Protective pet crate liner
  • Blanket or pet crate cover
  • Enzymatic odor neutralizer to clean pet odors
  • Pet toys
  • Pet chew toys
  • Pet Pee Pads

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