Saturday, May 30, 2020

Happiness is a Well Trained Puppy

October 5, 2014 by  
Filed under Housebreaking, Training Your Puppy

If you are reading this article you might be thinking about buying a puppy; or already bought on. Congratulations on the new addition to your home! You now have a friend who is always ready to play, never too tired to go for a walk and one of the most loyal companions you will ever have. There are some things you are going to need to know about training your puppy. A puppy is only as well-behaved as his training allows.

During the first few weeks your puppy needs constant supervision to prevent accidents in the house. But it’s easier to teach good habits now than it is to correct bad behavior later in life. Your puppy needs to start understanding what is and isn’t acceptable in your home right away. You are the leader of the pack in the home and your puppy looks to you to work out what is allowed and what isn’t.

It’s important that your puppy starts to understand their boundaries. You will need to decide soon what the limits are – what furniture they may or may not climb on – what areas of the house they are allowed. Decide where your puppy will sleep and what they may or may not chew on.

Getting your puppy housetrained is not difficult and can be quick if you follow some of these tips. Make housetraining a painless and quick procedure by using the crate method.

The Crate method

The crate method is well known because it is one of the most humane ways to train a puppy. Your puppy will need to relieve himself after eating, drinking, running, playing. The frequency will depend on the size of your dog and also on the breed. Be careful – it can happen as soon as 15 minutes after any of these activities. One of the easiest ways to keep your home pee free is to keep a record of when he needs to go. Try to learn the natural schedule and take your puppy outside at the times when you know they are going to need to go. Plan your walks around this schedule. Take the puppy out when you expect they will need to urinate.

When your puppy is 10 weeks old until they are six months they will need to be walked between 5 and 10 times a day. Quite a task if you are not used to including a puppy in your daily schedule. Take turns walking the puppy. One of the most important things about housetraining you pup is that you do not return from your walks until he/she has urinated and done all his business.
If for some reason you need to go inside before he has gone you will need to take your puppy out every 15 minutes. Give lots of praise and affection when your puppy has done what you wanted. You might feel silly praising your puppy for going “wee wee” (or other!) but it is very important to the housetraining process.

Some tips for using the crate:

The crate method works and is one of the most humane ways to train your puppy. It works because dogs are naturally neat and don’t like to eliminate in their sleeping area. If your puppy sleeps in the crate they will not want to mess in it. It’s an instinctive desire to keep their sleeping area clean.

The crate should become a sanctuary for your puppy. A crate is your dogs’ den in the house; their very own ‘safe space’. Your puppy needs to associate the crate with positive feelings. Put your puppy’s favorite blanket, toys and treats inside.

Help your puppy get used to the crate by leaving the door open until the dog seems comfortable. It’s important that your puppy is comfortable in the crate – the more comfortable they are – the less likely they are to soil inside.

Never use the crate as punishment. The crate must be associated with positive feelings. If your puppy does start whining, barking or scratching don’t let them out. Establish a regular schedule. After feeding take you puppy outside until they have done their business.

Put your puppy in the crate at night – but make sure to take him outside before bedtime and first thing in the morning. Let your puppy play for a while after they have done their business. Don’t give your puppy free reign of the house until they are housetrained.

Make a chart of when your puppy needs to go. Take the puppy outside within 15 minutes of eating, or any other time you know they will need to go.

After they have done their business; play with them for a while and then put your puppy in the crate for a nap. Repeat this throughout the day. After your puppy is fully housetrained you can leave the crate open during the day.
Some do’s and don’ts when housetraining:

DO

– If you are going to be away for long periods of time put your puppy in an area of the house where you are prepared for accidents. Put newspaper in this area.

– Limit the food and water supply if you are going to be gone for long periods of time. If it’s hot make sure your puppy has enough to drink (but remember what goes in must come out!).

– Praise your puppy when they are good.

– Be consistent. You don’t want to confuse your puppy.

– Involve the whole family in the training process. Even small children can participate in the housetraining.

– Be realistic, you can’t get mad with a puppy for not being completely housetrained. Accidents happen despite your most careful schedule.

Don’ts

– Don’t ever use the crate as punishment.

– Don’t let your puppy outside of your designated area until they are housetrained.

– Don’t reprimand your puppy for accidents.

If this all sounds like a lot of work – don’t worry. Your puppy should be completely housetrained after about 6 months. Even sooner if you use the crate method. As your puppy gets older it will get easier. A well trained puppy will bring much more happiness into the home then an untrained puppy. Owner and puppy will be more happy and in tune with each other for years to come.

Puppy House-Training – It’s Easier Than You Think

October 5, 2014 by  
Filed under Featured, Housebreaking

House training is something that is vital if you want to have a good experience of being a dog owner. It is a training that should stay with your dog for his whole life so it’s worth getting it right from the start. A lot of people think that this is a difficult task, that it will take months of work, but in reality it is one of the simplest things to achieve. It took me just four days to house train my puppy, to give him a command for going to the toilet that he always responds to, and with the following methods, you can be just as successful. It may take a few weeks, depending on you, your attitude, your living arrangements and many other factors, but with patience and lots of time and effort, you can have a perfectly house-trained dog for life.

This method does not entail using a crate, just regularly keep your dog in one particular area of the house, especially when unsupervised. It’s best if it’s an easily cleaned floor, such as a linoleum in the bathroom, as there will be a few accidents to start with. You cannot allow your puppy to wander around the whole house unsupervised as she will just go to the toilet whenever she feels like it without being trained to do otherwise. Make sure your puppy has a nice comfortable bed in her chosen area and that she is happy to use it. Once she establishes the bed as her own, she is less likely to mess near it. You should also ensure that she is happy in this area – fresh water should always be available, and play with her and pet her there so she feels happy, safe and secure.

The key to this method of house training is observing your puppy’s behaviour, so you must spend lots of time with her. The other important factor is to have a regular routine for feeding. Puppies usually need to go to the toilet after eating, so a routine will help you both. Check also that her food and water and the quantities are suiting her digestive system. You can’t house train a dog who has diarrhoea, so this must be sorted out right at the beginning. Speak to your vet if you can’t resolve this yourself or if there are urinary problems – it could be an infection.

So here’s the procedure, once you have everything in place. Think of a command word that you will use every time you see your puppy about to go to the toilet or when you want to encourage her to do so. When she wakes in the morning, within half an hour after eating and before she goes to sleep, you should take her to her toilet area (this will either be some newspaper on the floor or a convenient area just outside the back door in the garden) and give her the command. The likelihood is that, if you are patient enough, she will go to the toilet and you can praise her for doing so in the right place. When a puppy is young, they have little control and a small capacity for urine and faeces in their system, so you should take her out every two hours so she has the opportunity to go if she wants to.

When you are spending time with your puppy (and you should spend a lot time with her at this point in her life) you must observe her and become familiar with her behaviour when she’s about to go to the toilet – mine looks agitated and walks around with his knees slightly bent just before he goes, sniffing the ground in circles. Once you know this, you can pre-empt your own puppy’s need, and either pick her up or call her quickly to her toilet area. Once your puppy is in the toilet area, give your toilet command in a friendly encouraging tone. If she walks away from the toilet area, lead her gently back there and give the command. If your puppy is really averse to going in that area, look for a reason why – there could be a good reason that needs addressing.

When your dog successfully goes to the toilet in the correct area, praise her and maybe give her a favourite treat. Each and every time she does as you’ve asked, in the toilet area, praise her enthusiastically. This is positive reinforcement and is the most important aspect of this training method. Soon, your puppy will look at you or whine when she wants to go to the toilet. You must be there, ready to respond quickly otherwise she will have an accident. If you are using newspaper in the house, this can be gradually moved outdoors, so that she understands that that is the new toilet area.

DO NOT chastise your dog when she gets it wrong. She will not understand why you’re telling her off and it will only confuse her. You should also be careful to clean up any accidents with a detergent that removes the smell – dogs like to mess again where they have left their scent and you need to discourage this through thorough cleaning practices.

So, to re-cap, spend lots of time with your puppy, learn her pre-toilet behaviour and pre-empt it. Lead her to her toilet area and give the toilet command. Praise her abundantly when she goes on command in the right place. Keep her living area clean, comfortable and fun to be in for both of you. Above all, be patient – house training does take time and your dog has a lot to learn at this stage of her life. She need lots of love, lots of fun and games and lots of encouragement.

Importance of Early Puppy Training

October 5, 2014 by  
Filed under Housebreaking

That sweet little bundle of fur you brought home for the kids is getting bigger now, and needs to learn some manners. At what point does its nibbling on your fingers stop being cute? When do its “accidents” start being on purpose? How do you know when it’s a good time to start training your puppy?

Some experts have recently begun to suggest that the training process starts before the puppy is born. In the past, the prenatal period wasn’t considered in the social development of dogs because the unborn puppies couldn’t be observed. The availability of the ultrasound machine shed new light on what happens in the womb as early as the fourth week of gestation.

Scientist theorize that since puppies’ are responsive to touch at birth, their conditioning to touch begins before they’re born, possibly by nudges from the pregnant mother. Studies show that the offspring of pregnant animals are calmer and easier socialized when the mother is regularly petted.

In roughly the first 14 days of a puppy’s life it may be able to learn some associations, such as recognizing a human caregiver, but it is still so mentally undeveloped that anything he learns isn’t likely to carry over to progressive stages of development.

During the three to 12-week period the puppy begins to pick up on social behaviors. Playful wrestling, curiosity and even mimicking sexual behavior is an important part of teaching the puppy its place in the family. It’s also important that the puppy has plenty of time with its mother and littermates, where the mother will teach it to play well with others. Puppies can learn tricks and basic commands, such as sit and stay as early as eight weeks of age. At this point, it’s only limited by its still-developing coordination, concentration and physical stamina.

Obedience classes are a good place for pet owners to learn how to communicate with their animals. Some trainers offer socialization classes as soon as the puppy is established in its permanent home, but obedience classes typically want the animal to have at least started getting its initial vaccinations first, usually around three to six months of age. The longer training is put off, the more difficult it will be for both dog and handler, especially if the dog has already begun to pick up bad habits. It’s easier to instill good behavior than to try to deprogram bad behavior.

The emotional maturity and stability of the dog is equally important as the age factor in deciding when to start the training process. Often the handler focuses too heavily on making sure the dog understands the commands being issued and doesn’t pay enough attention to the information the dog is sending. This is counterproductive, because an animal that is stress, scared, confused or distracted will not learn efficiently.

Housebreak Your Puppy in Just 3 Easy Steps

October 5, 2014 by  
Filed under Housebreaking

You’ve brought your adorable puppy home and you’re wondering how difficult it’s going to be to housebreak him. If you follow these three easy steps, you should be able to housebreak your puppy in no time at all.

Step 1 — for the first two or three days, take your puppy outside to the same spot every hour and wait for him to relieve himself. Don’t move from that spot and don’t walk him. Let him have the length of his four-to-six foot leash. Praise him profusely as soon as he goes, and give him a few pieces of his puppy food. Make sure to pet, kiss, and hug him too, and reward him with a walk around the block. After his walk, allow him a supervised free run of the house for 20 minutes. Then put him into his housetraining crate for 35 minutes. (You should discard the crate once your puppy is housetrained.)

If you’ve waited outside for more than 20 minutes, and your puppy hasn’t relieved himself, bring him home and put him into his crate for 20 minutes (just to assure that he doesn’t relieve himself in your house), then take him outside again. Repeat this process until he relieves himself outside.

Make sure to take him out just before you go to bed. You’ll also want to take him out once or twice during the night without taking him for a walk or letting him run around the house. You may lose some sleep now, but it will save you many sleepless nights in the future.

Step 2 — during the next week, take your puppy out once every 90 minutes during the day and as needed in the middle of the night. He’ll let you know when he needs to go. During the day, if he relieves himself outside, give him 30 minutes of supervised free run and play time. If he doesn’t relieve himself, again put him back into his crate for 35 minutes. Always supervise his indoor activities, and don’t give him an opportunity to fail.

Gradually add time to his supervised free run and crate time until he’s successfully holding it for three hours during free run time, and four daytime hours in the crate. Don’t forget to take your puppy outside immediately after he leaves his crate to avoid accidents inside your house.

Step 3 — within about 10 days, your puppy should have a good understanding of what’s expected of him. But you shouldn’t stop your training efforts. If you catch your puppy sniffing around the house and squatting, shout “outside!” and take him outside immediately. Praise him outside as he finishes up. It is vital that you continue to watch him closely during his indoor free run time, so that you can catch him in the act if he has a bit more to eliminate.

It will take a little bit of work at the beginning to housebreak your puppy, but you’ll find it’s worth it in the long run.

Housebreaking Your Puppy

October 3, 2014 by  
Filed under Housebreaking

Easily the most important and first thing you will do is potty training. Your dog knows no difference between the inside of your house and the backyard. As far as they are concerned there are very few places that are not acceptable place to pee or poop. You probably have very different ideas. It should be relatively easy for you to train your dog to go outside if you are willing to follow the steps given here.

As you begin this process you may have to cut those close and cuddly ties you have already established with your puppy. To housebreak a puppy you will need to keep him confined to a small area, not your lap, in the home. While this may seem like punishment remember that dogs were once den dwelling animals. They like their crate or doghouse it makes them feel secure. They also want your praise, so by training them you will be able to give them the praise that they desperately want.

 

Puppy Housebreaking Step By Step

  • Get a crate or kennel for your puppy. When you are not actively engaged in playing with or walking your puppy he should be in a crate. This includes overnight and while you are not home. The puppy should not expect, nor should he be given free run of your home. This will give him an early sense of dominance and make it harder to train him. In addition, most dogs will not eliminate in their kennels, so you reduce the risk of an in home accident. The crate should be large enough for your dog to sit up, stand, and turn around. Too large of a crate is not going to make your dog feel secure and too small will be uncomfortable. Since your dog will likely get larger you may have to invest in successively larger kennels. Maintain them well and you should be able to sell them online or at a yard sale. Your local dog shelter would probably love a donation of an old kennel if you are so inclined.
  • Plan to have someone with your puppy most of the time. You should not get a puppy the day before you leave on a two week vacation. The best time to get a puppy is Friday after work so you have at least two full days to spend solely on housebreaking. Most of your time should be spent around the house with your new dog making him feel comfortable and getting him on a puppy schedule.
  • Purchase training supplies. You will need treats, and lots of them for housebreaking and other behavioral training. Buy a large supply and a wide variety of treats. There are all sorts of different kinds available, make sure to get ones that your little puppy can handle chewing up. You might even cut up the treats into small, bite sized pieces. There are treat bags that you can purchase that will clip to your belt or pocket, but a sandwich bag that is sealed works just as well. You probably do not want to just keep them in your pocket because the dog will smell them and will not leave you alone.
  • When it comes to potty training you will also want a stopwatch or timer, if there is one on your oven or cell phone that will also work fine. Some people, especially apartment dwellers with small dogs use pee pee pads. It seems a little gross, but can be a necessity if you live in an apartment where going downstairs constantly can be a hassle. There are some good grass beds available that are an alternative to pee pee pads. They are much more appealing to look at and to smell. This is also a good choice if your puppy will use your balcony to relieve himself. Neither of these are good options if your puppy will eventually be a medium to large sized dog. Big dogs equal big puddles and big poops, the pads and grass beds are not large enough to handle it.
  • Come up with a schedule. The rule of thumb is that a puppy can hold it for one hour for every month of age plus one hour. If your dog is two months old he should be able to hold it for three hours. However, this does not mean you should wait three hours before taking him out. Instead you should start feeding and watering the dog at the same time every day. Some people choose to feed dogs twice a day, some once. Your dog will let you know which it prefers. Each time you feed the dog he should be given a set amount of time, maybe fifteen to thirty minutes to eat and then the food should be taken away.
  • After the dog has eaten he should immediately be taken out to go potty. YOU choose the area of your lawn that you want him to use as a toilet and take him to that area. Walk the dog around the area and use a cue phrase that suits you like “Go Potty” or “Do Your Business.” These cues will get engrained in your dog and he will react to them throughout his life. Make sure that everyone in the household who will take the dog out uses the same cue phrase.
  • Continue using your cue phrase while the puppy goes potty, until he is completely finished. Once he is done praise him and give him affection and a small treat. If he does not go potty within five minutes take him back inside and put him in his kennel. Wait fifteen to twenty minutes and try it again.
  • Throughout the day you will need to repeat this process once every hour, even when your puppy has not eaten. Each time your puppy has s successful potty venture praise him and allow him to have some supervised play time.
  • At bedtime your puppy should be locked in his kennel. While he is still young you might want to move the kennel into your bedroom at night, to make both the puppy and yourself feel more secure. Do not feed or give and water to your puppy near bedtime and try to get him to go potty before you turn in. However, when he is small you may want to set an alarm to go off at least once during the night so that you may take your puppy out to the potty area.

With few exceptions this plan should work to have your puppy trained within a few days. If you still have problems you may need to adjust your schedule so that it better suits his needs. Remember that even the best trained dogs have accidents while they are young, so be patient. Keep a good supply of floor and carpet cleaner on hand to deal with any messes the puppy might make in those first few years. Also, never demean or punish your puppy for accidents. They are just that, accidents. He is not purposely disobeying you. All he wants is your love and approval, the more of that you are able to give to him the more he will behave in a positive manner.