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House Training a New Puppy

August 07, 2008  |  Difficulty: Easy

Remember, puppies are like babies and they need to be taught with love!

New pet owners must do their research and be prepared with how and where in the house they are planning to accomplish house-training a new puppy. Myths abound, like rubbing your puppy’s nose in his accident or smacking his behind to teach him not to go in the house. Negative reinforcement will only teach him to be afraid of you so use it sparingly and never physically punish your puppy. If you don’t think you’ll have the tolerance for accidents and disruption in your daily lifestyle for this short time, then consider adopting a slightly older dog that has been already house trained.

Here are some do’s and don’ts for successful puppy training:

DO:
  • Use crate-training. Keep puppy in his crate when you’re not home (and not for long periods of time!). Puppies are less likely to have accidents in their “space”.
  • Use dry puppy food which has less water content.
  • Keep puppy confined to a room or rooms with cleanable flooring in case of accidents.
  • Stick to a schedule of feeding and immediately walking outside to do his “business”.
  • Give lots of praise (try the clicker!) when he “goes” outside.
  • Clean up messes immediately and use odor eliminator so he never associates indoors with going to the bathroom.
DON’T’:
  • Play with puppy while he is trying to do his “business”. Let him finish, then praise and play!
  • Go hours without bringing him outside. Rather, take him out every hour as tiny puppies have tiny bladders.
  • Hit your puppy or rub his nose in it if he has an accident. Instead, carry him immediately outside so he associates outside with having to go to the bathroom.
  • Ignore whimpering during urination, or diarrhea or frequent messes despite your best proper effort to train. Take him to the vet immediately as has he could have an infection or parasites.

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