Dogs are instinctively clean animals. If at all possible they will avoid soiling the areas where they sleep and eat. Dogs are very much creatures of habit, and they tend to pick certain areas to do their "business", and these areas become habitual voiding areas. A good example of this: dogs that eliminate on grass or dirt will always prefer grass or dirt. They will not cooperate when concrete or gravel is involved. You can use this fact when training your dog.
I recommend the owner establish a living area for the dog as soon as you bring the dog into your home. While the dog is getting to know its new environment, it is smart to give the new family member a small space of its own. Dogs are pack animals by nature, and enjoy having the comfort of a den. I recommend this area be a small area, such as a kitchen or hallway, and an area that you can gate, when need be. (I do not recommend that crate-training or bathrooms be used as the small area.) I look at a crate for what it is; a cage.
Set up a good territory for your dog and a comfortable bed (that eventually can be moved to what ever room in the house you prefer your pet to sleep), and toys to play with. All meals should be offered in the dog’s special space. It is very important that you spend time with the dog in its space. So make time to play with the dog in its own territory. This area is meant to be only a transitional space. The dogs’ rights are being respected, yet at the same time the dog is getting to know a new way of life, a life that will soon include the run of a house, and a human family.
The next step is to establish an area outdoors that you wish to be your dog's toilet area. Remember, dogs will develop a habit very easily, so make sure you put some thought into the choice.
When house training a dog, you must take the dogs age into consideration. Most good breeders won’t let their pups go to their new home until they are three to four months old, and are well ready to be house trained. My method of house training is tried and true. It is actually very simple, but tedious.
When bringing your new dog home, before entering the house, take the pup to the area you have designated to be his special voiding area. Let the dog play a bit in this area. With luck, the pup will work up a void. This is the best scenario. Start right off by telling your new puppy, "that’s a good dog.” Dogs love to be verbally rewarded. You have begun to train your dog.
It’s time to bring the puppy into its new home. Introduce the dog to its special space. The first day will be hectic. Keep a close eye on the pup. If you see any tell-tale signs of "I am going to go," rush that dog outside to its voiding area.
It is smart to set up a feeding schedule. It makes it a bit easier to approximate when your dog will have a bowel movement. If possible, follow the breeder’s schedule for your dog, keeping the dog on the same food it is used to eating. You will notice the dog will be fairly regular with bowel movements after eating. By rule of thumb most dogs will want to void shortly after eating. Most dogs are like alarm clocks.
Rule of thumb: take the dog out to void every two hours. (Waking hours that is). At this point I am sure you are probably saying to yourself, most dogs don’t go that often! And you are right, they don’t. This method of training may be a real inconvenience for a few days, but the rewards of a well trained happy dog are well worth the added trips you will be taking outside.
As I mentioned, the dog will not void each time, but he will be learning quickly that this is "the place to go".
When the dog voids, make a big old fuss. Reward with petting, verbal reward, and yes, some of the time a “goodie.” Don’t always offer a food treat; the dog should learn that treats do not always come after a void.
If accidents occur, take the dog outside with only a low tone verbal scold. Don’t carry on terribly. Never swat or hit a dog to show displeasure. Most of the time when a dog voids in the house, it is due to human error. The human was not around or not paying attention to the dog’s voiding signals. Dogs are clean animals, with a good amount of dignity. This dignity can be belittled out of a dog. So have patience when training your dog. The rewards will be great.
Nighttime Training. I suggest putting down papers as far from the bed and food areas as possible. You might be surprised with the fact that after a very few days your dog will not void at night, but wait until morning to get out to their voiding area. You see, they learn quickly that they can trust and depend on you to get them to their voiding area, and much prefer waiting then voiding in their indoor space.
This method of house training as I stated can be hectic for a few days. But I have had great success training my own dogs with this method. By following these few and simple directions, I am sure you will find it not only easy, but a speedy method to house training your new dog. As a rule, in a week’s time, the dog is ready to be integrated into the home.
In regards to leaving your dog alone in the house, I recommend that they be gated in their special area until you are well sure they won’t mess in the house.
Most healthy dogs can hold urine for up to 6 hours. Puppies can hold for up to 3 hours.
Until your dog is old enough and has developed a strong habit of eliminating in one area, it is very important that you accompany your dog outside every time they void. As the dog becomes older and more obedient, you will be able to let it out on its own to void. The dog should be trained to come in when called. Note: I recommend no dog be let free to roam outdoors without a fenced yard. Even the smartest dog can bolt when the right stimulus runs in its path. Remember, dogs have great hunting instincts.
Take Note: If you have a dog that has previously been house trained, and all of a sudden is having accidents, you should not try to retrain with this method. I suggest the dog be seen by a veterinarian. Your pet could be showing signs of illness, possibly infection, which needs medical attention, not re-training.
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Article Added on Wednesday, August 2, 2006
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