Housebreaking Your Dog
If you've recently added a new four-legged family member to your pphome, you will need to understand housebreaking. Housebreaking your puppy or dog teaches them the proper place to relieve themselves, which is of vital importance to any canine owner.
Potty training your puppy or dog begins as soon as they arrive home. Take them directly to the spot where you want them to “go.” Do not be discouraged if they don't understand what you want them to do at first. They'll learn!
Puppies are physically unable to control their bladder function until at least three months of age. Because of this, you will need to be extra vigilant in taking your puppy to the designated potty area. You will need to take your puppy at least six times a day in the beginning. Good times to do this are first thing in the morning and last thing at night, after naps, meals, and playtime. If you notice your puppy sniffing the ground or going in circles, it is a good indication that they need to go.
An excellent method of housebreaking is crate training. Crate training utilizes placing your puppy or dog in a confined area for specified amounts of time. A dog is unlikely to defecate or urinate in the area where he sleeps, and will usually hold it if possible when in the crate. Upon removing your dog from the crate, take them directly to the bathroom area so they can relieve themselves. Be sure to lavishly praise your dog for successfully going in the right place. Although your dog may whimper and whine when first placed in the crate, he or she will become accustomed to it and even enjoy spending time there. The crate should be large enough for the dog to comfortably turn, but not so spacious that the dog is comfortable using the bathroom in the crate.
When housebreaking a puppy or dog, be prepared for accidents. It's best if you catch your dog in the act. Give a stern “No!” then immediately take the dog to the proper area. There are special puppy training sprays that can be utilized to encourage a puppy to go in a certain area. If your dog does have an accident in your home, remove all evidence and scent with a good cleaning. There are special products on the market today designed to remove all traces of pet urine and waste from your carpets and upholstery. It's important to remove the scent because if the dog recognizes the area as a place he has used as a potty area before, he may be tempted to use it again.
The most important thing in housebreaking is consistency. Housebreaking can be a tedious process, but remember, it won't last forever. By staying consistent in your training methods and daily routine, your dog will learn how to go to the bathroom where, and even when, you want him to.
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