How to House Train your puppy 

We are always asked the best way to housebreak a puppy or dog. We prefer crate training. It seems the fastest and easiest on both owner and puppy/dog.

 
A crate provides an artificial den for your puppy. It is a place he can run to for security and know he will be safe. A crate is a safe place you can keep your puppy safe when you cannot watch him.

Take your puppy outside:

Whenever he wakes up from a nap

Whenever you take him out of his crate

Just before you put him in his crate

Immediately after he eats

Approximately every hour while he is loose in the house under supervision 

Dogs love a routine. It gives them something to look forward to each day and provides an emotional security that something remains constant. Feed, exercise, and train during certain times of the day. Establish a routine will also help train and housebreak him. For example, if you let him outside when you first get up, after you feed or exercise him when you first come home from work or school, and before you go to bed, he will learn that those are the times he can expect to relieve himself. This will make housebreaking much easier.

Reward him for good behavior. It can be verbal, a treat, a toy, or a pet on the head. Always be generous with praise. Don't praise him for mere existence, he must earn his treats and praise. 

House Breaking Steps:

1) Take your puppy for a walk or put him outside when you first wake up, after you feed and water him in the morning and evening, after you exercise him during lunch, mid-afternoon, and before you go to bed. Keep to the schedule.

2) If you work or are gone during the day, do not leave him longer than four to six hours without giving him a chance to relieve himself. An eight-week old puppy does not yet have the bladder control necessary for extended periods of time. If you have to leave a young puppy for a longer period of time, consider having a neighbor or a petsitter take him out for a walk.

3) Always praise him for eliminating outside. You can use a command. Eventually, you will be able to have your puppy eliminate on command.

4) Watch for any sign that he might have to eliminate. Such signs include sniffing and circling. If you see your puppy start to do this or start to eliminate, usher him outside.

5) If your puppy has an accident, show him the spot, tell him "No! Bad dog! and show him where he needs to go. Do not rub the puppy's nose in the excrement or hit him.

6) To clean up the accident, use plain soap and water, followed by white vinegar and water or a good enzymatic-cleaning product. Do not use ammonia-based cleaners because these will not remove the urine smell and dogs will continue to soil the same area again if any smell remains.

7) Be patient with your puppy. Some can be more difficult to housebreak than others, but if you set a schedule and keep to it, you will be successful.

WHAT SIZE OF CRATE SHOULD BE USED?

-The crate should not be larger than necessary because the dog would not see the crate as a den.

-The crate needs to be tall enough that the dog is able to fully stand up.

-There should be enough width that the dog is able to turn around while in the cage.

-Since the dog will probably sleep most of the time while in the crate, it should be long enough for the dog to lie down.

HOW DO I CRATE TRAIN MY DOG?

-Remove all collars from pet and keep leads off of and away from the crate to prevent the dog from hanging himself.

-Putting a couple of his favorite toys in the crate will help to occupy him, so he will not chew on the cage.

-If you have an older dog, you may wish to put a towel or some type of bedding in the crate; a young pup will tend to chew these up.

-Work the dog up to staying in the crate for longer periods of time.

The first few times the dog should be in the crate for only a short time and the family should leave the room. If the dog begins to respond by barking, crying or howling, tell him “no” in a harsh voice. Should the dog not respond to that, than try shaking coins in a can or hitting a newspaper against the door. Let the dog out once he has been quiet for about 10-15 minutes.

Let the puppy out for about half an hour, than repeat step one but extend the time he is left in the crate to half an hour or so of quiet time.

These steps should be repeated until the puppy can stay in the crate the desired period of time. THE DOG SHOULD NEVER BE LEFT IN THE CAGE FOR MORE THAN 6 TO 8 HOURS.

Praise the dog while in the crate. If the dog is awarded when coming out to the crate, the he will associate that as good.

Do not use the crate as a punishment. This will lead the dog to associate the crate as a bad place, and not a den.

WHAT ELSE SHOULD I KNOW ABOUT USING THE CRATE FOR HOUSEBREAKING?

By instincts, a dog will not eliminate in the space he lives; therefore, the crate used while housebreaking should fit the puppy according to the above specifications.

-If the crate is too large for the puppy, use a divider to section off part of the cage.

-If the cage was bought to fit the size of a full grown doggie, than a partition or divider may be put in the cage so that dog does not have the extra space to eliminate in.

-At bedtime, take the puppy out side and give him a chance to exercise.

-Take him to an area he has already voided in, if possible.

-Be sure to give him a lot of praise after he has finished his job.

First thing in the morning, pick up the puppy and take him outside. If you hurry, then he will be more apt to do his business in a rush. Bring him in to let him run in a small area of the home where you will be.

Feed him his food and the let him out: after you see him exercise, bring him in and put him in his crate.

Around noon, let him out to exercise. After you see he has eliminated, bring him inside for an hour or two of confined freedom with you. Take him back outside for a quickie before putting him back in his crate.

Just before dinner time, take the puppy out to exercise and then bring him dinner no later than 6:00 pm; after he has eaten, take him out to exercise.

After dinner, allow him confined freedom with you, taking him out again around 8:00 pm. When you are ready to retire, go through the bedtime routines.

After about two weeks of this routine, the pattern should be set and you may allow the pet more freedom while giving you more freedom as well.
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