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Housebreaking.

Housebreaking is not the ‘best’ part of being a dog owner, but nonetheless important. Puppies under the age of 12 weeks are not yet physically able to control where or when they go. Setting up a consistent routine is key to successful housebreaking. Feed your dog at regularly scheduled times and remove water at night. Take your dog outside after he eats and at several regular intervals through out the day. Stay with your dog outside and give a command such as ‘go’ when he does go, then praise him profusely. Training typically goes quicker when a puppy realizes good things come to him when he goes. Praise, treats, and play once he goes helps reinforce that this is something he wants to do. Observe your dog for signs that he needs to go. This will help you set a more effective routine and help prevent accidents. When you can’t watch your dog keep him confined to a place like a crate or a tiled room. Dogs are less likely to soil an area where they sleep. Don’t overdo the confinement as puppies need attention and human interaction, and keeping him isolated for extended periods of time can cause other problems for the pup. Scolding your dog for accidents is not effective, especially after the fact dogs won’t connect the mess they made to the behavior that caused it. The ‘rubbing their nose in it’ theory is simply counter productive. This is likely to make them scared, but not teach them. Remember puppy logic and human logic doesn’t necessarily match up. It is important to clean up accidents with an odor eliminating cleaner as dogs will be drawn to that area again if any smell remains. If you are being consistent and attentive to your dog, but they aren’t learning check with your vet to ensure that there aren’t any medical reasons for this problem.

 

 


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