BY: Drenda King
Housebreaking is both the worst and perhaps the most important step in training a pup. Since this should begin the first day in your pups "new home", housebreaking sets the harmony in the pup/owner relationship. Take heart this stage only lasts about a week.
Let's name our pup now. Don't try to change the name later. They learn their name VERY quickly. A good example of this is "Snow". Snow as you might guess is solid white with very few tan "ticks". Krissy our 9-year-old granddaughter named her. That night Alfred said, "Snow is not a good name since it sounds like "NO", a key word in training any pup." We tried to change it but by the time we all agreed on a new name it was too late. Snow knew she was Snow. And by the way she knows the difference between Snow and No. Your tone of voice lets her know. I never knew a dog could distinguish between like sounds so well!
Everyone in the household should be involved in this project. Read this to all in a group setting and discuss it.
(1) 3 FEEDING DISHES
(2) DOORMAT SIZE CARPET SQUARE
(3) DECIDE WHICH DOOR YOU WILL USE AND WHERE YOU WANT HER TO LEARN TO POTTY. It is difficult to change Snow's routine but not impossible. Try not to change things in the first few weeks.
(4) SHIPPING KENNEL-ONE SIZE LARGER THAN THE ONE SHE CAME IN. IT "FITS" NOW. This is to be her own little secure place. Switch Snow to this clean new Kennel her first day. Don't change it again until you notice it isn't roomy enough, app. 6 weeks. She will think of this as her own little get-away place. Snow opens the door, goes in and closes the door, taking her teddy bear with her.
(5) SNOW NEEDS TOYS.
(6) TASTY BAGS OF TREATS
(7) A COLLAR THAT FITS NOW & THE NEXT SIZE UP
(8) SPRAY, LYSOL OR DOG AWAY TYPE DISINFECTANT
(9) DON'T LET HER ON THE FURNITURE TO START WITH.
Now to the point of this article. The dreaded house breaking!! Which you will see is not so dreadful if done consistently.
She will seldom poop at any other time than after feeding, BUT she will do the other. Watch for circling, that's always a good hint. NO! SNOW! (Distraction) Talk to her and take her outside, even if she has already voided. Of course in this case don't wait a long time outside for her to do it again, you're just reminding her of where this should be done. On returning to the house there is no treat for this trip unless she did a job. Take her back to the incriminating spot, clean it and spray the spot, she'll smell at it, say a gentle but firm NO and let her go on her way. If you find a spot and don't know when it happened, clean it, spray it, grumble if you must, and go on YOUR way.
Keep the bowls empty, but on her feeding mat. She'll quickly conform to your feeding schedule. Feed her pre-soaked food and only in the amount she will eat at one time. This can and will sour and is very bad on her digestive system. Feed this 'full meal' first thing in the morning and at early evening for the first week or so. Water when you feel a need for a drink. After the housebreaking is done you may leave the water and dry feed down for them, its good for their teeth and satisfies their craving.
In the main kennel we keep dry feed in front of all the dogs at all times and feed soaked feed in the morning and late afternoon to the pups.
Just remember to watch her. Oh no, the phone rang at the exact time she need out! Just pick her up. At least you know where she is. Now head for the door.
Soon you can lead her to the door. Let her follow you. Talk to her. Use her name. Lead her out, go to the window, watch, when both jobs are done call Snow in and praise her.
Give her a treat. Snow very quickly gets the routine down. My Snow as it often happens doesn't bark to go out. Each pup does its own thing, I'm afraid, to let you know when it wants out. It's up to you to learn what it is. Jack, our older pup who also has the run of the house, stands with both paws on either side of the doorknob looking back at me like I'm the one who is as dumb as dirt for not knowing what he wants! Each pup, like each child, is different. Jack will also do the same thing at whatever door I'm closest to. I still open the door I want him to use, that's O.K. with him and he stays out until HE'S ready to come in. Here I assume you have a fenced yard to leave them unattended in.
As they learn to go to the door to go out they also learn to come to the door to get back in. Now you let Snow out on her signal, forget her for a while and let her in on her signal. If you think it's about time for her to go out and you have something else to do; go ahead and let her out, let her play and let her in when she wants. We keep an automatic feeder and water in the yard for them now.
YOU'VE GOT IT MADE! Leave dry food down in one bowl all the time now. Judge by your own pups consistent success as to when to begin leaving water out. By the way, teach everyone to leave the lid down on the stool.
I've never used newspaper. I never let a pup touch newspaper, what a mess. That is a definite NO thing.
By the way, do not punish Snow by using her "kennel home". This is her
secure place. She sleeps all night thru here.
Now you can sit back in your recliner. Remember you're the one who brought Snow into your household and like any child they sometimes have priority.
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