Monday, March 22, 2010
There are a few helpful do's and don'ts when it comes to successful house training.
Things You Should Do
1. Take your dog out frequently - Start with half-hour intervals. Smaller dogs and puppies will need the regular frequency. With age and maturity the dog will become more reliable and won't need to go out as often. Build the increase in intervals according to the progress and don't be afraid to go back to the beginning when you start experiencing setbacks.
2. Praise/Reward - Take treats with you when you go outside and say your phrase for pottying. Using a different phrase for pee and poop can be helpful because they will have to pee far more than they will poop. Praise the dog when they pee or poop in your presence. Rewarded behavior is always repeated. If they pee/poop consider rewarding them with a walk afterward.
3. Use a crate or confine to an area - A dog usually doesn't like to mess his area up, that's why crating or confining works great to keep the dog from thinking that it's okay to potty anywhere. When you are unable to watch the dog make sure they are confined to keep from having an accident. Consider using an outdoor kennel during the day if you will be gone for an extended period of time so they will be able to use the bathroom while your gone. You also might want to consider getting one of those artificial grass potty systems that you can use in the house.
4. Use Patience - Training takes time. Learning to relax and remain calm even when things go wrong it's essential to dog training. (It works great in other areas of your life too.) Don't get annoyed or frustrated because you feel as though the dog is not listening to you. It's okay to tell the dog no if you catch them toileting in the house and then immediately take them out to toilet.
5. Use a Routine - Develop a schedule for feeding and pottying. The dog will quickly learn a routine and as they become more reliable you can lengthen the times you take the dog outside. If you think that your dog needs to go outside chances are you are right so take them outside or you might be cleaning up an accident.
6. Exercise - Exercise will help them develop the muscles needed to hold themselves until they are outside. It will also give them the opportunity to toilet themselves if you exercise outside.
Things You Shouldn't Do
1. Don't yell at the dog when it has an accident on the floor - This has to be the biggest NO-NO. A dog will not go to the bathroom in front of you, even if it's outside, if he has ever been yelled at while pottying in your presence. The dog will wait until you come back in, sneak off, and go on your carpet. That's why it's important to praise the dog when it goes potty in front of you. It's okay to tell them no and direct them to an appropriate area to potty.
2. Don't Allow free roam of the house - A dog needs to earn the honor of getting freedom. Most puppies will need to be supervised, you would never let a baby wander around by themselves. If they go to the bathroom outside you can reward them with free time, but keep it supervised to keep accidents from happening. The faster the dog learns, the happier you both will be. If the dog didn't go potty don't allow the freedom or you can expect a mistake to happen.
3. Don't Try to Hurry Training - Every learning process takes steps and this is definitely one time when you will want to take you time. Make sure the dog has learned what to do before you start allowing freedom or lengthening the time span between pottying. Many dogs will not have complete bladder and bowel control until the are six months old.
4. Don't Walk you dog to get them to poop - It's like "putting the cart before the horse." A walk should be considered a reward and you shouldn't give the reward before you get the behavior. When your dog's done going potty go for the walk.
Potty training will hopefully be easier for you with these helpful tips and you will be able to enjoy spending more time together without the worry.