Training Your New Puppy
House Training Tips
Choose a “Potty Spot”
· Pick a spot where you want to your puppy to go potty for the rest of his life and stick with it.
· This spot should be away from any flowers or plants that might not take well to a puppy’s eliminations.
· If you don’t have a backyard, you might choose the median strip between the sidewalk and the street.
You will need:
· A crate – yes, it looks like a cruel cage, but it capitalizes on your puppy’s most basic instinct not to soil the place where he sleeps and eats. The use of the crate is the easiest way to teach your puppy bathroom manners.
· A scent cloth or “go here” spray – both of these items are useful in teaching your potty where exactly his potty spot is. The spray makes it easier on you because all you need to do is spray and your puppy will usually immediately eliminate. This spray can be picked up at Walmart or PetSmart.
· A harness and a leash – Even if you plan to allow your puppy to eventually run out in the fenced yard on his own to potty, you will want to start him on a harness and leash to walk him to his potty spot each time. This way, you can reward him when he goes in his spot and you can keep him concentrated on what he is out there to do, rather than him getting distracted and running around chasing birds.
· Treats – you can give your puppy small treats as rewards when he uses his designated area to potty. This positive reinforcement will move the training process along quickly.
Follow a Schedule
· Puppies are creatures of habit. If you take your puppy to his potty spot at the same times each day, he will soon become accustomed to that schedule. You’ll condition him to do his business only at the times and places you want him to
· Figuring out when those times should be can be a little tricky. Generally, a puppy needs a potty break whenever awaking from a nap or from a good night’s sleep, after energetic playing, and after meals. The older your puppy gets, the longer he can go between potty breaks.
Learn to Read Your Puppy
· If you can learn to read the signs that your puppy needs to potty, you will be able to get him to his potty spot in time to prevent accidents from happening outside of his potty schedule.
· Different puppies have different signs. Some like to circle an area before they go, others pace back and forth, while others sniff around an area.
· There will be times that a puppy may not give a sign. Those times can be prevented by keeping her in her crate when you are not able to play with her and gives her 100% attention.
· As hard as you work to keep your puppy from having accidents, he’ll inevitably make some mistakes in the early stages of his training.
· The best way to deal with accidents is to simply clean them up with a cleaner that is specifically designed for doggie accidents. Doing so will eliminate the smell that will trigger your puppy to go again in that same spot later.
· Clean up without comment. Yelling, scolding, and especially swatting or rubbing his nose in his transgression does not do one thing to help his potty training process. He doesn’t understand why you’re angry and won’t connect your anger to that puddle on the floor.
· Once you’ve cleaned up the accident, ask yourself why it may have occurred. Accidents can happen “just because” with your new puppy, but often it is because we forget to take him out at his scheduled time, maybe we didn’t clean up the last accident well enough and the leftover smell triggered him to do it again, or maybe we got busy and missed the signal that he needed to go.
Be Patient & Consistent
· Your puppy is entering a brand new environment. The best thing for you and him is that you be consistent with his house training. If he gets into a routine and understands where his potty place is and where his place to eat and sleep are, he will settle in much quicker and be housetrained much quicker.
· Patience is key in the few week or two until your puppy establishes these things.
First-time dog owners often object to using a crate to house train their dogs. They don’t realize that the crate capitalizes on a dog’s desire to refrain from peeing or pooping in the place where she eats and sleeps. By feeding your puppy housetrainee in her crate, having her sleep in it at night and keeping her in the crate when you can’t watch her, you’ll help her develop the control she needs to “hold it” until you can take her to her potty spot.
Many dogs learn to love their crates – with a little help from their new owners. Here’s what you need to do to help your puppy consider her crate home:
GET THE RIGHT SIZE
A correctly sized crate gives your dog enough room to lie down, stand up and turn around comfortably, but not much more than that. A crate that’s much bigger with encourage your puppy to sleep at one end and eliminate and the other; A smaller crate will be cramped and uncomfortable. If your puppy has some growing to do, get an adult-sized wire crate with a divider that can be moved and eventually taken out to keep the size just perfect as she grows.
After you assemble the crate, encourage your puppy to sniff its exterior. Then, encourage her to explore the interior by tossing a treat inside. If she enters the crate to get the treat, praise her; if she hesitates, use a soft voice to encourage her.
CLOSE THE DOOR – BUT NOT FOR TOO LONG
Once your puppy consistently enters the crate without hesitating, try placing a treat inside the crate toward the back. When your puppy enters to retrieve it, shut the door for about five seconds. During those five seconds, praise her lavishly, then open the door and give her another treat when she comes out. Keep doing this, extending the time inside the crate a little bit at a time until she can remain in the crate comfortably for five minutes or so.
LEAVE THE ROOM
Now your puppy is ready to learn to enjoy her crate in your absence. For her next meal, place her dish inside the crate and toss in a treat to encourage her to enter. When she does, shut the door and leave the room for about a minute, then return to see how she’s doing. If she’s eating happily, leave the room once more and come back again after a few more minutes. When she has finished her meal, let her out of the crate and praise her. Continue this routine, gradually extending the time she’s in the crate until she can stay comfortably for about 30 minutes.
At this point, you can start using the crate to housetrain your puppy. Place her in the crate at bedtime, naptime and whenever you can’t watch what she’s doing. She’ll soon figure out that her crate is a place to relax and that her potty place is somewhere else.
Tips for Training
Tips for avoiding puppy boredom
The following video perfectly illustrates the reason Shade Mountain Kennel highly recommends puppy kindergarten classes.
Most often, when we recommend this to our puppies' new owners, we get the response "we have had X amount of puppies before... we know how to train them and won't be doing puppy kindergarten..."
This video is a great example of why these classes are so important for your new puppy, even if you are an old pro at training.
You may be seasoned, but you have to keep in mind that your puppy is still new to the world. Putting them through puppy kindergarten is SO great for socialization!
Note: Crucial socialization time occurs between 12 weeks and 5 months.