Buy a Crate and during the first few weeks, keep your puppy in it whenever you are not playing, holding, or
watching him explore his new surroundings. Spend as much time as you can with your new pet, but when you
can't watch him, crating him can prevent mistakes from occurring. In addition to providing the safe, secure refuge
your dog needs and wants, crates are critical to house training because as den animals, dogs are naturally
inclined to not soil their bed. The most important thing learned by house training dogs in a crate is that they can
control their urge to eliminate until the proper time and situation.
Establish a Schedule and DON’T Deviate from it. The "when" and "how" you house train needs to be
CONSISTENT so make sure all family members follow the same guidelines. Pick a soiling spot in your yard and
take your pup there on a lead when it is time to eliminate. The odour from previous visits to this spot will
stimulate the urge to defecate and/or urinate.
Many new owners confuse their pup by using different words for the same command. In the housebreaking
process, it is a good idea to use the same word like "OUTSIDE" every time you take the puppy out to eliminate.
Consistent use of a word with an activity will help to build a level of communication between you and your pup.
Later, while you are watching television and notice your pup staring at you, you can say the word "OUTSIDE" and
your pup will go to the door.
Be PATIENT. Dogs may urinate or defecate more than once in an outing, and not always right away. Don't
distract your pup from the job at hand. This is a business trip, not a social time.
Praise Them for their success when the job is done but don't overdo it. Just patting them across their
shoulders a few times will do the trick. In a dog's language, that means more than constant rubbing across the
head or repeating "Good Dog". Some people prefer to use a consistent phrase to encourage the pup to
eliminate, such as "Just Do It". The pup soon learns this is a signal to eliminate, which is very useful when
travelling or when time is short.
Don't Mix Business with Pleasure. When your pup has finished, take him back inside, even just for a minute
or two. When you come back inside, spend some time with puppy. You know there is little chance the pup will
have to eliminate for a while so play with him and have a good time. The more time you spend with the pup, the
Try to remember, they are still young and need to play like a pup, developing and learning about their new
situation and environment.
When you're finished, take one more trip outside and then place the pup back in its cage or crate. After every
meal and playtime, remember to take puppy outside before placing puppy back in the crate.
The Key to House Training is YOU. Spend as much time with your puppy as possible during the first two to
three weeks your puppy is home. You must be consistent, patient, praise when appropriate, and be willing, for
however long it takes, to invest the time and energy necessary to make this important training time a success.
The effort you put in now will be well worth it for the lifetime of your pet.
Establishing a Schedule is Important. Dogs are creatures of habit. They like to eat, sleep and relieve
themselves on a regular basis. Establishing and maintaining a schedule is easy to do and gets easier as your
Pay attention to your dog’s behaviour so you can develop a schedule that works for both of you. First learn when
your dog naturally defecates; in the morning, at night, 30 minutes after eating, etc. Look at your schedule and
determine what compromises need to be made to make this workable for everyone.
If you catch your puppy in the act of having an accident, tell him "No!" forcefully and pick him up and take him
outside. If you don't catch him, simply clean up the mess and scold yourself for not being available. Do not scold
Until your pup is 14 weeks old, take him outside frequently and watch him very closely when he is in or out of his
crate. As soon as you see him pacing, sniffing around, turning around in circles, or trying to sneak away (if he's
out of his crate), take him outside. These are signs that he needs to relieve himself. Say "OUTSIDE" each time
you take your puppy out so you can develop communication and understanding between you and your pet.
House training should start as soon as your puppy gets home. Puppies urinate frequently and success in
housetraining depends on anticipating their needs - they should be given the opportunity to relieve themselves at
least every two hours. You can usually tell when a puppy 'wants to go' because he or she will look around
anxiously, walk in circles and start sniffing in suitable corners looking for a place. That's your cue to whisk your
Whatever the weather, puppies should be taken outside after they have woken up, or had something to drink or
eat. Once out of the house, say a command such as 'Go Now' so they know it's OK to relieve themselves. Praise
them when they go, but ignore them when they fail. And if you do find a puddle inside, don't tell your pup off
unless you catch him or her in the act; otherwise your pet will have no idea why they're being punished. Never,
ever 'rub their nose in it'.
You can paper-train small breeds and young puppies on newspapers. Praise them with lots of affection when the
newspaper is used and ignore them when it's not. Be careful not to get in the habit of praising with food treats,
because you run the risk of overfeeding. Puppies go to toilet around 12 times a day, and sometimes even more!
Over time, move the newspapers towards the door and then out into the garden. Take a small piece of soiled
paper outside, as the puppy recognises its own unique scent and will want to reinforce it.
Teaching your puppy to wait
An alternative method to paper training is crate (puppy playpen) training, where puppies are taught to wait in their
own, special space before they're taken outside. The key is to give them an opportunity to relieve themselves at
least every two hours, especially after eating, sleeping or playing.
Dealing with indoor accidents
If your puppy has an accident, don't be angry. Always clean the floor thoroughly to remove the odour from the
spot; otherwise your puppy will continue to go to the toilet in the same place.
Retraining an adult dog
When it comes to adult dogs, start by keeping them confined to a designated space. Make a point of taking your
dog outside on a regular basis, and when he or she 'goes', offer lots of hugs and praise. As for puppies, if there is
an indoor accident, neutralise the area to prevent them going there again.
Stick to a routine
If you stick to a strict routine, your puppy or adult dog will quickly learn to be clean in the house. But don't get
complacent, or your dog's house training can lapse. Continue with the routine until you are sure that your pet
knows never to go indoors and can wait to go outside. Gradually phase out numerous outdoor trips, but if there
are any accidents just start increasing the number of visits again.
A wild canine will secure a small snuggly fitting space to call its own. This space represents security to the dog.
In its den, it cannot be attacked or bothered, so it is able to relax fully. This instinctive desire for a secure den is
the basis of the psychology behind using a crate as a training aid. Once the pet owner has overcome his own
prejudice against "caging a pet" and accepted the sound reasoning behind crate training, he and his dog can
begin to enjoy the benefits of the marvelous crate.
To accustom your dog to its new crate, secure open the door and allow the dog to explore the confines of the
crate. Placing food or a favorite object inside will encourage it to step in. When the dog is comfortable, close the
door and keep it confined for about 5 or 10 min. When you let the dog out, do it unceremoniously. Releasing the
dog should not be a major production.
Each time you put the dog in the crate, increase the time it is confined. Eventually the dog can be confined for up
to several hours at a time. If the crate also serves as the dog's bed, it can be left crated throughout the night.
Don't overuse the crate though. Both you and your dog should think of it as a safe haven, not as a prison.
Many dogs will learn to go directly to their crates when they are ready to call it a day. Often the use of the crate
will convince a restless dog to stop howling at the moon or barking at every little sound, allowing their owners to
sleep through the night undisturbed.
Many dogs receive their meals in their crates. Finicky eaters are made to concentrate on the food that is offered
and, as a result, overcome their eating problems. For the owners of more than one dog, the crate serves as a
way to regulate the food intake of each dog. If dogs in the same household have different diets, crate feeding is
almost essential. It can also make meal times less stressful if you have a dominant dog that tries to keep the
others in the household away from the food bowls.
Housebreaking is made easier when the wise owner relies on the help of the crate. Until the dog is dependably
housetrained, it should not be given the opportunity to make a mistake. A healthy dog normally will not soil its den
- the place where it sleeps. If the crate is the right size for your dog, allowing just enough room to stand up and
turn around, it will not soil its crate. If you purchase a crate for a puppy based on the size of the mature dog, you
may need to block off one end to keep the puppy from sleeping in one corner and using the other for elimination.
Any time you cannot keep a close watch on the puppy, kindly place it in it's crate. When the dog eliminates at the
proper time, reward it. With the assistance of a crate, house training can be almost painless for you and your
The crate is a safety seat for a traveling dog. You may know that shipping a dog requires a crate, but do you
realize that the crate in your car serves as a seatbelt would to protect your dog in the event of an accident? A dog
thrown out of the car through a windshield has little chance of surviving. Also, in the event you or a passenger
need medical care during an accident, a crate will keep the dog from "protecting" or "guarding" you from
If you need to ship your dog by air, the task will be much easier if the dog is already accustomed to it's crate. A
crate-trained dog is relaxed and less likely to need sedation for traveling. Avoiding sedatives removes one of the
major risks of air travel for dogs, and your dog will be alert and happy when it lands.
When you travel and have to leave your dog behind, the caretaker will have a much easier time caring for a
crate-trained dog and she might appreciate being able to confine the dog for rest periods. Your dog will also
enjoy being able to take its crate (and a little bit of home) with it if it must spend time in a strange place.
No untrained dog should be given the run of the house while its owner is away. This is not only foolhardy from
the standpoint of protecting your belongings but also from the standpoint of protecting the dog. An untrained dog
could chew through an electrical cord, get trapped under a piece of furniture, or be poisoned or choked by a piece
of trash. Use a crate to protect the untrained dog from itself. Of course, this means you will have to limit your time
away from home. A puppy must be taken out at regular intervals to exercise and take care of business.
If your dog becomes ill or needs surgery, confinement in a crate means better care for your dog. It reinforces
consistency in training. It helps the dog feel more secure. It makes having strangers in the house less hectic. It
makes travel safer and more comfortable. It makes bringing up a puppy as easy as can be. Once you have
experienced the benefits of crate training your dog, you will question how you ever lived without The Marvelous
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