Designing the Housetraining Drill

This has to be a watertight plan to reign over your dog's bladder and bowel movements! You will need to have a plan that is suitable to your dog and something that you will stick to. It will be have to be rigorously followed for the first week and then continued until the schedule is second nature to the dog. Read on to find out the essentials you need in order to incorporate the housetraining routine:

■ Get the command words right for the drill. To begin with pick the words you want to use as the housebreaking commands. They should be different from obedience and other training commands. Think about it beforehand because if you have overlapping commands you will successfully confuse the puppy. You can use words like "Do your job", or "potty time" or "Time to go" or whatever else that is convenient for you. The dog will quickly learn to associate those particular words with the act of elimination in the designated area.

■ Get the crate right. If you are using the crate, make sure that you use it correctly. You should get the dog to consider it as his or her private chambers rather than a punishment to keep accidents from happening. Make sure it is in an area that is within your vision. Make sure that the crate is lined with a sheet and a blanket and add a little toy to keep your dog occupied. Make it a comfortable and safe den for the dog—not a corrective cage.

■ Get the diet right. Make sure that the diet is right. Consult with the vet and ensure that you are giving the dog the right kind of food as well as the right amount. Also make sure that your puppy or dog has fresh water at all times. Sometimes the lack of proper diet and a reduced intake of water lead to constipation, which might hurt the dog and make him afraid of the elimination process.

■ Get the timings of the drill right.

Depending on the age of the dog, find out from the breeder how often the dog needs to go. Extremely small puppies can urinate every ten minutes so please ensure that you are getting a puppy that is at least 8 weeks old. Sometimes even 8-week-old puppies can urinate after every sip of water they take in! Basically you would need to follow a pattern like this:

> For an 8-week-old puppy—take him or her out to the elimination spot every 45 minutes.

> For a 2-month-old puppy—take him or her to the elimination spot every 1 - 2 hours.

> For a 3-month-old pup—take him or her after every 2 hours.

> For a 4 month and above—the interval can be 3 hours.

> For a puppy or dog of any age—take him or her out first thing every morning and last thing every night.

> For a puppy or dog of any age—take him or her out after every nap or play session.

The above routine is just part of the regular potty timetable. The other part involves a pattern determined by the food and water intake of the dog. No matter how old your dog is, take the dog out:

> Ten minutes after every meal that your dog consumes.

> Then again 30 minutes after every meal your dog consumes.

> 5-10 minutes after drinking water.

> Every 10 minute interval during play or training sessions.

Remember that the smaller the dog, the less control they have over their bladder. Puppies will urinate when they get a little excited. It's something they cannot control. When they are happy, they pee; when they are scared they pee—so you have to do a little extra to get them to the elimination spot at all the above time intervals as regularly as possible. It's like following a toddler around — they cannot indicate anything verbally. So what you need to do is get them to go at regular intervals until they saunter off on their own to the elimination spot or let you know they have to go.

■ Get the socialization right. Make sure that simultaneously to the process of housebreaking, you are giving your dog enough options for socialization. The process of socialization involves the entire gamut of relationships a dog forms with different people as well as the varied situations the dog is exposed to. Your dog must be socialized the right way with you and the family. Establish a bond with your dog and show affection by hugging and holding him. Introduce him to family and friends— even the neighbors and the postman. Involve your family members with the elimination process and get them to take the puppy to the potty place. Involve your dog in the family life—get him to follow you around and play with the children or just sit by your side. This would make for a much more secure and confident pet because the dog will feel wanted and loved. In turn, he will be more likely to obey and heed your commands. The right socialization along with a regular and consistent housebreaking routine, will speed the training process.

■ Get the exercise right. Make sure that you give your dog enough exercise. Puppies need to use their energy rather than lie around. Workouts are essential for the dog's health. Exercising as in taking the puppy out for walks in the park will help in the bowel movement and reduce constipation. It will also make the puppy happier not only because he is outside but also because he's spending time with you.

■ Get the body language right. Try to mentally note the body language that accompanies the elimination act. Some dogs go in circles. Some suddenly stop what they are doing and squat. Some may sniff the floor, look quite distracted and begin wandering around. Some whine and the really quick to train ones scratch at the door when they need to go. By keeping a watchful eye on your dog during the training process, you can quickly recognize these signs and then quickly take your dog to the designated toilet.

■ Get the negative reinforcement right. This might sound confusing but what it actually means is that you learn how to say 'no' when your dog is attempting to relive his bladder inside the house. Do not yell—that will scare him and make him unable to stop. The right way to do it is say "no" in a loud and commanding voice so that he is adequately startled to tense his muscles and hold his bladder. Pick him up and take him to the elimination spot right away. Do not punish or hurt the dog. If you haven't seen your dog do it and the deed is already done, then just clean it up as well as you can, using an odor neutralizer. There is no point in coming down on the dog because you haven't caught him or her in the act.

■ Get the reward right. Praise your dog and hug him or her whenever they use the elimination spot. They need to know that they got it right and that you are proud of them. Have a special reward for your dog every time he does the right thing. It could be anything ranging from a special hug, a doggie treat or a special game that you play with him or her. Positive reinforcement is the key to efficient training—when you reward the correct behavior, your dog would be more likely to repeat it so as to gain praise from you. If you punish—the dog will respond in a negative way.

A lesson isn't complete until you know what not to do. Whatever has been said so far focuses on the affirmatives because only a positive person and a positive attitude can train a dog effectively. Even then, one is human and the tendency is to feel the frustration and let out the steam when the dog is not responding quickly to the housetraining methods. Even then you have to be careful:

> Do not EVER hit your dog or abuse him or her physically in any way if there is a housebreaking accident.

> Do not EVER rub your dog's nose in the mess to teach him a lesson. The dog has no idea that he has done something wrong and he himself can't stand the messy stuff and just wants to get rid of it. By rubbing it in, he registers only the harshness of the punishment with you.

> Do not isolate your dog because he has made a mess inside. Dogs are family oriented and keeping them apart aggravates and disturbs them. The insecurity that is caused by the isolation would also lead to more accidents.

> Do not change the diet during the housetraining sessions, unless there is a health issue that necessitates a change. A change in the diet might affect a change in the dog's bladder and bowel movements.

> Do not leave the food bowl and the water bowl, lying around for the dog to have at any time of his or her choosing. Feed the dog according to a timetable and take away the food after 20 minutes. Whatever the dogs eats, in that time, is what his body needs.

> Do not allow the dog to roam around the house, wherever he likes. Do not leave the dog unattended —he would most likely sniff out corners and do his job there without your knowledge.

> Do not change the housebreaking routine all of a sudden. Stick to the program and try as much as possible for the first few months to maintain the regular pattern.

> Do not expect too much too soon. Be realistic and fair with your dog. Two days is not enough for your dog to get the message. A week's time of consistent practice would set the pace but you will still have to follow it up by maintaining the pattern for up to two months.

The whole process of housetraining can be successful if you adopt a caring and generous attitude towards you dog. Understand the breed, and work around the personality. Be firm and help your dog along, even if it means physically carrying him to the potty spot. When you get your dog home—you'll see, he or she will be trained in no time!

Chapter 3:

Chapter 3:

Today's the day! You are bringing home your dog and that calls for a celebration as well as getting everything in place and ready for the new arrival. If possible you need to take the day off! Most importantly—have you got a name for your dog? Make sure that you have a name picked out before you pick up your puppy because training will start right away. Also ensure that you have a dog identification tag, with your dogs name and the contact information.

Have you got the basic amenities ready?

Make sure you run through this checklist:

■ Have you marked out the elimination spot?

■ If the elimination spot is inside the house do you have the baby gates in place?

■ Have you chosen the words to be used as the housetraining command?

■ Have you made sure there is bedding in the crate to make it comfy for your dog?

■ Have you worked out the diet as in what to feed him, when and at what times?

■ Do you have a couple of doggie toys like rubber bones to chew on?

■ Have you stocked a suitable doggy treat?

■ Do you have the right kind of collar? Pick a collar that is a non-choking type—a harness works great as well (especially for tiny dogs). Do you have a leash?

Have you made your home safe for the dog?

Make sure that you have tucked away all the wires and covered up all the electric sockets and blocked off the spaces behind the refrigerator. You puppy can try and bite the wires and get stuck in undesirable spaces with dangerous consequences. Inform your children of the danger of having small bits and pieces of their toys lying around. Tell them that dogs explore the world by chewing things and holding them in their mouth. If they happen to chew on a small piece of plastic, it could accidentally slip down the throat and choke the dog.

Have the trash cans out of reach for you never know what toxic things can end up in your dog's mouth. Lock the medicines away and please do not leave chocolate around. Even a very small bit of chocolate can raise the dog's heartbeat and easily become fatal. Also make sure the garden is safe and that all the dangerous chemicals, fertilizers, paints etc. are locked away.

One More Detail

Let's assume you are bringing home a puppy and that you are to pick him up at the breeders' in the morning at around 9 am. This would mean that you would be picking up your dog after his morning meal at 7.30 am and would be at home in time for the mid meal at 11.30 am—so make sure that you have his meal ready before you leave the house.

Time to transport your dog

You could take the crate to the breeder's kennel a few days earlier and get the dog used to it. You can also try and take the crate on the same day and introduce your dog to it at the kennel. You can hold him and meanwhile open the crate door and slip in some doggie treats. Once you put him down, you can let him follow your hand and guide him to the crumbs. If your dog seems to be Ok in the crate then you can transport him in it. Add a little toy in there to keep him or her busy.

Most people recommend bringing home your dog on your lap. So you would need to have someone drive the car while you hold the dog. Your dog might be a bit unsettled by the unfamiliar feel of the car as well as the fact that he is being separated from his mom and littermates, which could be a traumatic. Hold the dog in your lap, if you are not using the crate, and talk to him or her in a constant soothing tone.

Make sure he eliminates before you put him in the crate or your lap. For safety's sake you can line the crate with a thick pad of newspaper, which you can throw away. If you have him in your lap, make sure you are protected with a couple of old and thick towels. Little puppies might pee every ten minutes and you can do nothing about it except protect yourself! If it's a long journey, you might have to stop and let the puppy out—but make sure that the place is safe and clean because if you have a little puppy, there are chances that his immunizations haven't kicked in.

Whatever it is, use the time that the journey gives you to bond with your puppy or dog. Allow him to see your affection. At the same time assert your firmness—if he seems to be too excited, command him to sit and sit him down in your lap by gently pushing him down. Don't let the puppy or the dog chew on your fingers—do not encourage the gnawing because it might grow up to be a habit with the puppy and graduate into biting. Of course you can't expect a small puppy to obey commands right away but this will begin to establish you as the leader right away. You must begin asserting your loving authority right from the start!

Dog Potty Training

Dog Potty Training

This is for people who want to potty train their dog NOW. Discover The Ability To Finally Potty Train Your Dog In No Time! I'm going to get right down to it... If you've found this page, either you or someone you know has a puppy that needs to be potty trained. Maybe you've tried a ton of various methods you've read about but have had no success. How can some people potty train their puppy with hardly any effort?

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