Wednesday, September 22, 2010

House Training 101 : How To Potty Train and Housebreak Your Dog

There is so much joy when you bring a new dog home for the first time and potty accidents comes with the territory of pet ownership. A puppy isn’t born knowing that your carpet or hardwood floors is not an acceptable place to relieve himself. So be sensitive to this learning curve and remember that accidents happen.

Even the best dogs have their share of oops! House training your dog and staying tuned in to their potty break signals will make sure your dog gets outdoors quickly, not giving him enough time to soil your hardwood floors. Establishing a potty training routine is the first step toward a happier life with your new found furry family member. Here are some tips on house training your dog:

1. Take your dog out at the same time each day. Suggestion would be in the morning when he wakes up before breakfast, upon arrival from work, and before bed time.

2. Praise, Praise!! Dogs will do anything for a reward and to hear you say “Good Girl” or “Good Boy”. After she potty outside immediately praise, so she knows why she is getting praised. Don’t wait until you get back inside to do so because she won’t remember why she is getting praised. She will soon learn that going to the bathroom outside equals treat & praise.

3. Location, Location- Choose a spot outside that will be your dogs official porter potty area (make sure the area is cleaned daily). Dogs like the security & familiarity, picking one specific spot will make her feel at ease and help to know that area of the yard equals. Your dog will need supervision so take her on leash to the potty spot. The best part about picking a spot is that you won’t have the problem of landmines all over the yard and a small area to clean.

4. Choose Your Words Wisely- Giving your dog a command to “go potty” or “do your business” will let her know what is expected of her. While your dog is going to the bathroom outside use words or phrases like “go potty” that they will come to understand. As time goes on when you say the words “go potty” she will immediately run to the door instead of relieving herself on your floor and run back inside afterward.

5. Schedule Feeding- Like humans, dogs like eating on a regular schedule and this will make them more regular in the literal sense.

6. Don’t Rush Potty Time – Give her about 10 minutes to go potty, if she does not do so bring her back in and take back out in 15-20 minutes for another try. She should not be able to run or play inside until she has went potty, play is her reward for being on good potty behavior.

If you catch your dog eliminating in the house, do something to interrupt her but make sure not to scare her. Immediately take her outside to her bathroom spot, afterward lavish her with praise & treat for job well done.

Keep in mind that potty training any dog requires repetition and hands on approach. Be fair warned no dog is perfect and their will be messy moments throughout the process . But as time goes on she will learn that bathroom time is outside. If you happen to sniff and find a soiled area in your house hours or days later it is too late to administer a correction. Do nothing but clean it up. Rubbing your dog’s nose in it, taking her to the spot and scolding her will not help the situation. In fact it will make her more afraid of you and even more afraid to potty in your presence. Animals do not understand why they are being punishment once time has passed and scolding can do more harm than good.

Now on to the fun part, clean up. Cleaning up the the soiled area in your home is very important because dogs are highly motivated to continue soiling in areas that smell like urine or feces. So keep it squeaky clean & green with eco-friendly, all natural, non toxic cleaning products. Pet Oder & Stain Remover like Mrs. Meyers are safe if licked by your pet.

Happy potty training!!

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