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Puppy house training tips

House training a puppy is very important for the well being of both the puppy and the owner.  The number one reason that dogs are surrender to animal shelters is problems with inappropriate elimination, so it is easy to see why proper house training is such an important consideration.

It is important to establish proper toilet habits when the puppy is young, since these habits can last a lifetime and be very hard to break once they are established.  It is very important for the owner to house break the puppy properly.  In most cases, true house training cannot begin until the puppy is six months old. Puppies younger than this generally lack the bowel and bladder control that is needed for true house training.

Puppies younger than six months should be confined to a small, puppy proofed room when the owner cannot supervise them.  The entire floor of the room should be covered with newspapers or similar absorbent materials and the paper changed every time it is soiled.  As the puppy gets older, the amount of paper used can be reduced as the puppy begins to establish a preferred toilet area.  It is this preferred toilet area that will form the basis of later house training.

The Do’s of House Training Your Puppy:


Ø  Always provide the puppy with constant, unrestricted access to the established toilet area. 

Ø  When you are at home, take the puppy to the toilet area every 45 minutes.

Ø  When you are not at home or cannot supervise the puppy, you must be sure the puppy cannot make a mistake.  This means confining the puppy to a small area that has been thoroughly puppy proofed.  Puppy proofing a room is very similar to baby proofing a room, since puppies chew on everything.

Ø  Always provide a toilet area that does not resemble anything in your home.  Training the puppy to eliminate on concrete, blacktop, grass or dirt is a good idea.  The puppy should never be encouraged to eliminate on anything that resembles the hardwood flooring, tile or carpet he may encounter in a home.

Ø  Praise and reward your puppy every time he eliminates in the established toilet area.  The puppy must learn to associate toileting in the established areas with good things, like treats, toys and praise from his owner.

Ø  Always keep a set schedule when feeding your puppy, and provide constant access to fresh, clean drinking water.  A consistent feeding schedule equals a consistent toilet schedule.

Ø  Using a crate can be a big help in helping a puppy develop self control.  The concept behind crate training is that the puppy will not want to toilet in his bed area.

Ø  And finally, it is important to be patient when house training a puppy.  House training can take as long as several months, but it is much easier to house train right the first time than to retrain a problem dog.


The Don’ts of House Training Your Puppy


Ø  Never reprimand or punish the puppy for mistakes.  Punishing the puppy will only cause fear and confusion.

Ø  Do not leave food out for the puppy all night long.  Keep to a set feeding schedule in order to make the dog’s toilet schedule as consistent as possible.

Ø  Do not give the puppy the run of the house until he has been thoroughly house trained.


House training is not always the easiest thing to do and some dogs tend to be much easier to house train than others.  It is important, however to be patient, consistent and loving as you train your dog.  A rushed, frightened or intimidated dog will not be able to learn the important lessons of house training.  Once you have gained your puppy’s love and respect, however, you will find that house training your puppy is easier than you ever expected.




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House training your dog

House training is one of the most important elements of creating a well trained dog and trusted family member.  Problems with house training and similar issues are the number one reason that dogs are surrendered to shelters, so properly house training your dog can literally save his or her life.

House training a puppy does not need to be difficult, but it is important to take the process seriously, plan ahead and take things slowly.  Some dogs will be easier to house break than others, so it important to work with your dog.  Rushing the process can be counterproductive and cause you to have to start all over again.

When it comes to house training a new puppy, it is important to know what to expect.  Unless the owner is able to supervise the puppy round the clock, it is difficult to complete the house training process until the dog is at least six months old.  It is important to know this ahead of time so you can be prepared.  Young puppies have bodies that are constantly changing and growing, and puppies younger than six months often have not developed the bowel and bladder control they will need to be properly house trained.

When the owner is not at home, the puppy should be confined to a small room and the entire floor should be covered with paper.  Of course it is important to puppy-proof the room, that is removing any items on which the puppy could be injured.  In the beginning, the puppy will most likely eliminate anywhere within the room.  In addition, the puppy will probably play with the papers, chew them, etc.  This is perfectly normal and should not be grounds for punishment or distress.  Cleaning up each day should simply be part of the routine of living with a new puppy.  Simply clean up the soiled papers and put down new ones each day.

Time for paper training

During the time that the puppy is confined in its little den, it will begin to develop the habit of eliminating on paper.  After a little time has passed, the puppy will begin to exhibit a preferred place to eliminate.  After this preferred spot has been established, the area that is papered should be slowly diminished.  The first papers to be removed should be those that are furthest away from the “toilet”.  Eventually, the owner will have to lay down only a few papers.  If the puppy ever misses those papers, it means that the papered area has been reduced too much and too soon. 

After the puppy is reliability doing its business only on the papers that have been left, the papers can be slowly and gradually moved to a location of your choice.  The papers should be moved only gradually, as little as an inch a day.  If the puppy misses the papers, again it means that they have been moved too soon and too far.  In this case it will be necessary to go back a few steps and start over.  It is important not to become discouraged.  The puppy will eventually understand the concept, and you will be able to choose your puppies toilet area and move on to the next step.

House training when the owner is home

Obviously the more time you can spend with your puppy the faster the house training will go.  The objective should be to take the puppy to the toilet area every time he needs to do his business.  In most cases this will be either every 45 minutes, right after each play session, after he first wakes up or right after he eats or drinks.  It is important to provide effusive praise for the puppy when he eliminates in the established toilet area. 

As the puppy becomes more used to using his toilet area and as he develops improved bladder and bowel control, he will be able to begin spending more and more time outside his den with his owner in the rest of the home.  It is important to begin this process by allowing the puppy access to one room at a time.  It is also important to allow the puppy in the extra room only when he can be supervised.  When you must leave the room, be sure to put the puppy back in his den.

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Dog training – dealing with house training issues

The best house training uses the dogs own instincts to avoid soiling its bed to train the dog where and where not to eliminate.  That is the basis behind crate training, in which the dog is confined to its crate in the absence of the owner and den training, in which the dog is confined to a small area of the home.  In essence, the crate, or the room, becomes the dog’s den.  Dogs are naturally very clean animals and they try their best to avoid using their dens as toilets.


This type of training usually works very well, both for puppies and for older dogs.  Problems with this type of toilet training are usually the result of not understanding the signals the dog is sending, not being consistent with feeding times, or trying to rush the process.


While the house training process can be sped up somewhat by consistently praising the dog and rewarding it for toileting in the proper place, some dogs cannot be rushed through this important process.  It is always best to house train the dog properly the first time than to go back and retrain a problem dog.


If the dog continues to soil the den area after house training, the most likely reason is that the owner has left the dog in the den for too long.  Another reason may be that the den area is too large.  In this case, the best strategy is to make the den area smaller or to take the dog to the toilet area more frequently.


If the dog soils the bed that has been provided in the den area, it is most likely because the owner has left the dog there for too long and the dog had an understandable accident.  Or it could be that the dog has not yet adopted this area as the bed.  In addition, urinary tract infections and other medical conditions can also cause dogs to soil their beds.  It is important to have the dog thoroughly checked out by a veterinarian to rule out any medical problems.


One other reason for house training accidents that many people overlook is boredom.  Dogs who are bored often drink large amounts of water and therefore must urinate more frequently than you might think.  If you notice your dog consuming large amounts of water, be sure to take the dog to the established toilet area more often and provide the dog with toys and other distractions to eliminate boredom.


Boredom is the root cause of many dog behavior problems, not only house training issues.  Chewing and other destructive behaviors are also often caused by boredom and separation anxiety.


Other problems with house training can occur when the dog’s den is not properly introduced.  In some cases dogs can react to the den as if it is a prison or a punishment.  Those dogs may exhibit signs of anxiety, such as whining, chewing and excessive barking.  It is important for the dog to feel secure in its den and to think of it as a home and not a cage.


The best way to house train a puppy or dog, or to re-house train a problem dog, is to make yourself aware of the dog’s habits and needs.  Creating a healthy, safe sleeping and play area for your dog, as well as a well defined toilet area, is important for any house training program.


House training is not always an easy process, but it is certainly an important one.  The number one reason that dogs are surrendered to animal shelters is problems with inappropriate elimination, so a well structured house training program can literally be a lifesaver for your dog.



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Dog training – house training your dog

House training is one of the most important parts of training any dog to be a valued part of the family.  As with many other aspects of dog training, the best way to house train a dog is to use the dog’s own nature to your benefit.

The great thing about dogs and the thing that can make house training much easier is that dogs are instinctively very clean animals.  Dogs would rather not soil the areas where they sleep and eat.  In addition, dogs are very good at developing habits regarding where they like to urinate and defecate.  For example, dogs that are used to eliminating on concrete or gravel will prefer to eliminate there rather than on grass or dirt.  It is possible to use these natural canine habits when house training your dog.

Setting up the training area

 The first step in house training your dog is to set up your training area.  A small, confined space such as a bathroom, or part of a kitchen or garage, works best as a training area.  This method of training differs from crate training.  Crate training is great for puppies and small dogs, but many larger dogs find a crate too confining.

 It is important for the owner to spend as much time in the training area with his or her dog as possible.  It is important for the owner to play with the dog in the training area, and to let the dog eat and sleep in that area.  The dog should be provided with a special bed in the training area, anything from a store bought bed to a large towel to a large box.  At first, the dog may eliminate in this area, but once the dog has recognized it as his or her own space, he or she will be reluctant to soil it.

After the dog has gotten used to sleeping in the bed, the owner can move it around the house, relocating it from room to room.  When you are not with your dog, the dog should be confined to the training area.

Setting up the toilet area

The second part of house training is to set up the toilet area for the dog.  It is important for the dog to have access to this place every time he or she needs to eliminate.  It is also important for the owner to accompany the dog each time until he or she gets into the habit of eliminating in the toilet area.  This will ensure that the dog uses only the established toilet area.

A set feeding schedule makes the house training process a lot easier for both the owner and the dog.  Feeding the dog on a regular basis will also create a regular schedule for the dog’s toilet habits.  Once you know when your dog is likely to need to eliminate, it will be simple to guide the dog to the established toilet area.

Once the dog has established a toilet area and is using it on a regular basis, it is very important to not confine the dog without access to the toilet area for long periods of time.  That is because if the dog is unable to hold it, he or she may be forced to eliminate in the training area.  This habit can make house training much more difficult.

Continuing the house training process

After the dog is consistently eliminating in the toilet area and not soiling the training area, it is time to extend that training area to the rest of the home.  This process should be done slowly, starting with one room and slowly expanding to the rest of the house.  The area should only be extended once you are sure of the dog’s ability to control its bladder and bowels.

When you first expand the training area to a single room, let the dog eat, play and sleep in that room, but only when supervised.  When it is not possible to supervise the dog, place it back in the original training area.  Then, after the dog has accepted the room as an extension of the original training area, the area can be extended.

Speeding up the process

If this process is too lengthy for your needs, it can be speeded up, but it is important to proceed cautiously.  It is easier to take your time up front than to retrain a problem dog later.  One way to successfully speed up house training is to praise and reward the dog each and every time it uses the established toilet area.  It is also important not to punish the dog for mistakes.  Punishment will only confuse the dog and slow down the house training process.