Housebreaking Your Puppy – You’re the proud owner of a new puppy. Unfortunately, you are also the not so proud owner of a soggy living room carpet. It doesn’t take long to realize this can’t keep happening. So what do you do? It might just be time to housebreak your new pet. Housebreaking may sound painful but relax. It isn’t all that difficult. It is your dog’s natural tendency to keep its living area clean, so once the home is firmly established in your pet’s mind, the problem will be resolved. There are several ways you can assist with the process of moving faster.
The first thing you want to do is be sure your pet is healthy to start with. If your pet has not been to the vet already, make an appointment. Your dog should be checked for overall healthiness and for conditions that would make house training difficult, such as cystitis and kidney or bladder dysfunction. While your pet is visiting the veterinarian, ask to have them checked for worms and parasites via a fecal exam. Also bear in mind the truthfulness behind mothers’ wisdom when she said, “You are what you eat.” A mediocre quality dog food and contributing to a poor nutritional state can cause digestive problems resulting in loose stools, thus contributing to your pup’s inability to control itself. The essential part of housebreaking your pet is close supervision.
This is necessary because your puppy learns by repetition. If you see your dog showing signs of needing to relieve itself, then immediate action must be taken to get the animal outside to its designated area. Consistency in training is critical. Do not think to be lax because it’s cold or dark outside is acceptable, or your pet will adopt these same attitudes. Close supervision during Housebreaking is also necessary because it gives you time to learn your dog’s particular quirks, such as needing to urinate right after eating or a specific action they take before soiling the floor so you can watch for these actions and respond in the future. Also, it allows you to correct a situation while still fresh in the dog’s mind. While being brilliant creatures, short term memory is not the strong point for most animals of this species, and correcting them after more than a few minutes have passed serves no real purpose.
Another key to Housebreaking is giving your dog a limited amount of space. Baby gates across doorways or a pet crate help make a more confined area and help your pet recognize this as his living space. Their natural tendency is to go outside of their own living space to urinate, so making this association for your pet will make your job easier. Lining this space with old newspapers is a good idea at first as it facilitates a much easier cleanup of any accidents your pet might have. Also, be aware that some surfaces are more pet-friendly than others.
Try to confine your new pet to areas of the home with tile or vinyl floors, which are much easier to clean. Avoid letting them have access to carpet or hardwood floors that retain odors and can be extensively damaged by an errant pup. Remember to limit the amount of water your dog has access to at the end of the day, as you will otherwise be making a walk with your pet in the middle of the night. A quick step outside at regularly timed intervals is advisable to training as this helps your pet to set an internal schedule. Be sure to use a consistent keyword to tell your pet why you are out in the yard, such as “potty” or “toilet” or anything you choose without returning indoors until they have relieved themselves. Also, remember to praise when your dog relieves itself inappropriate places such as in newspapers or outdoors. Again consistent training is the key.
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