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Housebreaking Your Puppy

One of the most important tasks you face with a new puppy is that of housebreaking him. If you want your dog to learn to go outside, this must be done right or you might end up with a problem that you have to live with for years to come. Taking the time to housebreak your puppy will make the rest of his time with your more pleasant for both of you!

What is the right age to start housebreaking?

You can begin housebreaking when your puppy is 8 to 12 weeks old. The sooner you start the better off you will be, but you don’t want to start him too young either.

Making Use Of The Crate

Professionals suggest using a crate when you housebreak your puppy. Make sure that the size is large enough for the dog to move around in but not too big. If you have a puppy that you know will grow into a big dog, buy a crate that has separations so that it can be made smaller for when he is a puppy. Don’t feel like you are being mean, most dogs love their crate and to them it is a safe haven. My dog would go in hers willingly whenever she felt threatened or just wanted to take a nap!

A crate will help in housebreaking as most puppies will not soil their crates. The key is that you cannot confine him in the crate for longer than his bladder will hold out. Remember, puppies are like babies and they can’t “hold it” for long periods of time. You need to be aware of how long your dog can go and make sure you don’t lock him in the crate for too long or he may be forced to soil his bedding. Never use the crate for punishment - it should be a safe haven for your pup.

Stick To A Routine

When housebreaking your puppy, you want to stick to the same routine and repeat it over and over again. Always take your dog to the same spot and say the same command. Take home out at the same times during the day (usually after he eats is a good time) and always use the same door so he knows to go over to that door to let you know he needs to go out.

Know The Signs

When you first start to housebreak your puppy, you will need to figure out how to tell if he needs to go. Does he go over to the same area and sniff around? Does he circle? You need to catch him right as he is about to go and tell him “NO” then bring him outside and when he does relive himself, praise him. If you are observant and repeat this every time you see him needing to go, he will soon get the idea.

Have Patience

Like anything else worthwhile, housebreaking requires a lot of patience. Remember, the training part is up to you, not the dog, so you must stick to your routine and keep at it even if it seems like your pet will never learn. With enough persistence and patience, even the most stubborn pet can be housetrained!

Housetraining your pet is a great way to bond with your pet and establish yourself as the master. Most dogs love to be praised and this chore will not only help keep your house tidy but will also strengthen the bond between you and your puppy. Just remember to always use kindness, you can be stern, but hitting your dog or rubbing his nose in his mess and then locking him in his crate for 8 hours will NOT work - in fact you could do more harm than good as you will only confuse your pup.

Related Articles:

Choosing A Dog Breed
Housebreaking Your Puppy
Training Your Dog
Dog Food Articles

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