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Tuesday Training Byte: House training

Many dogs are surrendered to shelters due to house soiling issues. Having a puppy is much more work than a human baby that wears diapers. Keep in mind that a pup has minimal control- in other words can only "hold it" for short periods of time. If you work full-time, it is not a good time to add a puppy to your household, unless you work from home. The process, can take a couple of months or so. Here are tips to set your pup up for success:


  1. Whenever you cannot keep your pup in your lap, tethered to you, or actively interacting/playing, the pup must be crated. Do this religiously for a solid three weeks.

  2. Carry the pup out immediately after it eats, wakes up from a nap, or has been playing for about 20 minutes. Carry it to the same spot while on a leash and say, "Go potty". In other words- don't give your pup the chance to go in the house.

  3. If the pup doesn't do anything after a few minutes, carry it back in and put in the crate. Then repeat in about 15-20 minutes.

  4. If the pup goes, praise the pup and have treats in your pocket to give it at the potty place. Don't wait to treat when you get inside, or your pup will rush to the door before it is finished because it learned treats are there.

  5. Pups will sleep in their crate. Set your alarm for the middle of the night to take your young pup out. Use a leash and go to the same spot. This is not play time.

  6. If you have a small-medium breed pup, you may want to litter train. For this I recommend pine pellet bedding. This way you can place some in the litter box and some in the place outdoors you want the pup to go.

  7. The wire crates come with a divider. Keep the crate small so the pup will not have extra space to relieve itself in the crate, until it is getting the hang of things.

  8. If you want success more quickly, the pup should never be loose even in a confined space unattended. Try to limit the time in the crate, but time out of the crate is closely supervised.

  9. If the pup makes a mistake (usually because they were not being supervised), be sure to use an enzymatic cleaner made to specifically get rid of the odor, or the pup will reuse that spot again. I find it easier to house train a pup where there is no carpet for this very reason. Area rugs, or throw rugs can be rolled up temporarily or even discarded if the odor cannot be removed.

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