Essay: How To Pot Train Your Dog

One of the first tasks that should be accomplished when you get a dog, regardless of the age of the dog is to make sure it is housebroken. There are many different ways to potty train your dog. I strongly recommend combining it with crate training as this makes it much faster. Regardless of the weather, you should start housebreaking your dog as soon as he arrives. Do not give him time to get the idea that it is okay to potty in the house. That will just delay the training process and make it more difficult.

If you choose a spot in your yard that you want the dog to eliminate in and always bring him to that spot while training, he will begin to go there naturally. This can make clean-up easier and help reduce damage to your lawn and flower beds. When you bring your dog out to potty, he should always be on a leash. This prevents him from taking off for a romp around the yard. Once he has done his business, he can be released to enjoy the great outdoors, provided your yard is fenced, while you clean up after him. Always clean up after your dog immediately.

This is more hygienic and prevents anyone from stepping in it and tracking it into the house. It also prevents your new buddy from eating it. Coprophagia is not uncommon and generally pretty disgusting. Avoid it by cleaning up after your dog right away. Hang a set of bells, like Christmas jingle bells or even a single bell on a string, on the doorknob that leads to your yard or wherever you have decided to have the puppy potty. Every time you open that door to bring the puppy outside, touch his nose or paw to the bells to make them ring. This helps him associate the bells with the door opening.

When he has to go he will begin to go to the door and ring the bells to let you know he needs out. This avoids the situation where the dog is waiting patiently for as long as they can at the door to be let out and no one knows he is there. When you bring your puppy out to do his business, use a word to indicate that he should potty. It can be any word, just use it consistently. This will come to be associated with elimination and can make having your puppy pee in a strange location when travelling a whole lot easier. Some dogs can be reluctant to eliminate away from their “spot”.

Using a word can help make the connection that they are not being bad by eliminating even though this isn’t where they normally go. As soon as your puppy eliminates in the designated spot, praise and reward him. You want to establish in his mind that this was a good thing and that it makes you happy. Most dogs want to please their owners. 2. Rules As a general rule, all dogs have to pee when they wake up. If your puppy was taking a nap, he should be brought outside to eliminate as soon as he wakes up. Most dogs will need to go to the bathroom within twenty to forty minutes of eating.

After your puppy has had his meal, wait twenty minutes and take him out to his potty spot. If you are crate training your dog, he should be taken outside to potty as soon as he is let out of the crate, every single time. If he does not go when outside, bring him back in and put him back in the crate. Try again in a half an hour. The reward for going outside is loose time in the house to play. Ideally house time is done on an empty bladder to help avoid accidents. When your dog is loose in the house, you should always be watching him until he is fully housebroken and knows the house rules.

If you are watching him, you will see the signs such as circling and lifting the tail that indicate he needs to go potty. You can scoop him up and head for the designated location outside. If you are not watching him, he may have an accident that could have been prevented. Consider using baby gates to limit where the puppy can roam in the house. 3. Accidents No matter how closely you watch him, there will occasionally be accidents. If you catch him in the process of eliminating, pick him up and take him out. Do not scold him after the fact. That will have a negative effect on your training and does not send him the right message.

Clean up after accidents in the house carefully and immediately. Left over odors may encourage the puppy to eliminate in the same spot again. If they peed on an object such as a newspaper, take that outside to the designated potty location and leave it there to help establish the spot as the right place to eliminate in the puppy’s mind. Having a regular routine can make things more predictable for your dog and improve his learning curve when it comes to housebreaking. 4. Smaller dogs Smaller dogs have smaller bladders and need to go more frequently than their larger counterparts.

While a medium to large puppy may be able to hold it for three to four hours, a smaller one may not be able to go that long without being taken out for a potty break. It can be much more difficult to housebreak smaller dogs. Because the accidents are much smaller, they are harder to notice right away and can often be found after the fact which makes it difficult to make progress. Persistence and watching the puppy are key in these cases. You can also consider either litter training your puppy or training him to use puppy pads. Litter training is exactly what it sounds like.

Use a cat litter box and place the puppy in it to eliminate. Puppy training pads are available in most pet supply stores and are relatively inexpensive. They have an odor that attracts the dog to them as a place to urinate. With small dogs this can help provide an acceptable alternative. 5. Puppies Puppies do not have full control of their bladder until they are anywhere from four to six months old. Although they should grasp the basics of housetraining fairly quickly, they may still have occasional accidents during this period because they cannot just hold it until an opportunity to go out presents itself.

They can get so taken away with playing that they forget they need to go to the bathroom until it is too late to do anything but squat and go. Bringing your dog out for regular potty breaks can help avoid this situation but do not be surprised if your housebroken puppy still has the occasional accident while he is young. If your housebroken adult dog suddenly begins having accidents in the house, it may be a sign of illness such as a bladder infection. Always bring your dog into the veterinarian for a check-up when something like this happens to ensure there isn’t a medical reason for the behavior.

6. Crate training Crate training, done properly, is one of the best things you can do for your dog. It provides him with a space of his own that he can go to when he does not wish to be bothered. It protects him from dangerous things when you are not there to watch him and it protects your house from him at the same time. It also makes housebreaking significantly easier. All dogs should be crate trained. It can be abandoned when the dog is older, has full control of his bladder, and knows the house rules. When purchasing a kennel there are two basic types – fiberglass or wire.

If you are planning to take a trip by airplane with your dog then you will need a fiberglass crate. Otherwise, the choice is strictly what you prefer. The size of the cage when you will be housebreaking is very important. There should only be enough room for the dog to lie down comfortably and a bit of space for a dish and toy. You want to avoid the possibility that the dog eliminates in one corner of the crate and sleeps in the other. Dogs are naturally clean and will try to avoid peeing where they sleep.

Some wire crates come with dividers that can be used to gradually increase the space available to the puppy as it grows. For an adult dog, there should be enough room for the dog to stand up comfortably without hunching over and stretch out on the floor of the crate. The kennel should be placed in a location where there is a fair amount of traffic such as the kitchen. The puppy should not feel alone and abandoned when placed in the crate. You can move the crate to a bedroom in the evening to help avoid loneliness at night. This can be a traumatic period of time for a puppy, particularly