The Key to Training Success is You!

Spend as much time with your puppy as possible during the first two to three weeks your puppy is home. Be consistent, patient, praise when appropriate, and be willing - for however long it takes - to invest the time and energy necessary to make this important training time a success. The effort you put forth now will be well worth it for the lifetime of your pup.

Buy a crate and during the first few weeks, keep your puppy in it whenever you are not playing, holding, or watching him explore his new surroundings. Spend as much time as you can with your pup, but when you can't watch him, crating him can prevent mistakes from occurring. In addition to providing the safe, secure refuge your pup needs and wants, crates are critical to housetraining because as den animals, dogs are naturally inclined to not soil their bed. The most important thing dogs learn in a crate is that they can control their urge to eliminate until the proper time and situation.

Establish a schedule and don't deviate from it. The "when" and "how" you
housetrain needs to be consistent so make sure all family members follow the same
guidelines. Pick a soiling spot in your yard and take your pup there on a lead when it is time to eliminate. The odor from previous visits to this spot will stimulate the urge to defecate and/or urinate. In the housebreaking process, it is a good idea to use the same word like "outside" when you are going out and "do your stuff" once you are outside. Consistant use of a word with an activity will help to build a level of communication between you and your pup. Be patient. Dogs may urinate or defecate more than once in one outing and not always right away. Don't distract your pup from the job at hand. This is a business trip, not a social time.

Praise them for their success when the job is done.

Don't mix business with pleasure. Wait until your pup has finished and then take him back inside and spend some time with him. You know there is little chance the pup will have to eliminate for a while so play with him and have a good time. The more time you spend with the pup, the better it is. Remember, they are still young and need to act like a pup, developing and learning about their new situation and environment. When your are finished playing, take one more trip outside and place the pup back in its crate.
Dogs are creatures of habit; they like to eat, sleep, and relieve themselves on a regular schedule. Establishing and maintaining a schedule is easy to do and gets easier as your puppy grows. Pay attention to your pup's behavior so you can develop a schedule that works for both of you. First, learn when your pup naturally defecates - in the morning, at night, 30 minutes after eating, etc. Look at your schedule and determine what ompromises need to be made to make this workable for everyone.

If you catch your puppy in the act of having an accident, tell him "No!" forcefully, pick him up and take him outside. If you don't catch him, simply clean up the mess and scold yourself for not being available. Do not scold the puppy. Take him outside frequently and watch him very closely when he is inside. As soon as you see him pacing, sniffing around, turning in circles, or trying to sneak away, pick him up and take him outside. These are telltale signs that he needs to relieve himself.

Sample Schedule for a working family
For puppies 2-6 mos. old eating 2-4 meals per day; owner can get home at lunch.  For those that have family members home during the day, the puppy should spend one three hour stretch in the crate and have more supervised interaction outside the crate than this schedule shows.

7:00am  Take pup out. Don't wait until you shower or until the coffee is made.
7:15  Kitchen playtime.
7:30  Feed and water. Allow 15-20 min. for eating, then remove dish.
8:00  Take pup out. Confine to crate when you leave; place safe chew toys in crate for entertainment.  If you will remain home, allow puppy to have supervised playtime and  take outside every 45-60 minutes to eliminate.
Noon  Take pup out if arriving home on lunch break.
12:15  Kitchen playtime.
12:30  Feed and water.
12:45  Take pup out.
1:00  Confine to crate when leaving.  If remaining home, this is a good time to have the puppy nap in the crate.
4:00  Take pup out if home.
5:00  Take pup out if arriving home from work.
5:15  Kitchen playtime.
5:30  Feed and water.
5:45  Take pup out.
6:00  Supervised playtime for rest of the evening taking pup out every 45-60 minutes.
7:30  Feed and water.
7:45  Take pup out.
8:00  Keep puppy up and awake until time for bedtime taking pup out every 45-60 min.
11:00  Take pup out . Confine to crate overnight.

This is just a sample schedule to give you an idea of the time involved in housetraining a puppy.  When possible, your puppy should not be crated once you are home for the evening.  This is when you spend quality time with him and work on basic obedience

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