We are grateful to Anne Marie
Rasmussen from Canada who has written about :
|HOUSEBREAKING YOUR PUPPY
Watching for the signs!
All dogs will telegraph a need to urinate or move their bowels.
The owner must be able to watch for the signs. They all have their individual
signals that they have to go. You will have to watch your puppy to learn what
his is going to be. They may walk around in a circle, pant, run around
nervously, look worried, go into another room, some sort of out of the ordinary
behaviour. You must learn to spot his sign and then respond to it and put him
out. You will make mistakes and so will he until you learn what his signal to
you is going to be.
What do you do when you
see his signal? You must immediately respond. Take him out on a leash or into
your fenced yard and stay with him so that as soon as he has urinated or moved
his bowel you should praise him.
He will eventually learn
to deliberately give you a signal that he needs to go out if you do two things,
always respond to his particular "I have to go out" signal promptly, and always
Specific Stages in
UNDER 3 MONTHS - A puppy under 3 months is like a human
infant; they just don't have much sphincter control, so don't expect much.
Keeping a puppy in a confined area at this stage is important. He should have
enough room to get away from his "mess", though. Put newspapers down at one end
of his area. Keep the other end clean by cleaning up when he makes a mistake.
If you see him going on the area without the newspaper gently lift him on to it
and if he happens to hit the correct spot, praise him for it.
OVER 3 MONTHS - When the puppy is about 3 months old, he
is capable of a little (not a lot) more control. Now you must really spend time
paying attention. This is the time when you watch his behaviour, learn what the
signal is, and respond to it.
A 3 month old puppy needs
to urinate about 9 times a day; the first thing in the morning; just before he
goes to sleep for the night, after every meal - 3 or 4 meals are usual at this
age - and whenever he wakes up from a nap. It is your job to get him to the
place where you want him to relieve himself, and when he does, you must be
there to praise him. Don't stay out forever. "Bathroom time" is not "exercise
time" or "play time". Give him 10 - 15 minutes. If he has not relieved himself,
go indoors and keep him on a long lead (6 feet). Keep him in the same room you
are in. If you see him looking frantic or acting "funny" take him out again for
10 minutes. Sometimes it helps to take him back to a spot he has used before.
DO NOT LET YOUR NON-HOUSEBROKEN PUPPY HAVE THE FREE RUN OF YOUR HOUSE.
At this age, 3 months or older, crating a puppy for the night is
very helpful to prevent accidents. Contrary to certain beliefs crating a dog
(particularly a puppy) is not cruel. A crate is a place of safety for many
dogs. Besides being an invaluable housebreaking tool it also give the puppy a
place to "get away from it all". As well later in life if you like to travel
with your pet he will be happy in his crate and so travelling will be less
stressful on him. Most pet suppy places sell them. Put an old washable towel or
blanket in the crate (not newspaper), and a toy, and maybe a biscuit. Leave the
door to it open during the day so that he learns it is a nice place that
belongs to him, not a punishment. The first night or two he may have an
accident and mess in the crate. He won't like that, and he'll quickly learn to
hold on until he hears you waking up.
The very first thing you
do in the morning with a puppy or a new adult is: TAKE HIM OUTDOORS. He cannot
wait while you get dressed, or even have a cup of coffee. So be fair and help
him to be good. Throw on a coat, put your feet into some shoes, and get the the
puppy outdoors. Yes, it may be raining or snowing. But just like you, the dog
needs to relieve himself regardless of the weather.
When mistakes do happen,
and he will make some (mostly due to you) scolding and disapproval must be
consistent. A firm "No, shame, bad" is enough. If you are really angry, he'll
know it. But preventing accidents, keeping to a regular schedule, and giving
lots of praise are better and more effective than scolding.
6 MONTHS - As the puppy gets older his sphincter control
improves. He has learned that you will take him out at regular times, and he
learns to hold on and wait. When you take your puppy visiting other people's
houses, keep him on a lead. This is a good idea even with an adult, for the
first few minutes. Excitement can cause "mistakes".
Restrict intake of water in the evening to prevent accidents
through the night.
If your puppy does not
housetrain, chances are you are not meeting his needs. Dogs are clean creatures
of habit but can be spoiled in the wrong environment.
These instructions can be
used with an older dog who may be housebroken challenged for some reason such
as one who has been rescued and not learned proper skills. Start them all over
as if they are baby puppies. It should be quicker than with a puppy because
they will have better control, but the principles are the same.
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