You can absolutely house train any puppy, according to dog trainer Yvonne Feeney. Listen here on Steve Dale’s Pet World on WGN Radio to Yvonne offering her tips on house training 101 in celebration of VitaBone’s support National Puppy Day, March 23.
Yvonne and I offer six easy steps on house training puppies:
- Take the puppy outside often. Young puppies simply don’t yet have physiological bladder control. It’s a safe bet they need to go after waking from a nap, after playtime, after drinking water, or when excited (such as when a family member has come home).
- Take your pup to the same spot each time. That place becomes the dog’s toilet.
- Witness the act. Always accompany your dog – the pup should be on leash so he can’t leave your view, which could lead to you thinking he did his business when he actually didn’t.
- It’s business, not play. If you’re pretty sure your pup has gotta go and he ends up only sniffing or playing with leaves, take him back inside the house. Understand that you now have a loaded weapon. Tether the dog to you, so he can’t have an accident behind the sofa. When your puppy begins to circle, scoop him up immediately and take him back outside.
- Reward the act. When your puppy does his business, celebrate with a special treat, such as Vita Bone® Trainers, and tons of praise. Do wait until your dog is finished before celebrating, but don’t wait more than five seconds afterward. Also, as the dog is doing what he is supposed to do, say, “Good potty,” which can ultimately be used as a cue to tell your dog when to go (if it’s raining or snowing, this comes in handy).
- Play after potty. Immediately after your puppy has relieved himself, it’s time to play. The play session can be as little as 60 seconds if you’re in a hurry. This prevents dogs from taking forever to go because they figure out that they have to go back inside the house after they do their business.
Feeney likes the idea of a freedom schedule. “Set a timer, maybe on your smart phone, to understand how long the dog is playing outside the crate so he has freedom, but then know when that timer goes off, the puppy needs to go.”
Read more about house training from Yvonne HERE.
The second biggest issue is crate training. The big question is, for starters, to crate train or not to crate train, from Chicago dog trainer Rendy Schuchat, We agree, most puppies should be crate trained for three reasons:
- Crate training keeps your puppy and your possessions safe. A puppy in a crate won’t chew on wires or get into other potential hazards. Ingesting inedible items can cause an upset stomach or much worse. Crates also keep your possessions safe. No one wants to come home to their favorite pair of shoes chewed into a million pieces.
- Crate training assists with house training. It’s a fact: dogs are hard-wired to not want to soil the place where they sleep.
- Crate training teaches puppies to relax when no one is home. A puppy in a crate never gets into the habit of destroying household items while home alone. In the crate, he’ll learn to relax—most likely sleep—while you’re away.
Read more information on crate training HERE.
And, click here for even more puppy information.