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House Breaking A Dog Or Puppy

House breaking training a puppy is the most simple yet the most dreaded training goals for all puppies and their owners. Housetraining or house breaking training is the process wherein you train and encourage your puppy to urinate and defecate at the designated place and at pre-determined timings.

The objective is to avoid accidents and prevent your puppy from peeing inside the house, on your carpet or the sofa. House training a puppy requires a great deal of consistent and disciplined efforts on the part of puppy owners. The best bet will be to devise a systematic plan with pre-established training goals and then working consistently towards achievement of those goals.

Selecting the Toilet Area for Your Dog
Selecting the right toilet area is the first and most important step of house training your puppy. This step begins even before you bring home a puppy. You should earmark a toilet before she comes home. The selection depends upon the type of puppy you have brought, what your expectations are from the puppy and most importantly, what is the type of your home. 

The housebreaking area can be an isolated corner in your backyard, a puppy (dog) park, or a designated place in your apartment if you live in high rise apartments or are willing to train your puppy for indoor use. Whatever the place you select as toilet area for your puppy, make sure that you take her out every time to the same area. Try to select an all weather safe area so that you can consistently take your puppy without any interruptions.

Most of the time house breaking training is delayed and meets with little or no success because the puppy owners themselves are not sure of the toilet area and keep changing the area on a frequent basis. This results in confusion for the puppy and she is not able to establish a permanent location for elimination.     

Steps for House Training a Puppy
Their are three basic steps for house training your puppy:

  1. Establishing a toilet area within or outside your house
  2. Introducing your puppy to the designated toilet area and encouraging her to eliminate only at the designated toilet area 
  3. Facilitating marking, wherein your puppy marks her territory for eliminating when she reaches puberty

Establish a Housebreaking Schedule
The process of housetraining of a puppy begins from the first day you bring home your puppy. A puppy that has been brought up under normal circumstances generally takes no time to establish a housebreaking routine. Six to seven week old puppies develop the habit of moving away from their normal place of sleeping to relieve themselves. Puppies instinctively want to be clean and do not like to foul their sleeping area.

You should establish a housebreaking routine for the puppy. Some important considerations for setting a housebreaking routine are her age, timings for feeding, play, exercise and training. Establish a feeding routine for your puppy in consultation with the breeder and then strictly adhere to the routine. Any disturbance in the feeding schedule will have an adverse impact on the outcome of housebreaking training. Try to feed her foods that are easy on her stomach.

Take her out for airing after every meal, before and after every exercise and training session, every time after a nap and before bedtime. Remember, young puppies have small bladders and need to go out for airing more frequently when compared to their older counterparts. Initially the puppy is not able to hold it for the whole night and she may need to go out once or twice during the night as well. However, within 2-3 days she will be able to hold it for around eight hours in the night. 

Take your puppy out after a busy training or play session even if you have taken her out just 15-20 minutes before. This is vital because physical activity produces urine and she may need to go out to relieve herself. Remember that a schedule is important and so is her activity level. You have to keep a watch on her activity level as well as the clock. Ignoring either one of them could lead to accidents.   

Taking Her Out 
Take your puppy out for housebreaking in accordance with the schedule. Do not forget to put on the leash and collar. A leash and collar is necessary even if you are taking her out in a fenced yard. This will help the puppy to feel closeness with you and understand that she is going out for business, not for fun. Take your puppy to the determined toilet area and do not allow her roam around. Remember, this is not a walk for exploring and sniffing. Be as boring as possible and do not allow her to roam around. Stand quietly at one place and do not distract her while she is searching for the right location.

Once you find that your puppy has found the right location, issue the potty or urination command. You can be creative in selecting the potty and pee commands. However, be careful not to select the words that you use during normal conversation. Be consistent with your potty and pee commands. This is probably the only command that you can use repeatedly.

Soon after your puppy has relieved herself, reward her with a food treat, praise her lavishly and if possible reward her with a play session. Be very demonstrative of your happiness about the fact that she has done potty at the right place. This is the most important aspect of puppy training and you can use triple rewards, food, praise and play. Make her feel how important is it for her to defecate at the right place. However, you have to be careful not to praise or reward the puppy when she is exploring the location for potty.

Coping With Accidents
Before we move on to coping with accidents it is important that you learn how to avoid accidents. Accidents are situations when your puppy eliminates in the house or not at the desired toilet location. Remember, prevention is better than cure. Try to avoid situations when your puppy eliminates in the house. You can do this by closely observing her for an initial few days and establishing a perfect housebreaking schedule.

Avoid situations where she will have to eliminate in the home. Observe your puppy closely almost all the time for the first few days and soon you will understand the gestures that indicate that your puppy needs to be aired. If you are not able to watch her for long hours, restrict her to the confinement area or the crate. In that case, the puppy will practice holding herself because puppies do not like to urinate or defecate at their sleeping place. When you have to leave the puppy unattended for long hours make sure that you feed her at least two hours before you leave. This will provide the puppy ample time to relieve herself after the meals. 

Positive reinforcements are always better than the negative ones. Never use harsh reprimands or severe punishments if your puppy eliminates in the house. Most of the time accidents happen when you are not watchful of the puppy or you are not following the schedule. Do you reprimand your baby for eliminating in the diaper? If not then why reprimand the puppy for eliminating in the house?

Physical aliments such as digestive disorders, upset stomach, bladder infections and urinary infections could upset the puppy’s housebreaking schedule. If you face persistent problems while housebreaking training of your puppy, you should consult the vet and ensure that the puppy is healthy and not suffering from disease.  

The best bet is to ignore the accidents unless you catch the puppy in the act. Punishments or reprimands are of no use after she has eliminated. When you catch her in the act, warn her with a firm “no”. Express your displeasure in unambiguous terms and take her out to the desired place for urination. Once she uses the right place, reward her and praise her lavishly for good behavior. This will be a practical demonstration of the desired behavior. The more you reward your puppy for good behavior, the more she will try to please you with good performances.

If your puppy has soiled the house, clean and dry the place as soon as possible. Try to deodorize the place with some fragrance or odor killing substance. This will prevent the lingering odor of puppy’s elimination in that location. Puppies have a tendency to repeatedly use the same place for urination and defecation. As far as possible avoid paper and pee pad training for your puppy unless they are the only options for a toilet place for your puppy. If used otherwise, paper or pee pad training gives the dog an indication that it is okay to eliminate inside the house and get away with it.     

You should maintain a positive and cool attitude while you are house training your puppy because your anger and severe punishment during the process might scare the puppy and cause complications like submissive urination.

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