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Housebreaking Your New Puppy

The most immediate concern of new dog owners is that of housebreaking the pet. In order to accomplish this task, the essential principle that the owner must recognize is that it is always the desire of the dog to please its master. Nothing can give the dog greater pleasure than to know that its actions have met with approval; nothing can cause the dog greater displeasure than to know that its behavior has called forth disapproval.

When the dog performs its functions properly, it should be rewarded by a profusion of endearing words, by petting, or even with a tidbit.

It must also be remembered that these expressions of approval or disapproval must be made immediately after the animal performs or is about to perform. If there is a delay of even a moment, the animal simply will not associate the praise or punishment with its natural functions, and will be at a complete loss to understand the favorable or unfavorable outbursts on the part of the owner. In any case, the owner must be rigidly consistent in his/her rewards in the housebreaking routine.

For the speed with which housebreaking will be accomplished depends on the owner’s diligence in maintaining that consistency. It must further be borne in mind that a dog does not have a human mentality; so a reasonable amount of patience in training will be required.

Very young puppies, say between the ages of six weeks to two months, are usually first broken to paper indoors. This is commonly accomplished by lifting the animal and placing it on paper as soon as any “danger signals” are noticed.

When the animal becomes strong enough and if the weather is agreeable, the animal is broken to the outside. With older pups, or with pups acquired during the warm seasons, it will save time to break the animal directly to the outside.

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