Successful Puppy Potty Training
Housebreaking can be a hot topic for dog owners, especially if your dog isn’t cooperating. It’s important to understand the dog’s way of thinking to establish successful puppy potty training. It doesn’t matter if your dog is a puppy or an older dog, or maybe it’s an undisciplined rescue, shelter, or homeless mutt. Following this simple guide will help you and your dog have success.
Dr. Karen Becker at Healthy Pet says:
Up to 25 percent of dogs relinquished to animal shelters by their owners end up there due to housebreaking problems. The same statistic applies to dogs seen by veterinarians — 25 percent of behavior-related visits to vets concern toileting.
It’s clear from these numbers that successful house training could save the lives of millions of dogs each year.
It pretty sad to think that a dog is abandoned, abused or given away (and ultimately euthanized) for the simple reason that the human didn’t know the proper way to potty train.
Some humans expect the dog to “just know” that he’s supposed to go outside to do his duties. But actually, your dog is doing exactly what nature intended — to relieve himself when he has to go! He’s not stupid. He just doesn’t know your rules! Teach him.
With patience, persistence, positive reinforcement, and common sense.
Tip for Successful Puppy Potty Training
1. Never leave your dog unattended if he is not housebroken.
This means you have to keep a watchful eye on the dog at all times so you can act fast if you see a visual clue that the dog needs to make doo-doo.
2. Use a regular feeding schedule.
If you leave food out all day, your dog will eat all day, and your dog will also poop all day. Having predictable mealtimes, say one in the morning and one in the evening, will give you more control over when the dog needs to go potty and your dog will soon learn the routine.
3. Use treats for positive reinforcement.
When your dog does relieve himself outside, let him know you’re pleased with him. He wants to please you. Make a big deal out of it. Praise him! Give him those treats he loves so much! Give them to him right away, though, so your dog associates it with the task. Dogs understand treats better than anything. Be careful of the calories, however. Use small treats, and not too many. After your dog is potty trained, you can eliminate the treats if you wish.
4. If mistakes are made, don’t punish your dog under any circumstances!
Don’t hit him, kick him, or yell at him. Don’t rub his nose in it. That will backfire, I can guarantee it, and will only make your dog develop a fear of you. Your dog doesn’t understand what the problem is. He had to go and he went! He needs to be taught what he’s supposed to do, and this takes consistent training.
Oh, and patience. It takes a huge amount of patience to training a dog properly.
To get more in-depth information on successful puppy potty training using these four principles, read Dr. Becker’s article at Healthy Pets.
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