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If you’re perplexed about dog training, then read on. The reality is that dog training is more about teaching you how to communicate consistently with your dog than anything else.
Your pooch is certain about one thing: pleasing you comes natural to her. Behaving in an expected way to please you…well that’s the key to training. Whether you are house training a puppy, street training and walking your pooch, or just teaching her a few new tricks, remember this: it all starts with you.
House Training your Puppy
Reality dictates that your puppy has to pee and poop. Where and when for a young dog is a concept you have to teach them in a kind, consistent repetitive way. Punishing a puppy for something that is natural for all of us is cruel. So let’s start by setting up the first rule: no punishing and that means, no yelling, no nose rubbing in the carpet or anything else. If your puppy does her business in the house, accept the fact that it is your fault , not hers. Just clean up the mess and read on. No wailing, no fuss, no unwarranted attention to the deed.
Young puppies have no idea of schedules and bladder control. You need to take out your puppy to a designated area (a section of your back yard or city park) where you, your puppy and mother nature will all convene. For puppies 6 weeks to 12 weeks, this should be done every 45 minutes or so.
When your puppy does the deed, shower her with praise. I guarantee, that if you follow this schedule for a few days, puppy will soon learn that going to the bathroom in the designated area is not only necessary, but an opportunity for praise.
If your puppy goes to the bathroom before you reach the designated area (which, by the way. should be relatively close to the door you are exiting to get outside), just ignore the deed until you get to the designated area. Chances are your puppy will need to do more than one pee, and when she does the second one in the designated area, out comes the praise.
Clean up the area of feces except for the tiniest bit. This will be the prompt for your puppy’s next visit.
In then evening, most puppies will sleep for about 3 hours. Immediately, upon waking, out you go to the designated area. During the night, again, only expect to get 3 hours sleep at any time. It’s just like having a baby for feeding times. Pull on your sweats and out you go to the designated area.
After a couple of days, your puppy will understand the difference between going to the bathroom in the designated area versus indoors. Will accidents happen? You bet they will! This is where the kind patience comes in to play. Clean up with no apparent fuss.
We have found that this has worked with all our puppies and within 4-5 days, 90% of the bathroom activities occur outside where you want them. Just remember, that just because your puppy has learned that going outside is the place to go, you still have to be aware that puppies do two things: eat and excrete.
Although you may be able to extend the 45 minute period, young puppies will always have to go right after eating and sometime in between at least twice. That’s about 6-8 visits a day to the poop area until you puppy is at least 8 months old.
If your puppy has an indoor accident, immediately take her out to the designated area. After a few sniffs she will finish what she started in the house. Out comes the praise and then go back in and clean up with no fuss.
Now if your puppy is having accidents on your priceless Persian rug, you have to ask yourself why you let her anywhere near the rug in the first place. Remember that you control the acceptable areas for puppy to room and wander in your home.
Now you may think that this is a tremendous amount of work. But think about it this way. Your puppy will commit her lifetime to love you. All you need to is spend 4-5 days showing her where to go to the bathroom. Seems fair to us.
Some more house training ideas…
For individuals who may be physically handicapped and find it a challenge to keep running outside, this might be an alternative. We have yet to review the program in its entirety, but it looks promising especially for small dogs: litter training!
Other types of dog training…
Of course you’ll want to train your dog to walk safely with you, come when called, sit and lie down on command. This is basic obedience training and should probably be started with most breeds after 6 months. Before this, your puppies mind is just to unfocused and although you might get a few minutes of attention, it won’t last.
However, this is a critical time to keep your dog safe. Do not let her run loose as she could get injured or attacked by other dogs less tolerant of puppies. Most older dogs consider young dogs an irritant.
We could write pages on obedience training for your dog. But the type of training varies by breed and the required results you want. We have found that Adam Katz to be a good authority on basic obedience training and his methods are guaranteed to give you the dog you were meant to have.
His programs take you from the young dog, dealing with problem dogs, and even to new ways to play with your dog. It’s worth a visit and gets 4.5 (out of 5) stars from us. His videos are very good.
Another trainer, whose work gets 5 stars from us, is Daniel Stevens. His no nonsense approach is easy to understand and as always guaranteed to work. He fully understand how you can get inside your dog’s head and win the obedience game. We particularly like his approach to dog training.
Dog training – whether you need to house train your puppy or adult dog, are looking for sound advice on dog obedience training, or just want to show your pooch some new tricks, remember this: it all starts with you and loving patience. In time, the dog you’ve always wanted will be sitting right there beside you. You know it had to be love at first sight!