As we mentioned before the first thing you should teach your puppy once it reaches the age of two months to three months is house training. house breaking is not only important for your household’s health and cleanliness but it helps dogs to have responsibilities and rules. Remember that they are pack animals by nature and thrive in a situation where they are expected to provide certain services and follow schedules. Teaching your dog when and where it can use the bathroom helps to give it that structured lifestyle that is so important to dogs.
If you are studying this section with the intent of house breaking an adult dog, please skip the next part about “crates.”
When you begin house breaking your dog it is faster if you use the crating method. A crate is shaped like a cage has bars that the dog can see out of and comes with a locking door. The crate should be big enough for your dog to turn around comfortably in but no larger.
The crate is not a “holding cell” nor should it ever be used for the purpose of punishing. The whole concept of “crating” is to teach your dog that the crate is its own special sleeping/safe area.
Nature has taught dogs to instinctively avoid soiling the area where they sleep and training with a crate is just taking advantage of this wonder of nature. Almost without exception a dog will not eliminate in the its sleeping space unless of course you as the owner/trainer have left it inside its crate for longer than it could stand.
A young puppy should never be left in its crate during the day for more than a couple of hours consecutively.
A puppy of three months usually needs to eliminate once every three hours so be sure to get on your dog’s schedule and take it for a trip to the designated spot regularly.
When taking your dog to its bathroom spot it is a good idea to go the same way and through the same door every time. Also getting your dog on a bathroom schedule will teach it to wait until it is time to go.
It may be that your dog is used to roaming freely through out your home and if it is not yet house broken then you have got yourself much more of a problem.
It is imperative that you keep a close eye on your pooch in training and if you see any signs of a need to eliminate, that you act quickly.
A dog that suddenly begins to earnestly sniff the ground, circle a spot or stare intently at the floor is most likely about to soil your lovely carpet.
If you happen to catch your dog in the act of doing its doggie business on your floor then you can quickly take it by the collar telling it “No” in a firm, deep voice and immediately escorting it to the designated spot outside to finish. Be sure to lavish praise upon it once it finishes up.
Whenever you take your dog outside to do its needs, try telling your dog “hurry up” and then praising him when he’s done. Using these kinds of words lets the dog know that he needs to go on command. Believe it or not this kind of phrase will eventually stick in the dogs head and it will get the dog to take care of his business quickly, which can be very convenient if you are in a hurry or it is rainy cold winter night. Remember to use a commanding and gruff voice when addressing your dog in this way. Dogs can’t actually understand us when we talk to them, our voices just sound like a lot of gibberish to them, but they are able to notice whenever there is a difference in tone and pitch. So of course when you are commanding your dog, you will want to use a firmer and deeper voice. Another very important thing to keep in mind is to always praise your dog whenever he does something good! Say the dogs name a lot when you are praising it and use a higher pitched and cheerful voice; believe us dogs love this. Praising and encouraging your dog is probably the most important point in training and raising a dog right, since this is what will make the dog want to please you!
One last and very important point when training and teaching your dog to take care of business outside is to above all remain patient.
Yes it will frustrate the life out of you when having to clean up accidents that will occur. And waking up in the morning to the smell of dog excrement and a pile of dog feces on your lovely wood living room floor will stretch your resolve to the limits but getting angry or despairing will only bring about more problems.
We know that you want your dog trained and that you want it yesterday. And there are of course some simple steps you can take to help avoid those unwanted “surprises.” If your dog is urinating during the night then simply cut back on its water before bed or take it out one last time right before closing your dog in its crate. Then get up bright and early for another early morning potty trip. Help your dog to do right and then you will be well on your way to teaching it what is right.
As long as you can keep your cool and patiently, repetitively reinforce the desired behavior you will soon enough be able to enjoy the moment when your dog graduates from this first of training lessons.