Tis the season of a new puppy…..perhaps one that you received as a Christmas present. Hopefully one that is at least 8 weeks old.
So now what? Where should you start?
The obvious first answer to that is house training. Failure to house train is often cited as the number one reason for giving a dog up.
And over the life time of the dog, the first week or two that you spend on training your dog to eliminate outdoors is going to save you a fortune in cleaning supplies and ruined carpets.
To start with get a crate. Dogs are den animals and most will come to truly love their crate.
Put the pup in the crate at all times when you are not actively supervising the puppy.
When the pup is out of the crate, close all doors to rooms that you can’t easily see and reduce the area that the puppy can access until house training is better established.
The secret to housebreaking is to get the dog to adjust its schedule. Put the dog out those times when it is most likely to need to eliminate such as
* upon waking up
* prior to and after confinement
* after playing
* after the arrival of someone
* before and after car rides
* after accidents
* if the dog is restless, trying to leave room, whiny, etc
* after eating and drinking
o young pups under 3 months within 15 minutes
o 3 to 6 months-within 30 minutes
o over 6 months within 40 to 60 minutes
Don’t send the dog out in the backyard to do his business. You take the pup out on a leash. Being on a leash teaches the dog that he can go while on a leash and prevents him from thinking that he has to be off of a leash to eliminate. Keeping him on a leash introduces him to the leash and it also keeps you right by your pup’s side so that you can praise him the moment that he does pee.
Keep your puppy crated at night and it is always best if the pup can learn to sleep in a crate in your bedroom. Most puppies can hold their bladder overnight by the time they are 8 weeks old….but smaller dogs usually take a bit longer to be able to hold it. If your puppy is having trouble sleeping you can try simply touching them through the crate.
This will usually relieve their anxiety.