House training is one of the most important stages to be worked through with every young pup. Some dogs learn quicker than others, so understanding how your new pet’s mind works can give you an edge with your puppy training.
Of course, it’s important that your dog goes to a chosen spot in the garden to relieve himself. However, the only thing your pup is concerned with is that he does so in a quiet spot well away from his food and where he sleeps. This makes the kitchen floor or behind your sofa the perfect place to him. It’s up to you to show him that it isn’t.
To start, choose a spot in the garden which you are happy with. Make it one that is easily accessible for your pet, as his self control won’t be fully developed during the first few weeks of his life, and ensure that it is away from his play, bed and food areas.
Try to anticipate when he will need to go. For example, he may need to go when he wakes up, if he is excited, after play time or once he has finished eating or drinking. These are rough guidelines, and being prepared at such times can be half of the battle.
Try to learn your pet’s body language – you will soon be able to read when he is about to go. He may sniff around his chosen spot with purpose, or he may hold his tail high. When you spot his ‘tell‘, pick him up and take him to his toilet area. When you have taken him, stay with him, encourage him (using a particular word at this stage may help him learn to go on command) and praise him when he gets it right.
A very young pup may not be expected to last all night without going to the toilet, so it’s best to take precautions. Cover the area where he sleeps with a layer of polythene, with some newspapers on top. This will make it easier to clean up a mess whilst protecting your floor.
Lastly, don’t chastise your pet if he has an accident. Punishment may cause him confusion, which could lead to him being even more secretive about where he goes to the toilet. This part of his puppy training may be hard to stomach at first, but it’s a vital stage in his development.
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