31 Dec 2010
One of the best things about having a pet is the companionship they offer. Many of the idealized dreams of pet owners have been destroyed by the inability to properly house train a new puppy or dog. This is unfortunate because with very few exceptions, teaching a dog to relieve themselves outside is one of the easier things to do.
Understand that dogs are pack animals and in the wild, they choose to be very social and interact with a group. When you take on dog ownership, you are seen as part of the pack. Canines also prefer to sleep in a very clean, dry and warm place. This means that a dog or puppy will not purposely soil what they see as their home and sleeping area.
The key then is to take this natural preference and use it to develop a positive behavior of asking to go outside to relieve themselves. The absolute best way of getting the behavior you want is to use lots of praise and positive reinforcement.
Yelling, raising your voice, threatening and getting aggravated or physical with your puppy or dog will not nearly be as effective as positive reinforcement and consistency on your part. A dog simply has a difficult time associating an action with a consequence. It’s their desire however to make you happy so anything like going outside to the bathroom should be seen as something that makes you happy. This means lots of praise will get your puppy housebroken a lot faster than getting upset.
It also means that if your dog has an accident inside your home and you do not see it while it’s happening, you should not scold or say anything negative to your pup. And even better approach when you have to clean up a pile of poo is to ignore the dog completely. You don’t want to show your displeasure because your puppy will not have the ability to associate your unhappiness with the bathroom accident. The reason for this is that you don’t want to interact with the animal after finding something that you don’t like.
You should also face the fact that your puppy or dog will have an occasional accident during the training. It’s just a fact that there will be times when your puppy will not be able to control their bowels or bladder. If you catch them in the act of relieving themselves in your home however, simply pick them up and say firmly “NO” and take them directly outside to let them finish going to the bathroom.
Stay there with them and pay careful attention to make certain that they go. While outside, if they do indeed go potty, it’s very important that you focus on that positive and offer them lots of praise and physical contact heading for doing a good job. This helps connect bathroom business with outside and pleasing you.
It’s only through patience and understanding that you can successfully potty train your dog. Although it doesn’t take a lot of time, it’s important that you stay consistent with your training and realize that accidents will unfortunately happen.