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A Few Puppy Training Basics

Calvin took about a week and a half to housebreak, having about half a dozen accidents in the house during that time. All of those accidents were number 1 - he never pooped in the house once. We can offer the following housebreaking advice to new puppy owners:

1) Only scold a dog for eliminating inside if you catch him in the act. SCOLDING A DOG AFTER HE HAS ALREADY HAD AN ACCIDENT WILL NOT WORK. The dog will not be able to figure out that you are unhappy with something that he has already finished doing. If you catch him in the act, give a loud, startling "no" (which will hopefully cause him to stop going) and rush him outside.

2) Praise the dog when he eliminates outside. He will soon want to eliminate outdoors because he knows it pleases you. Eventually, he will associate eliminating and being outside together, your ultimate goal. Leave some of the dogs excrement outside if possible so that when he returns, he can recognize the smell and hopefully do it again.

3) Clean up any accidents as quickly and thoroughly as possible. Try not to let it soak into carpeting since the padding will hold the scent and trigger the dog's urge to eliminate in the same spot again. A vinegar and water solution or various commercial products can be used to help mask and remove the smell.

4) Until he is housebroken, take the dog outside as often as possible. This is extremely important. We found that we were taking Calvin out roughly every 30 minutes to one hour. This only lasted for about 2 weeks, then he slowly worked up to the point where at 3 months old, he could easily hold it for several hours even outside of his crate.

5) If he must be inside for longer periods (ie, when you are not home), he should be in a crate. Most dogs do not like to soil their crates and thus will do everything possible to hold it until they are released. At under 8 weeks of age, Calvin was able to hold it through the night for up to 8-9 hours.

6) Take away water approximately 2 hours before bedtime. This will greatly increase his chances of making it through the night.

We will hopefully add more topics to this page soon. (but don't count on it)


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