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House Training Your Puppy
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House Training Your Puppy

When a new puppy comes to live in your home, it’s exciting for the whole family.

But to ensure that the arrival of this new family member goes smoothly, it’s an idea to spend some time in preparing for the arrival of your pup.

As a dog owner and in particular a first time dog owner, one big challenge is being able to house train your pup. So with a bit of forethought, some reading and a good positive attitude, you will find that house training your pup will be a lot easier than you think

When the Puppy Arrives

Your puppy will have had an exciting car journey to your home, and this coupled with new surroundings, unfamiliar people, and new sights and new smells, she will most likely want to go as soon as she gets out of the car.

A good idea here is to ensure that you walk her around her new garden so that she goes outside. This will be a good start to her arrival with her new family.

Remember that the more your puppy relieves herself in the house, then she is more likely to repeat that behaviour.

So arriving at her new home will be a good chance to set a precedent for where she relieves herself!

Things to do to help her

1 Take your puppy to her new designated toilet area.

2 Give her a chance to sniff around this area and don’t play with her just yet, because you don’t want her to get the idea that this is a place to play. She needs to know that this part of the garden is for the toilet only.

3 When your puppy stars to relieve herself, say the phrase that you want her to associate with going to the toilet: Go toilet, or toilet time or whatever you think will work best you. It’s probably better if the phrase you use is short and easily to recognise and try to use the same voice each time you say your phrase, too (this will help your dog to quickly learn the meaning of your chosen phrase.)

4 When she’s finished using her new toilet area, make a big fuss of her: give her lots of praise and also give her a treat.

As soon as you enter the house with your new puppy, the toilet training should be put into action straight away.

You may well find that the quickest and the most effective way of house training your pup will be to crate train her.

So what is Crate Training?

Basically crate training is using a small indoor kennel, in this case, the crate, inside which you can confine your young pup when you are not able to actively keep an eye on her.

How does crate training work?

As a rule, dogs do not like to soil the area where they sleep and as you will be restricting your pup in her sleeping space, she will do her best not to soil it. Obviously you will need to take your pup out for plenty of toilet breaks and also ensure that the crate is the right size for you pup.

A crate that is too large will allow your pup to use one end as a loo and the other end as a bed. This is not what you want.

How do I choose the right crate?

It’s a good idea to select a crate that you pup will grown into. Ultimately it should be large enough for an adult dog to stand up in comfort and be able to turn around in without crouching, but not a lot bigger than this. Don’t forget, you don't want her to use one end as a bed and the other end as a loo.

Generally puppies grow from being quite small to being quite a bit bigger and so an idea here would be to use a grille or board to reduce the internal dimensions of the crate while your pup is growing.

You might want to use a cheap crate and renew it as your pup grows or you might even want to make a crate yourself for your pup

How is the crate used for house training?

Your puppy is in her crate all the time unless she is actively supervised. If she is eating or sleeping or you are playing with her, or she is outside going to the toilet, she will be in her crate.

Consistency is the key here or crate training will now work. You shouldn’t allow your pup to explore your house unless you are with her 100% of the time.

Remember that if your pup is allowed to wander alone in your house before being properly house trained she will relieve herself inside the house and having done this once, it will just be a whole lot easier for her to do it again. So, consistency is the key here.

An idea of a crate training schedule

7am: Wake up. The first thing you do is take your pup outside for the toilet.

7.25: Time for breakfast

7.45: Outside again for another toilet break - again accompanied by you

7.50 8.45: Time for play –Your pup is out of her crate and being played with and cuddled,

8.45: Another trip outside for a toilet break.

8.50 11: Puppy goes back into her crate for a snooze.

11 am: Outside again, with you for a toilet break.

11.05 12.30: Puppy is out of the crate for more playtime

12:30: Time for lunch

12.45: Another Toilet break outside

1 - 3.30: Puppy goes back in the crate for a nap.

And so this continues through the day.

Don't forget that you need to be outside with your pup at toilet breaks to ensure that you praise her every time she relieves herself in her toilet area.

Crate training your pup will take roughly one or two months (This of course depends on the breed of your dog and how much time you are able to spend on the training.)

As your pup grows older, you can start to reduce time that she spends in her crate but take care that you don’t do this too early.

Is there anything else I should know about crate training?

At first, your pup probably won’t be ecstatic about going into her the crate. She may whine because she doesn’t like it.

She will want to be out of her crate with you, being played with and receiving loads of attention.

But in a very short space of time, she’ll come to learn that this crate is her very own personal space. Here, she will be able to go for some peace and quiet and it’s also where she can go to relax and get a couple hours peach and quiet away from it all. It’s very important that you don’t respond to your pup whining the first few times she is in put in her crate.

Your puppy needs to feel that she is a part of the family and so the best room to put her crate is a room where the family are often together and there is activity. So your kitchen might be just the ideal spot for your pup’s crate. It’s very important not to isolate your pup, she needs to be included even if she is in her crate.

Your puppy should have a crate that is a nice place that she wants to use. You can make it enticing for her by putting a few thick puppy blankets or a fleece in there for her, and a few toys for her to chew on. When your pup is not in her crate, leave the door open for her so that if she wants to go in there she can. Of course, if she is in there, during her daily routine, then the door needs to be shut.

A few handy toilet facts to know about puppies.

Puppies have small weak bladders and the time between your puppy knowing it needs to use her toilet and actually relieving herself won’t be long in the early days.

So it is vital that if you want to help your pup in her toilet training, you must take her outside as soon as she wakes and immediately after eating drinking or playing.

You will know that your pup needs to go outside by certain behaviour traits. These are usually sniffing at the floor or going round in circles. Don't forget though, when she is very young, you need to take action straight away and take your pup outside immediately to prevent and accident inside your home.

The maximum length of time that a your pup can be kept in her crate at one time is worked out with this equation:

Your puppy’s age in months, plus one. So, if your pup is three-months old, you can keep her in her crate for no more than four hours.

That said, it won’t be a lot of fun for your pup to be crated for that long. She will get uncomfortable and bored. So unless she is sleeping take her out of her crate every couple of hours.

Following the advice given above you will hopefully house train your pup fairly quickly and easily.

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