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Puppy House Training Tips

One of the biggest problems people have with their dogs is house training. Because it’s a question asked a lot of me, here are several factors to consider when thinking about house training. They are: Praise, Routine, Behavior Watching, the “Don’t Pee Where You Sleep” factor, and Marking.

First, Praise. Especially when your dog is new, you have to lots of praise when you take your dog out to pee. Your dog needs to associate “outside” “pee” and “good” –yelling, scolding, etc. can work against you.

Second, Routine. Dogs LOVE routine. It keeps them in balance, they know what’s going on, and they don’t have to be worried or confused. If they already make the association that “it’s good to pee outside,” and they know they’re going on a walk soon, they won’t pee inside!

Third, Behavior Watching. When training your dog, look for behaviors like circling, sniffing, or sneezing. Gizmo would sneeze a LOT right before he would try to go inside. When we caught him doing that, we’d watch him, and direct him to the appropriate place. If you’re good at watching behavior, you get a lot more chances to correct behavior in-progress, and you won’t be tempted to scold.

Fourth is the “Don’t pee where you sleep” factor. Dogs don’t like to pee where they sleep, generally. So, one useful technique is to put a dog in a small area, like a small crate, and slowly give them access to larger and larger areas. You want them to end up gradually feeling like your house is their house. What you DON’T want them to do is to think a certain room is *their* “outside” that it’s ok to “go” in.

Fifth, Marking. Dogs, especially unneutered males, will mark their areas. If they’re peeing in small amounts, on vertical surfaces like curtains, sides of sofas, etc, then it could be that your dog is marking its territory instead of relieving itself. If this is the case, you need to consider neutering your dog. You can also clean the area very well with non ammonia-based or vinegar-based cleaners. Those smell like pee! That’s what you don’t want. You can move furniture around or feed your dog near the problem area. You want your dog to think of that spot as “his” — not something he has to protect and claim by marking.

If you need more tips, I got several of these from The Ultimate House Training Guide. Good Luck!

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