Welcome to Day 2 of Puppy Preschool!
(Don’t know what we’re talking about? Click here.) Today we’ll cover house training and crate training.
About House Training
House training (or, as most puppy parents call it, “potty training”) your pet may be one of the most important things that he learns. Starting off on the right foot is very important, decide what your goals are going to be with house training from the very first day and work towards that goal together. If given a choice your puppy may make mistakes and have accidents and this is a pitfall we want to avoid. If allowed to make mistakes routinely your pet will soon develop a habit and training will be frustrating and confusing for him. The goal is usually simple…you want your pet to readily and consistently eliminate outside and we can get that done in eight easy steps!
Here are some additional tips…
- Giving plenty of opportunities to a new puppy to go outside is critical. You would be amazed at how many times a puppy can actually have to go! The frequency can be reduced as your puppy gets older.
- If you do not have a yard and walk your pet to eliminate remember to still pick a bathroom spot. Dogs like going for walks and if the walk is over as soon as they go to the bathroom then they will likely hold out as long as they can in order to extend the walk, often not eliminating completely, if at all. Use the bathroom spot first and offer a food reward and then your pet gets a double whammy reward by going for a walk.
- Some people try to cut corners by waiting at the back door with a treat for their pet and once they come inside then they get the treat. From the dog’s point of view you have just rewarded him for coming back to the door and coming in and not for eliminating outside at all. It is important to be with your pet in the yard and deliver the treat with in 3 seconds of the desired behavior.
- A general rule of thumb for puppies when house training or crate training is that they can only hold it about one hour for every month they are old plus one. So if you have a 3 month old puppy he will only be able to hold it for about 4 hours. As your puppy gets older his bladder and bowel control will increase.
- Keep in mind if you have a tea cup or a miniature breed pet they are very small and their organs inside are small too. The ability for them to hold it for extended periods of time is very limited and they will need to eliminate frequently simply because they are too small to hold too much.
- If problems occur and accidents are difficult to overcome it is important to ensure of clean bill of health and a trip to your veterinarian may be in order to rule out any existing medical problems.
- Patience, patience, patience.
About Crate Training
Like other training aides — the slip collar or your voice — the crate can be misused and do more harm than good to your pet. But used correctly, the crate can make such a dramatic difference that animals who otherwise might have been brought to shelters have become excellent family pets.
Using your crate as a house training tool:
Crates make housetraining much easier. Wild members of the dog family instinctively keep their dens clean; therefore, most pups will try to keep their crates clean. When he needs to relieve himself, your pup will whine and fuss. If you keep his crate near your bed at night you will be able to wake up in time to take him outside before he soils his crate. In this way good habits are established.
When your pup has become accustomed to his crate he can be left in it when you are out of the house for a few hours. Make sure you let him have a chance to relieve himself outside before you leave home. Give him several of his chew toys, a bowl of water, and an old rug or a thick layer of newspaper for him to lie on. Now you can leave the house and know that your pup will be safe. He won’t be able to chew on electric cords, poisonous plants, or plastic bottles of disinfectant that can make him sick. Also, he won’t chew your furniture, rugs or clothes; which would make him sick! It’s hard to feel affectionate toward a puppy when you come back to a house strewn with mangled belongings.
About the Puppy Preschool Blog Series
Over the next few days, we’ll touch upon a variety of puppy-parenting issues that are covered, in detail, by our Behavior Training Programs Manager in her full Puppy-PreSchool Course. If you like what you get a taste of in these blog posts, sign your little guy (or gal) up for the full course,here.
Topics to Be Covered
- Sunday: About Positive Reinforcement Training
- Monday: Potty/Crate Training
- Tuesday: Play biting/Chewing
- Wednesday: Exercise and Appropriate Play
- Thursday: Socialization
- Friday: Conclusion
Stay tuned throughout the week as we deliver multi-media lessons on how to raise your puppy right. By Friday, your puppy could be a fully-fledged preschool graduate.
For more information…
…on our Puppy Preschool course, or any of our other obedience classes, just visit our website.You can also speak to our Behavior and Training Department at 954.266.6819. Classes are held at the Humane Society, 2070 Griffin Road, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312.