Archive for July, 2009

10 Tips to a Happy Puppy (and Owner)

Friday, July 31st, 2009

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Potty training your puppy can be hard if you’re a first-time owner, and even if you’ve had dogs in the past, potty training is still one of the most challenging parts of house training your pet. Every pup has its own personality, and the things you do to train it must cater to your puppy’s specific habits.However, there are a few simple tips that can make the whole process a whole lot easier. All of them have, as their underlying principle, the idea of consistency. Dog training is about getting your pet into a habit. A consistent routine is what is going to accustom your dog to relieving itself in the same place every time. Here are 10 simple tips to potty training your puppy that will keep both of you happy.

  1. Dog Toilet Features. If you’re using a dog toilet, make sure that it (a) is easy to clean, (b) has a splash back, (c) has a post for your puppy to aim at, and (c) is large enough so that your pup doesn’t out-grow it so quickly.
  2. Praise is the Key. Praise can go a long way in training your puppy. If it uses the dog toilet correctly, or if it does anything else that you want it to do again, for that matter, don’t forget to give it lots of praise. Doing so will ensure that your puppy will want to keep going outside when it has to, instead of just using your carpet or coffee table as a toilet.
  3. Watch for Signs and Act Quickly. If you see that your pup is turning in circles or starting to crouch down like it wants to use the toilet, quickly grab your dog and lead/carry it outside. Place him where you want him to go every time. Your pup will realize soon that this is where you want it to go. Eventually it will start using that spot on its own. The key is to keep alert for signs that it wants to go.
  4. Keep a Strict Feeding Schedule. Make sure that you feed your puppy at the same times every day. A consistent meal schedule will make it so that your dog has regular, predictable bowel movements. Obviously this will be immensely helpful during the potty training process.
  5. Indoor Toilet: Use Newspaper. This is tip is mostly for you, the owner. It is much cheaper and just as effective to use newspaper under the grill of your indoor dog toilet, rather than a gel or litter-type products sold at pet shops.
  6. Deodorize Unwanted Accident Spots. If your pup goes potty in an unwanted spot, clean it up as quickly as possible and deodorize it. This will get rid of the smell that your dog associates with going potty and will prevent your puppy form going back to that spot.
  7. Play with your Pup in Accident Spots. This is related to number six. Because dogs tend not to use the toilet in spots that they associate with eating and playing, it is important to not only clean accident spots thoroughly but also to feed your puppy and play with it anywhere where there’s been an accident.
  8. Frequent Attention. Give your puppy lots and lots of attention during this crucial training period. It will allow you catch accidents before they happen and will strengthen the bond between you and your pup, which will make potty training process easier and more enjoyable.
  9. Restrict House Access. For the sake of keeping your house as clean as possible, restrict house access until your pup is fully potty trained. Baby gates and tile floors are recommended.
  10. Keep Training Consistent. As mentioned in the introduction, consistency is key. If you’re leaving your dog with a dog-sitter or a relative for portions of the day, make sure that they use the same training methods as you. Otherwise, the pup will be confused and it will take much longer to train it properly.

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