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How to house - train your puppy

Updated on September 18, 2007

For any new puppy owner house-training is something we have to go through whether we like it or not. The only way you can miss out on the house-training process is if you do not mind your pup doing his or her business all over the house and I know for most of us that is simply not an option. It did take us a while to house-train our dog when we first got him. And in those days there were no scented puppy pads, the only thing we used were the newspapers.

It may take up to 6 months to fully house-train your puppy. They are young, exuberant, full of energy and their growth and development are at an all time high. They play a lot and they eat a lot so it is no wonder they "need to go" constantly. As they get grow and get older they will have more control over their bowels and bladder and will be able to "hold it in" much longer. House-training does not have to be difficult, even though it probably will get frustrating at some points. And if you do not get frustrated, then you are much better person then I am and most definitely deserve a medal.

To house-train your puppy, best would be to separate one room or area of your home as you puppy's den. Everything your puppy could need should be in this area, from the water and food dish to toys so they can entertain themselves when you are away. And do not forget to line the floor of this area with papers. We used plenty of newspapers, however that was back in the day when there were no puppy pads available on the market. It is important to replace the papers with clean ones regularly. But I'm guessing you do not need me to tell you that.

After a period of time, your puppy will probably start showing more inclination for one or two particular spots. You can slowly reduce the amount of paper you put on the floor and concentrate on his location of choice, however there is a possibility accidents will happen. For my dog the norm was that he could hear the rustling of the papers underneath his front paws, however his bottom part was still on the floor. Then slowly you can start moving the papers towards the location of your choice. For us it was close to the entrance door and before you know it our dog was scraping at the door every time he wanted to be let out.

It is unrealistic to expect you will be able to be with your puppy 24-7, however when you are at home you can help with the house -training process. Every time your dog has a meal it will help to put him or her in the designated pee area. The same applies after you see them drinking water, after a play session or in the morning when they wake up.

And do not forget to praise your puppy when they do do it right. Reward them when they do it right, as this will help them get the message more quickly. And if they do somewhere where they are not supposed to, do not shout or reprimand them, as this does not help at all. It is difficult for them to make a connection between accident and your scolding, especially if they did something when you were not even home. So no scolding and positive affirmation - praise and reward when they go where they are supposed to.

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