December 4, 2009

The Ins and Outs of Housebreaking a Puppy


Whether you’ve decided to get a new puppy or already gone out and gotten one, there are a lot of things that you need to know, as new puppy owners. One of those things is how to go about housebreaking a puppy. After all, the vast majority of dogs, at least in the USA, grow and live mainly in the house with people as companions. If your puppy goes anywhere it wants to, it can make living in your house very unpleasant for both you and your pet.


When it comes to housebreaking, what not to do is more important than what to do. One of the common mistakes that people make in house training a puppy is punishment. If you come home to find an accident on the floor, your instinct is to find the dog, shove his or her nose in it and start yelling. Not only is that cruel and useless, even if you catch the dog in the act, but it’s too late if you don’t see the puppy actually have the accident. Puppies have a short attention span and won’t understand what they’re being punished for, even if there’s only a few minutes between accident and punishment.

Your Puppy’s Training Tool:

A much better way to handle accidents in the home is through a system of positive reinforcement. That is, you should ignore the puppy when he or she has accidents, but reward them with something they enjoy when they go to the bathroom outdoors. Each puppy is different. Some puppies like food. Some like squeaky toys. Some like balls or stuffed animals. Once you find something your puppy likes, use that thing as their training tool/reward system.


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