House training a new puppy

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House training the furry, new addition to your family takes patience and commitment. Dogs are creatures of habit, so be consistent.

According to pet behaviourists, the best way is to reward your four-pawed fur kid for obedience. Just as with human children, a schedule is of utmost importance, providing security and boundaries. The younger the puppy, the shorter the time span during which it can control its bladder, but as a rule, take them out at least every two hours. Of course, there would be the occasional accident, but NEVER push their faces into the mess they made or hit and shout at them. Most human babies take almost a year to be potty-trained – dogs learn much quicker. Take the puppy out immediately after waking up, during and after playing in the house and directly after drinking or eating.

This is also the ideal time to not only teach them proper toilet habits, but to allow them to get used to a leash as well. Pick a spot that would in future serve as its own elimination spot. Yes, when it rains, you could get wet as puppies, having gotten used to “their spot” and if it is rather far from the door, may dawdle around in the rain with you holding the leash. After your puppy had eliminated, take it for a walk, a play or provide them with a treat. But do not get overly excited while he/she had not finished. They easily get distracted and will stop, especially as they realise you thought they were cute! This way they quickly learn that good behaviour is rewarded, only after they had completed their toilet.

Also, put your puppy on a regular feeding schedule. As your veterinarian will tell you, what goes into the pup, will come out the other side quicker than you image and when trained properly, this would become the norm in a few weeks. Puppies need to be fed small amounts at least three or four times a day, so be prepared to make time for the elimination process, which does get shorter as they grow up. As said before, consistency during training is paramount for your dog and you.

Some dogs learn early on that barking to get your attention or scratching at the door show that they need to go outside. Otherwise, watch for restlessness while sniffing and walking in circles. If you do get busy, keep one eye open for these signs.

And enjoy a properly house trained dog without both of you becoming nervous during the process.

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