Twenty years of dog training and ten years of dog rescue experience, I have some great training methods I would like to share with all of you. Puppy is home, I assume that as a new puppy owner you researched what kind of puppy chosen, what their temperament is like, how well they will fit into the home situation that is specific to you. All of that aside now puppy is home and needs training. Here are some training tips that will not only keep you the puppy owner sane, calm, and happy but ways to train that puppy with love and kindness. No harsh words, no rolled up newspaper, no spankings and no yelling involved.
Purchase puppy pads; yes those little blue pads that are put in the floor. I know everyone says that once pad trained a dog will not use the outdoors. However, this is untrue and will help to salvage those carpets and floors during training. Most important to housebreaking that new puppy is training time. Depending on the breed of dog chosen to be a part of the family the time and energy needed may vary. Smaller dogs take more training time and need to go outdoors more often.
Once the puppy pads are down in strategic areas (and these are only for accidents in between outdoor time) spray them with puppy go here products. Make sure to buy a training crate to go along with this exercise. Training crates are not to punish but to keep the puppy in a safe place when trainer is not able to be with puppy. Now you are ready to train.
Calculate that your puppy can hold his/her urine about 1 hour per pound of weight. What that means is, if the puppy is a Chihuahua that weighs in at 1 lb then he/she will need a trip out-of-doors every 30 to 60 minutes. If the pet is a pit-bull and weighs in at 7 lbs then every 3-7 hours is the time needed between each trip outside. This is just a range of time and changing it while going through training is the key to success. When training puppy it will be necessary to take him/her out about 15-30 minutes after they have been fed. This will be approximately how long it takes for him/her to need before he/her has to defecate.
Step one and most important for puppy and the home will be house breaking. NEVER put puppies nose in the mess and spank puppy with a toss out-of-doors. It is simpler to train puppy by devotion of a bit of time. Owners need about 1 to 2 weeks of consistent time so take the time off from work, school or play and devote it to this wonderful creature chosen to spend it’s life with your family.
Take puppy out with a hand full of delicious treats. Put puppy in the yard, remember to always stay right with him/her so you can witness when it goes potty. If/when puppy goes potty (no matter how much or how long) give pup a big pat and a treat. Praise your pup vigorously for his accomplishment.
Praise, well an explanation of praise for this new addition to the family isn’t standing there leaning over him talking in a baby voice. It means stooping down to his level, or as close to that as you can get, patting, speaking in your normal voice, making statements of “good boy/girl”; “great work big guy/girl” things like that. Praise is the key to making your new puppy feel confident and proud. Puppies just want to please their new owners, they just don’t know how. Never scold your puppy with angry tones in your voice. It is clear that dogs do not understand a long sentence of words spoken to them they understand the tone in your voice. If you sound angry they will be afraid. If you sound calm and happy they will wiggle, jiggle and smile for you.
There is always a time during the day when trainer and puppy will not be able to concentrate on being outdoors. Dinnertime and away time for owner/trainer will mean that puppy is alone. When alone puppies have a tendency to seek something of interest. This is time for the crate. A dog crate is ideally just large enough for the dog/puppy to lie down in and stand up and turn around. There is no need for a crate big enough for your dog/puppy to play in or eat and drink. Yes if the dog/puppy needs to be in the crate for a long period (an hour or two) then it may be necessary to put in some water. Do not let there be enough room for the puppy to go potty in the crate period. Most dogs will not lay down in their own mess. Also do not expect to leave the dog/puppy in the crate for longer than the time you have calculated as outdoor time.
This does sound like a time-consuming project and sounds like there is no way you can leave the home. But, remember that this puppy is now a part of the family and should not be in a crate for 6-8 hours at a time. He/she needs to be with the family and be allowed to enjoy that time. If training a puppy seems like a lot of work, it is a lot of work. No matter how you look at this, owning a pet is work not just fun and even as an adult dog it will be the same thing. If you find that training this puppy is frustrating and makes you angry then it is time to consider this as a sign perhaps having a puppy or dog is not for you, maybe if you feel this way it is time for puppy to have another new home.
Remember, outside time, praise, being under control of the puppy is the key to training. Positive comments, not negative, do not yell at the puppy if he makes a mess. Pick up puppy properly, state clearly “no no” and walk him/her outside to the grass area. Never hit your puppy if they mess in the house, never put their nose in it. If the puppy has had an accident, and you missed it, if it is cold, this is not the time to make a point of the mess, clean it up and move on. However, do take puppy outside for a few minutes even though they don’t have to go now.
This method will take approximately a week for your new family member to learn that outside is the place for his potty needs. Once the pup is using the outdoors for his needs then puppy pads can be taken away and not used again. Some trainers will have you move the puppy pad outside for a period of time so that pup knows they are for outside too. Pad training can come in handy if you travel and stay in hotels with small dogs and also if you fly with your small dog. Many airports do not have areas for dogs and so a puppy pad in the restroom is a good place for those long layovers at the airport.
Be sure to tune in for Step Two of Puppy Training 101 – How to teach the new puppy not to jump, bite, or bark.