Housebreaking A Puppy

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Housebreaking A Puppy

by Michael Russell

To housebreak a puppy, it is important to accustom the puppy to being in a crate from the first day that you have him. This job is much easier if you provide a crate that fits him well. If the crate is too large, barricade off one end. It is necessary that the crate you provide is just the size for him to lie down in comfortably and does not have a lot of extra room. It is also important that the crate have plenty of air and visibility . There are two basic types of crates, the wire crate and the fiberglass crate. The long coated breeds which suffer from the heat are often best in a wire crate, while toy breeds and short coated breeds usually do well in the fiberglass variety.

To housebreak your puppy, begin by crating the puppy each time he is ready to nap. As soon as he wakes up, take him from the crate and take him directly outdoors. Encourage him to eliminate by using key words such as "go potty" or "hurry up" each time. He will nearly always eliminate. Have patience, since often a puppy wants to play with you during this time and often he will take a little while before he urinates.

At first the puppy can be upset by being crated. Accustom the puppy to a crate gradually and sensibly. Do not put him in the crate and ignore him for hours on end. Put him in the crate for perhaps a half hour, then let him out. He will probably whine and cry and bark. Be sure not to let him out if he is whining and crying, all you will do is reinforce the noisy behavior. Ignore whining, crying and barking. As soon as he is quiet, praise him. If he is raising a real fuss, quietly but firmly tell him "quiet" in a commanding tone of voice. this can be reinforced by taking advantage of his startle mechanism.... slap a rolled up paper against a wall nearby and yell "NO!" or "QUIET" in a loud voice. AS SOON AS he is quiet, go to him and give him a little treat but do not let him out. When he remains quiet for ten seconds, then you can let him out. Repeat this a few times during the first day.

When night fall comes and it is your bedtime, move the crate into your bed room and put him in the crate. Often it will help him to put a small fan outside the crate for "white noise". Avoid the temptation to take the puppy out and let him sleep with you. It is far better to put up with a little whining and crying that first night than it is to let him think that he can get out of the crate by throwing a fit. Be sure to get him up after six hours the first few nights and take him outside to go potty. After the puppy is 10-12 weeks old, he can usually remain crated for 8 hours at night.

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