House Breaking Your Puppy
Article from our friends at Pet Door Design
House breaking your puppy takes time, patience, and discipline. If you want him to learn quickly and avoid accidents, you must be vigilant in the training process.
In general, puppies can “hold it” for 1 hour per age month. So, a 3 month old puppy should be able to go up to 3 hours before needing to relieve itself. Keeping this in mind will help you to schedule your puppy’s potty-training.
In addition to the age-to-hour rule, there are other times when you should take your puppy out, such as after meals and play-times. Movement helps the digestive system, so if your puppy is active during playtime in the house, it is a good idea to take him out afterward in case he is ready to go.
Some useful tools for house breaking your new dog are:
•A dog crate – buy one based on the size your dog will be as an adult
•Dog treats – to use as rewards during various training
•A clicker – used during training to get your dog’s attention
•Puppy pads, newspaper, or doggie diapers for times when you are away from home for extended periods
Crate training is a very helpful tool when house training a dog. Dogs do not like to soil the area they eat or sleep in. Keeping your puppy in a crate overnight will help it to learn to hold it overnight, as well as containing any messes the puppy may make while learning.
If you are able to be home all day with your puppy, or have someone who can come over at least several times during the day, here is a good schedule for house breaking your puppy. You should take him or her out:
•As soon as you get up in the morning.
•About 10-15 minutes after the puppy eats.
•Every two to three hours during the day – adjusting this time to the dog’s age.
•Anytime you see him sniffing the floor and circling – be quick when you see this!
•Just before going to bed. This should be the very last thing you do each night while training your dog.
When you take your dog outside, walk with him for about 5-10 minutes. If he goes, praise him. If he doesn’t, take him back inside, and try again about a half hour later. During this half-hour, be sure to keep a close eye on him for any signs that he needs to go, and take him out sooner if necessary. Repeat this half-hourly ritual until the puppy has done his business. A the puppy gets older, you will notice that the puppy can wait for longer times between outings, and you can adjust your schedule accordingly.
If you are not able to have someone home with your puppy during the day, you have some other options. One of the most used scenarios is to put your dog in a non-carpeted area of your house, such as a large bathroom or laundry room. Put his crate on one side of the room, and the “bathroom” area on the other. This bathroom area could be newspaper, or the newer puppy pads that are out now. They are more expensive than newspaper, but they are also more absorbent, making cleanup easier, and protecting your floors.
Some even come with trays for extra protection. Another benefit to puppy pads is that you won’t have any accidents on a regular newspaper that happens to be lying on the floor at a later time. And, if the newspaper/pads do not work, there are always doggie diapers.
If you have to use this method, be sure to take your puppy out just before you leave and as soon as you get home, so he can get used to the idea that he should really be going outside. As he gets older, he will be able to hold it longer, and will no longer need to be in the non-carpeted room during the day.
Once the puppy has gone several days without needing to use the pads, you can move his crate to its normal place, and secure him in his crate while you are gone. Some people think this is mean, but dogs are den creatures, and get used to the crate very quickly. If you have been placing your dog in the crate each night to sleep, it will not be a problem to leave him there during the day. By the time they are a year old, most dogs can handle being in the house alone with their crate open, without any accidents.
Once you have the basic potty training completed with your dog, you can train him how to let you know when he needs to go outside. One method is to teach your dog to “talk” to you. Here are some steps to accomplish this:
•Choose a word for the speak command, such as “speak” or “talk.”
•Work with your dog until he understands the speak command.
•Now, when it is time to take your dog on one of its scheduled breaks, have him go to the door and speak to you. Once he does this, praise him, and take him outside, praising him again once he does his business.
Most dogs should pick this up rather quickly, especially if you use treats while training him. This is a good alternative to the old-school training to jump or scratch at the door – and much less damaging. And, your dog can come to you to let you know he needs to go, if you are somewhere else in the house at the time.
Once your dog is older, housebroken, and well-trained in other areas to the point where he can be in your yard without supervision, you may wish to consider a pet door. This will allow your dog some independence, and free up your time of having to stop what you are doing each time he wants or needs to go outside. There are various types of pet doors on the market, and the right one for you depends on several factors, such as the size of your dog, and the type of door you have. Many people have a sliding glass door leading to their back yard, and this is an ideal place to add a pet door.
Pet Door Design is a company that has perfected putting a doggy door into a sliding glass door. The reason they have succeeded where other companies have failed is because they have a selection of glass pane sizes available. This is important because the glass pane is what will replace one section of your old sliding door. They have panes with the pet door already installed that have the appropriate height, width, and thickness for most sliding door styles.
When you order from Pet Door Design you'll be able to choose a design for your door based on the size of the pet door you need. Unlike most doggy doors, Pet Door Design has four different sizes available so you won't need to worry about your dog not fitting through. Their sizes are small enough to comfortably allow toy breeds through and large enough for large breeds such as Labradors. Other customizable options include choosing the frame color, optional rise, and glass options. The door you order will be custom made just for you! The order form is simple to fill out with check boxes for the options and pictures available so you know which features you are choosing.
An added benefit of choosing a doggy door from Pet Door Design is that the installation doesn't have to be permanent. The glass pane you receive is meant to replace the entire glass part of your sliding door. Since the installation is simple for contractors, there is no damage to the old pane they remove. If you decide to keep it in storage you can reinstall it at a later time if you decide to sell the house or no longer want a pet door.
Let Pet Door Design help make you and your dog happy while making sure your dog stays safe. Download an information packet from petdoordesign.com today.
Contact: Pet Door Design
20111 Winston Loop
Bend, Oregon 97701-8990