By Gary Walker
House training is one of the first training jobs you’ll have to do as a dog owner. This is important because living with an animal that has not been trained to control her toilet habits, is both unpleasant and unhealthy.
Fortunately, with the proper training techniques, and lots of persistence, house training a puppy is not that difficult to do.
In fact, your dog’s natural behavior will help you succeed. For starters, despite what some may think, dogs are clean animals, and given the choice will “make their toilet”, away from where they live.
Secondly, dogs love to please us and will do whatever it takes to make us happy.
These two principles are the secret to successful house training regardless of what training method you choose.
Here are the most common puppy house training methods;
Litter Box Method
Now the method you choose is up to you, but as someone who has trained many dogs, using all of these techniques, I’ve found crate training to be most effective. Crate training just plain works, because it draws strongly on the aspects of canine behavior I mentioned earlier.
Crate training takes full advantage of your puppy’s natural behavior, and that has to be a better way than trying to force the dog to make her toilet in a specific area.
Not that the other methods don’t work, they do, so choose whichever method you are comfortable with. What’s more important is that you remain calm, positive and patient. Shouting and punishing the puppy will only make her afraid of you.
Remember that you are dealing with a baby. If a baby messes her diaper you wouldn’t scream at her, swat her with a newspaper, or rub her nose in it, would you? The same applies here.
The puppy doesn’t yet know that she has done something wrong. But persist with your training and she’ll soon get the picture. Dogs are a lot smarter than we give them credit for.
Want to see even faster results?
Then give credit where it’s due.
Your puppy will do just about anything to gain your approval. Praise her when she does her “business” outside, or on the paper, and she’ll be encouraged to do this again, and again.
And don’t be stingy with the praise either. You need to make it very obvious that you are pleased with her behavior, so be enthusiastic, be effusive, be downright over the top!
Later, when you start obedience training, your puppy will already know that obedience equals praise, so in effect house training sets the scene for all your dog training efforts to come.