House Training Your Dog

Through the information you have discovered in [i4w_db__DogBreed]s Made Easy and the emails you have already received, you already know the importance of being consistent in your training efforts.  This is critical, not only for obedience training [i4w_ud_DogName] but for all forms of training, including housetraining.

The main trouble with housetraining isn’t typically the [i4w_db__DogBreed].  Unless there is a relevant medical problem, every [i4w_db__DogBreed] can be housetrained, even the most stubborn ones.  The main point to realize is that, just like toddlers, [i4w_db__DogBreed]’s do need to be shown what is acceptable or unacceptable behavior – they are not born with the knowledge that there is a specific place they must toilet.  And that means, for the fastest results, in the first few weeks you have to be alert and responsive to your dog’s needs at all times. As anyone who’s potty-trained a toddler will know, you watch them like a hawk and at even the smallest sign of the need to go, you get them on that potty pretty damned quick!

Once you understand the importance of constant supervision and consistency, and the entire family is in on the effort, then the trick is to choose the right techniques.  With [i4w_db__DogBreed]s, you generally can’t go wrong with positive reward-based training techniques.  This style means that you reward the dog when it has performed in a desirable way (for example, eliminating in the desired area outside) and you ignore the dog’s undesirable behaviors.  That means no shouting, spanking or any stress should be shown when accidents occur.  Simply clean up thoroughly and continue to focus on rewarding the right behavior.  

If, and only if, you catch your dog in the act, sharply (but without yelling) say “NO!”, clap your hands, or do something else that may startle your dog into stopping, and then get it outside as quickly as possible and reward for elimination outside.  Rewards can consist of a small treat but, more often than not, lots of praise is enough to reward a [i4w_db__DogBreed] who has eliminated in the right place.

And don’t forget, prevention is just as important as any other part of your technique.  Take your dog out frequently (especially just after waking up, after eating, and after exercising) so that you can allow the dog to eliminate before an accident happens.

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