- Designing the Housetraining Dog Drill
- The basic don’ts of housetraining dog
Designing the Housetraining Dog Drill
Why the Housetraining Dog Drill – because You cannot possibly live happily with a dog unless you have it housetrained. It’s the first issue you need to handle once you bring your dog home. Actually—you need to handle this issue of housetraining dog even before you bring your dog home! Read this article to find out the essentials you need in order to incorporate the housetraining dog routine:
1- Get the command words right for the drill.
The First step in the housetraining dog drill is getting the command words right for the drill. To begin with pick the words you want to use as the housebreaking commands. They should be different from obedience and other training commands. Think about it beforehand because if you have overlapping commands you will successfully confuse the puppy. You can use words like “Do your job”, or “potty time” or “Time to go” or whatever else that is convenient for you. The dog will quickly learn to associate those particular words with the act of elimination in the designated area.
2- Get the crate right.
The second step in the housetraining dog drill is getting the crate right. If you are using the crate, make sure that you use it correctly. You should get the dog to consider it as his or her private chambers rather than a punishment to keep accidents from happening. Make sure it is in an area that is within your vision. Make sure that the crate is lined with a sheet and a blanket and add a little toy to keep your dog occupied. Make it a comfortable and safe den for the dog—not a corrective cage.
3- Get the diet right.
The third step in the housetraining dog drill is getting the diet right. Make sure that the diet is right. Consult with the vet and ensure that you are giving the dog the right kind of food as well as the right amount. Also make sure that your puppy or dog has fresh water at all times. Sometimes the lack of proper diet and a reduced intake of water lead to constipation, which might hurt the dog and make him afraid of the elimination process.
4- Get the timings of the drill right.
The fourth step in the housetraining dog drill is getting the timings of the drill right. Depending on the age of the dog, find out from the breeder how often the dog needs to go. Extremely small puppies can urinate every ten minutes so please ensure that you are getting a puppy that is at least 8 weeks old. Sometimes even 8-week-old puppies can urinate after every sip of water they take in! Basically you would need to follow a pattern like this:
- For an 8-week-old puppy—take him or her out to the elimination spot every 45 minutes.
- For a 2-month-old puppy—take him or her to the elimination spot every 1 – 2 hours.
- For a 3-month-old pup—take him or her after every 2 hours.
- For a 4 month and above—the interval can be 3 hours.
- For a puppy or dog of any age—take him or her out first thing every morning and last thing every night.
- For a puppy or dog of any age—take him or her out after every nap or play session.
The above routine is just part of the regular potty timetable. The other part involves a pattern determined by the food and water intake of the dog. No matter how old your dog is, take the dog out:
- Ten minutes after every meal that your dog consumes.
- Then again 30 minutes after every meal your dog consumes.
- 5-10 minutes after drinking water.
- Every 10 minute interval during play or training sessions
Remember that the smaller the dog, the less control they have over their bladder. Puppies will urinate when they get a little excited. It’s something they cannot control. When they are happy, they pee; when they are scared they pee—so you have to do a little extra to get them to the elimination spot at all the above time intervals as regularly as possible.
It’s like following a toddler around — they cannot indicate anything verbally. So what you need to do is get them to go at regular intervals until they saunter off on their own to the elimination spot or let you know they have to go.
The fifth step in the housetraining dog drill is getting the socialization right. Make sure that simultaneously to the process of housebreaking, you are giving your dog enough options for socialization. The process of socialization involves the entire gamut of relationships a dog forms with different people as well as the varied situations the dog is exposed to.
Your dog must be socialized the right way with you and the family. Establish a bond with your dog and show affection by hugging and holding him. Introduce him to family and friends— even the neighbors and the postman. Involve your family members with the elimination process and get them to take the puppy to the potty place.
Involve your dog in the family life—get him to follow you around and play with the children or just sit by your side. This would make for a much more secure and confident pet because the dog will feel wanted and loved. In turn, he will be more likely to obey and heed your commands. The right socialization along with a regular and consistent housebreaking routine, will speed the training process.
6- Get the exercise right.
The sixth step in the housetraining dog drill is getting the exercise right. Make sure that you give your dog enough exercise. Puppies need to use their energy rather than lie around. Workouts are essential for the dog’s health.
Exercising as in taking the puppy out for walks in the park will help in the bowel movement and reduce constipation. It will also make the puppy happier not only because he is outside but also because he’s spending time with you.
7- Get the body language right.
The 7th step in the housetraining dog drill is getting the body language right Try to mentally note the body language that accompanies the elimination act. Some dogs go in circles. Some suddenly stop what they are doing and squat. Some may sniff the floor, look quite distracted and begin wandering around. Some whine and the really quick to train ones scratch at the door when they need to go. By keeping a watchful eye on your dog during the training process, you can quickly recognize these signs and then quickly take your dog to the designated toilet.
8- Get the negative reinforcement right.
The 8th step in the housetraining dog drill is getting the negative reinforcement right. This might sound confusing but what it actually means is that you learn how to say ‘no’ when your dog is attempting to relive his bladder inside the house. Do not yell—that will scare him and make him unable to stop. The right way to do it is say “no” in a loud and commanding voice so that he is adequately startled to tense his muscles and hold his bladder. Pick him up and take him to the elimination spot right away. Do not punish or hurt the dog. If you haven’t seen your dog do it and the deed is already done, then just clean it up as well as you can, using an odor neutralizer. There is no point in coming down on the dog because you haven’t caught him or her in the act
9- Get the reward right.
The 9th step in the housetraining dog drill is getting the reward right. Praise your dog and hug him or her whenever they use the elimination spot. They need to know that they got it right and that you are proud of them. Have a special reward for your dog every time he does the right thing. It could be anything ranging from a special hug, a doggie treat or a special game that you play with him or her. Positive reinforcement is the key to efficient training—when you reward the correct behavior, your dog would be more likely to repeat it so as to gain praise from you. If you punish—the dog will respond in a negative way.
The basic don’ts of housetraining dog
- Do not EVER hit your dog or abuse him or her physically in any way if there is a housebreaking accident.
- Do not EVER rub your dog’s nose in the mess to teach him a lesson. The dog has no idea that he has done something wrong and he himself can’t stand the messy stuff and just wants to get rid of it. By rubbing it in, he registers only the harshness of the punishment with you.
- Do not isolate your dog because he has made a mess inside. Dogs are family oriented and keeping them apart aggravates and disturbs them. The insecurity that is caused by the isolation would also lead to more accidents.
- Do not change the diet during the housetraining sessions, unless there is a health issue that necessitates a change. A change in the diet might affect a change in the dog’s bladder and bowel movements.
- Do not leave the food bowl and the water bowl, lying around for the dog to have at any time of his or her choosing. Feed the dog according to a timetable and take away the food after 20 minutes. Whatever the dogs eats, in that time, is what his body needs.
- Do not allow the dog to roam around the house, wherever he likes. Do not leave the dog unattended —he would most likely sniff out corners and do his job there without your knowledge.
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