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:) Supervision is the most important part of house training

-You need to watch any new dog/puppy in your house, regardless of age so that you can prevent "accidents"

-If your dog or puppy has an accident in the house, it is your fault not the dogs. NEVER EVER PUNISH A DOG OR PUPPY FOR GOING POTTY IN THE WRONG PLACE!!! more on this later...

:) If you cannot supervise your new dog/puppy, then you need to confine them. A crate, exercise pen, or room that you've already set up and accustomed them to are all good places to do this.

:)Once you have set up a place to keep the dog/puppy when you cannot supervise him and figured out how to keep an eye on him when he isn't confined you need to think about feeding/watering schedules.

-Basically, if stuff goes in at a certain time, you can also expect it to come out at a certain time. Many people feed 2xs per day, once in the morning and once in the evening. Young puppies will need to be fed at least one extra meal per day, usually mid-day(3x day).

:)This brings me to timing...timing is a very important part of the process. How often should you take your dog/puppy out to relieve himself?

- Regardless of age, a dog will usually need to go after playtimes, when he wakes up from a nap and about 15-20 minutes after a meal. Otherwise try to take him out every 30-60 minutes.

-Since you will be supervising your new dog/puppy closely, you'll start to pick up on the "signs" that he has to go (any sniffing about, sometimes circling) and you'll know better how to gauge that time.

-Remember that the ability to hold the bladder develops with age, so younger dogs will have a harder time holding it, they'll hold it for less time...just like a young child, by the time they themselves recognize that they have to go, they really really have to go!!!

- This is why you have to watch them so carefully. If you are unsure of how often your dog will need to go, take him out more often until you've gauged the time.

:)Now, what to do when you take him out? Calmly pick up the dog/puppy or put a leash on him, and walk/carry him out the door to an area that you'd like him to use (you may not need to do this with an older dog, but it is a good idea when you are first getting started).

-It should be close enought to get to in a hurry, just in case. Put him down and wait. Sometimes it takes 10-15 minutes of sniffing around before the dog will go.

-If he hasn't gone in that amount of time, calmly pick him up or walk him back inside.

-Watch the dog very carefully for any signs of sniffing. Wait no more than 10-15 minutes and repeat the process.

-Keep repeating this process until the dog eliminates.

- This is important, especially when you first get started. Outside is a very exciting place, and sometimes dogs confuse this time with play time.

- As you develop a routine the puppy will start to figure out what you expect of him, and you will figure out how often the puppy needs to go, so you won't always have to repeat these steps.

*:)The exact moment the dog/puppies little rear comes praise praise praise. If you are marker/clicker training this is when you use your marker word or clicker. *

-Give the dog a yummy treat as a reward.

-Tell him he is the best most cleverest boy (or girl...) in the whole world. Make it a "Potty Party"

:)Once the process becomes consistent you can start using a cue. I use "go potty"

-To introduce the cue, you wait until the moment the puppy has squated down, and in a calm clear voice say "go potty" just one time.

- Wait until he is finished, and the second the rear comes up, mark the behavior and/praise and have your Potty Party


-It doesn't matter if you do it during or after the fact, when you scold/correct/punish/frighten a dog for going in the wrong place you will not get good results.

- At best you will confuse your dog and make the process take quite a bit longer.

-You damage your relationship with your dog and likely he will be afraid to eliminate in front of you.

-This means he will hide from you and you will start stumbling upon surprises in in the back bedroom.

-Stay calm and clean up the mess. An enzyme cleaner is the best way to ensure that you remove the tempting odor of past eliminations. Remember to leave it down for ten minutes before you wipe it up, to allow the enzymes to do their job.

-If you are overwhelmed with a desire to "correct" someone...go take a look in the mirror, that is where you'll find the responsible party, feel free to let him/her have it! ;)

:)If you are suddenly having potty training "issues" with an older dog, it is very important that you rule out any medical problems that may be the cause. Take your dog to the vet....If your dog is healthy and you are having "issues" just start if he were a brand new dog, and always remember to praise him at every step.

22,513 Posts
Thoughts on "Paper Training"

Paper training can be used when you can't take your dog outside to go potty. For example, if you have a young puppy, or live in an apartment.

Paper training is easiest if you have a confined space where you can provide a den area and the area with the pads...most people use an x pen for this, with a bed or crate as the 'den" and the rest of the area with pads...a small room, like the bathroom or a laundry room will work as well.

Another option, if you don't have a small space is confine the dog to a room with tile or wood floor and try to recreate the same den and non den areas....since this area is much larger the chance of hitting ONE pad is pretty nil at first.. but puppies do try to pee on SOFT surfaces instead of that's in your favor.

If you place pads over most, or all of the floor, after a few days you will get a sense of where your puppy is liking to go, usually the furthest spot from his bed. You can then start reducing the number of pads you are using... once the pup is using only on pad religiously if you don't like its location you can SLOWLY start to move it over the next week or so.

if at any time your puppy regresses, go back a step.

If you are using potty pads, for "just in case", with a young puppy, but still would like the dog to learn to go outside, it is important that you follow your house training routine when you are home and available and reward heavily for going outside. When the dog goes inside, on the pads, keep them clean, but don't reward for using the pads, you are using them for "just in case" to ease clean-up, not to teach the dog to go potty in the house. If you do want to teach the dog to go in the house, there are alternatives to pads that you may wish to consider, doggy litter-boxes and pans with patches of artificial or real grass that you can use for this. The same training steps apply......
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