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House Training

    These tips will help you train your puppy or older dog to eliminate outdoors. 

* The most important thing in house training is consistency!  Be consistent in whatever method you choose.  Choose a method and stick with it.
* Scheduling is another important factor.
* Doggy doors are very helpful if you have means to install one.

SCHEDULE your puppy's trips outdoors.  The average puppy needs frequent opportunities to eliminate.  Start first thing in the morning with a trip outside as soon as your puppy awakens.  Puppies feel the call of nature about every hour when they are awake and playing.  They need to go out soon after eating, and after drinking water.  By the age of 10-12 weeks, the average healthy puppy can sleep through the night.  If your puppy has an accident, examine the schedule and make adjustments to prevent future accidents.

CONFINEMENT One of the most valuable tools in house-training is the dog crate.  Intended to be used like a baby's playpen or crib.  The crate keeps the puppy safely confined when no one is available to supervise her.  Crating prevents accidents for the normal puppy.  Because her instinct to keep her nest clean is very strong.  Crating also prevents her from destroying your treasured possessions while she is teething, or injuring herself by chewing on or ingesting something harmful.
Your puppy should be crated at night while you are asleep, and any other time you cannot supervise his activities.  This includes times when you are on the phone or in the shower, or doing anything that prevents you from paying full attention to your puppy.  He should have an opportunity to go outside every time you let him out of his crate.  Crating your puppy is not mean!  Like any other of Gods creations, we all need discipline and guidance to be happy and healthy.  Crating your dog helps to prevent bad habits that if are allowed to form are VERY hard to break!

TRAINING Every time you take your puppy outside, give her plenty of cues.  As you walk out the door with her, say "Let's go outside" Take her to her spot, and repeat your cue phrase as she is about to eliminate.  Be sure to use a phrase that does not come up in every day conversation.  Avoid cues such as "hurry up" or "be a good dog" in favor of something more specific, such as "go potty".  When she goes, praise her enthusiastically and reward her with a very small food treat, right there on the spot.   After several repetitions of this routine, your puppy will learn to eliminate on cue.  She will learn that eliminating outside is more fruitful than eliminating inside.  After a week of this, continue to praise the puppy every time she goes outside, but reward with food on a more random basis.  In a couple of weeks, you won't need the food reward at all. 
Nevertheless, I cannot stress enough that this or any house training program is only as good as its trainer.  If you are not consistent, your dog will never be house trained.  It takes lots and lots of patience.

ACCIDENTS If you find an accident, clean it up, and consider adjusting your puppy's schedule to prevent another accident.  Punishing your puppy only teaches him to be wary of you.  If you catch him in the act and punish or correct him, he will learn to eliminate when you aren't looking, which will defeat your training program.  If you should see your puppy circling as if he has to go, gently remind him to "go outside" and help him get to his spot where he can earn praise and reward.
Accidents happen most frequently in the morning or evening when the puppy is out playing with the family.  It is easy to become so involved in an activity that you forget that the puppy has not been outside in an hour.  If this is the case, find a way to remind yourself, such as setting a kitchen timer or alarm clock.

PATIENCE Unrealistic expectations are a frequent cause of problems in housetraining.  On average, the bladder/brain connection is not fully formed until the puppy is about 8 months old.  If a young puppy does go to the door and ask to go out, his need is immediate; he must go out right away.  Some dogs learn to use a dog door easily and go out whenever they feel the urge.  The best way to ensure success is to stick to a schedule long enough for the puppy's body to adapt to it and get in the habit of eliminating at particular times.

One last helpful hint in helping your new puppy and you bond, learn his name and come when called.  To aid in all three of these, I suggest getting some little doggy treats and cut them up very small, so that you have many nibbles instead of a few bites.  This way the puppy will not get full on treats instead of his puppy food that he needs to have a balanced diet. 
Every time you call your puppy his new name and he comes to you, give him a nibble of treat and lots and lots of love and praise.  This will help to train him to his new name and that you are someone that loves him, that he will love to come to, when called.  After awhile you will no longer need the treats and your praise and love will be all he will ever need or want
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