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Puppy Potty Training 101
Puppy Potty Training 101
By: Cyd Oldham, Dog Behaviorist
Before you bring a puppy home, plan to take one or two weeks off of work, so you have uninterrupted time to focus on the puppy — and, in particular puppy potty training. Otherwise, it will take much longer to housebreak your pup.
Puppies learn new skills at different rates. It will take time for your puppy to develop a firm understanding of where it’s acceptable to potty and where it is not. It will take time for your pup to consistently understand that all of the house is the den, an area not to be soiled.
There are basically two methods to choose from when potty training your puppy. Once you have chosen a method – stick to it so you don’t confuse your puppy.
Potty Pad Method:
Prepare a “Safe Room” for your puppy (many people use a laundry room or bathroom for this purpose) by covering the entire floor with potty pads except for the place where puppy’s bed or crate is placed. Puppies will not soil their bed, so any place else puppy chooses to potty will be on a pad. After several days remove one pad from the room. The puppy will continue to use the potty pads to do his business. Every day or two remove another pad until there is only one left. This is a good method for people who must be gone from home for several hours, as puppy can learn to use the potty pad and finally be allowed out of the safe room with continued access to the room and his potty pad.
Outside Only Method:
You must spend time with your puppy for this to work. Remember that dogs “poop” after they eat – so if you free feed your puppy (leave food down all day long) you will never know when he needs to go. Feeding puppy 3 times a day is best. As soon as he is finished eating, take puppy outside to the place you would like him to go potty and tell him “Go Potty,” then wait for him. When he goes, praise him heavily then take him back inside. Puppies “pee” much more often – sometimes as often as every 30 minutes to an hour. You will need to take your puppy outside to that same spot and tell him “Go Potty” very often, giving him a couple of minutes to go. If he does, praise him heavily before returning to the house. If he does not, take him back inside, but don’t wait the full time before taking him back outside again. You might try taking him out again after 10-15 minutes. Also, some puppies sniff around to find a “spot” before they potty in the house, some don’t. Keep a close eye on your pup – if he has lost interest in what he was playing with and seems to be wandering aimlessly – He Needs to Potty.
A very important tip – dogs never understand punishment after the fact. When an accident happens, just chalk it up to your not watching puppy closely enough, clean it up, and move on. “Rubbing his nose in it” accomplishes nothing except to make puppy afraid of you.
Tracking Dog Training – Fun Games For Beginning Tracking Dog Training
A dog is a tracking and sniffing powerhouse so tracking dog training can both be a fun and rewarding experience for both of you. Did you know that a dog can sniff a drop of blood in 55 gallons of water? A dog’s sense of smell is so accurate that it is 100,000,000 times more powerful than a human’s scent!
This kind of training really harnesses this power for practical purposes. A great way to introduce the training is through games. Incorporating it in games makes your dog learn and have fun at the same time. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Your dog loves it when you give it a treat, right? Start your tracking dog training with a simple “Find It” game. For starters, you need a dog treat. Have your dog sniff it, but don’t give it to your dog. Then, make a great show of looking like you’re hiding the treat from the dog by going to five or more places.
Then surreptitiously hide the dog treat in any one of the places you’ve visited. Then, say something like “Find it!” or “Go find!” Have your dog find the dog treat and praise your dog profusely when he or she finds it. If the dog becomes proficient in this game, you can make this type of training more challenging by hiding the treat while the dog is in another room.
This is a different take on the first tracking dog training game mentioned above. For this second dog training game, you are going to teach him or her how to find a certain person. This game is useful if you need the dog to find a certain person. First, you have to teach the dog to associate the name of the person with the person you want your dog to find. This training can be very useful if you want to teach your dog to track a family member for example.
Have your target person sit in a corner of a room, and say, “Find (the name of the person)!” Then, let the person give the dog a treat when the dog finds him or her. Do this several times until the dog learns that he or she needs to find the person when you give the command. Then, slowly ease the dog from the dog treats. This part of the training ensures that the dog is not trained to find the person who has treats, but to find the person only.
When the dog learns this technique, go to the next level. This time, teach the dog to find the person in another room. Then make it more difficult by having the dog use the scent from the air to find the person outdoors.
You can let your dog undergo this type of dog training for competition or for search and rescue. You can arm your dog with tracking dog training and you’ll have a powerful ally when someone in your family goes missing.
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