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3 Simple Steps to Housetrain Your Puppy
When I was growing up, we just didn’t have any dogs or cats in the house. My parents were firm believers that such critters belonged outside. That was basically the thoughts I adopted as well. So when we got my own place and we got our dogs, they remained outside in accordance with my long held tradition. But as I got older, I thought it might be nice to have a small dog that would sit on our laps as we relaxed on the couch, a small companion. The only problem was, how do you housetrain this companion? I figured this was kind of a no brainer, I would just get one that was already trained. So we did, we adopted a dauschund, or as my daughter likes to say, a “wiener dog” that was in need of a new home. So we got this dauschund who was already housetrained and it worked out just, well OK, not great. Fortunately, there weren’t TOO many messes in the house. Sometimes a dog who is housetrained and moved to a new home likes to mark his or her territory. In the end, we ended up giving that dog to an older couple because it just didn’t bond with our family. It was a failed experiment.
A few years later we tried again. A friend was moving away to college and could not take her small dog (again a dauschund) with her. This one did quite well. I’m not sure that she ever did her business in the house so with THIS dog our plan worked. It used to amuse us the way she would dance at the door whenever she needed to go outside. Then, a couple of years later my oldest daughter asked us if we wanted a pug. One of her in-laws had a male and female pug who was about to have puppies. I thought to myself, “you know, they are so ugly that they are cute,” so I told her we would take one. At the time, I didn’t really think of the housetraining issue. I guess I figured we would cross that bridge when we came to it.
So a couple of months later, along came our little pug, Truman. Now came the difficult part. How do we teach him to take care of his business outside? After a week or two, we were getting tired of the messes in the house so I began searching for ways to get this dog to behave! I remember I had been told to stick their nose in their mess and swat them on the behind say “no” very firmly. I had also been given a few other tricks that were sure fire ways to correct our situation. Trust me, none of them worked. But, it wasn’t long until we discovered a method that did work and got the problem licked. It was our oldest daughter who gave these few pointers. Once we found what worked, our problem was over within a week’s time. Here is what I recommend:
- First and foremost, get a dog kennel or crate. You can get these relatively inexpensively at many department stores. The crate should be just large enough for the dog to sleep in but not any larger (if you are training a puppy, just make sure you take into account how large the dog is going to be when full-grown, otherwise the dog will outgrow the crate). I started to lock my pug pup into the crate each night before I went to bed and then I would take him out first thing in the morning. Crate training is effective because a dog will not do his or her business in their sleeping compartment. One good thing about the crate or kennel is the dog has a place of his or her own. Our pug actually seems to like his kennel, he climbs into it himself almost every evening (though we don’t find it necessary to lock him into it anymore).
- Secondly, put the dog outside first thing in the morning. It is important that you send the dog outside right after you let him or her out of the crate each morning. It generally doesn’t take long for most dogs to figure it all out (though I’ve heard Jack Russell Terriers can be difficult to housetrain).
- Lastly, if your dog does make a mess, clean it up right away and clean it well. Your dog is very likely to have some “accidents,” along the way, especially in the beginning. But don’t give up hope, housetraining is just days away! It is important to do a thorough job of cleaning and try to remove any residual scent as the dog might get a whiff of what he or she did and think that is the place to conduct their business.
So that is basically it. The three keys we used to get our puppy housetrained which worked like a charm. Give it a try, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. As I mentioned, Truman was trained in just about a week’s time and has been consistent for well over a year!
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