Archive for May, 2011

Puppy House Training | Prepare the Family for a Puppy in the House

If you are bringing a puppy into your family house, then there are important measures that need to be considered, discussed and clarified.

There are a number of areas of responsibility in the day to day life of owning a puppy, especially when it comes to puppy house training. It is important that before the puppy arrives, the people who are sharing the responsibility are all aware of what it entails and prepared to take it on.

Keeping a schedule is your best way to house train your puppy quickly, and with success.

Make a Puppy House Training Chart

You will need to discuss and decide who will feed your puppy, who will take him for walks, and who will play with him — and when! If you are sharing the responsibility you may want to draw up a chart that looks something like this:

Walk #1 Feed Walk #2 Feed Walk #3 Feed Etc.
Monday Dad Ann Simon Mom Ann Mom
Tuesday Dad Ann Simon Mom Ann Mom
Wednesday Dad Simon Simon Mom Ann Mom
Thursday Dad Mom Simon Mom Ann Mom
Friday Dad Simon Simon Mom Ann Simon
Saturday Simon Mom Dad Mom Ann Simon
Sunday Ann Dad Dad Mom Ann Mom

As you can see from this chart, the family has divided up the daily and weekly responsibilities for house training the puppy. There are also other responsibilities which may need to be discussed and added—like grooming, brushing teeth, obedience training, or clipping nails.

Don’t forget about occasional visits to the veterinarian. Of course flexibility is important—if Simon can’t walk the puppy on one night, his responsibility is to make sure that he has a replacement that will do the job instead of him.

Young Children and Puppy House Training

If your children are young, you will need to teach them how to handle the puppy, how (and when) to pick up a yound dog, what is nice for him, and what is NOT nice (no pulling tails or poking fingers into eyes). Teach your children to understand your dog’s cues and body language and to respond to them.

In other words if your puppy’s tail is between his legs, or if he is baring his teeth—you are doing something he does not like! Young children should not be allowed to discipline the puppy.

Puppies that are sleeping, eating, or need to go potty
It is important for all family members to know that as cute as your puppy is, and as much as they would like to play with him, they should not succumb to the temptation of waking him while he is sleeping. Your puppy needs his sleep, and will probably be unhappy if he is woken up prematurely. Like a human, if this is done too often, and in an unpleasant way it can lead to resentment and negative behavior patterns.

Likewise, no one should try to play with the puppy or interrupt him while he is eating—he might nip or bite! (There is an exception to this rule which you may learn in obedience training).

Remember, you are house training your puppy. You need to learn when your puppy is telling you they need to go potty.

Close the Doors in Your House!

If you are closing off parts of the house to protect your possessions and train the puppy, it is important that all family members get into the habit of closing all doors behind them. Your linen and shoes, books and games will all be safer behind closed doors!

This includes bathroom doors—puppies have been known to explore the toilet bowl and to play with toilet paper. You may also want to remind family members to keep the house gates closed at all times. You may want to make or buy a sign asking visitors to remember to do so as well.

Puppy House Training | Introduce Your Puppy To Your House

Introducing the Puppy to Your House

When first bringing your puppy home, remember that he may have come from his mother and litter mates, or a kennel where he was used to the company of other dogs. Leaving that is hard and stressful. Dogs are pack animals, and while your dog will eventually find his place in his new pack (your family), initially he may be lonely and sad.

It is up to you to make him feel secure and to help him find his place in your home. The most important thing is to shower him with love and attention. Dogs need, and respond to warmth, and the more he gets from you, the quicker he will settle down. This builds confidence in your puppy, and the more confident he is, the easier your puppy house training will be.

Taking off time to be with your puppy
You should bring your dog home on a Friday, so you at least have the weekend for puppy house training. I even recommend that you take some vacation time, or that you at least take a few days off work to be with him as he gets used to his new environment. This is particularly important to begin your puppy house training immediately.

Treats and other training supplies
Make sure that you have all your puppy house training supplies handy before he comes home, and that your house is all set up to greet him. You don’t want to be worried about tidying up your rooms when your puppy has arrived and needs care and attention. Make sure that you have all food, toys and other living and sleeping equipment handy. Be prepared to house train your puppy.

Use the Leash when House Training Your Puppy

When you first bring your puppy to your home, keep him on his leash so that he can acclimate himself safely and he can’t bolt. Start your puppy house training before you go into the house. Lead your puppy to the spot where he will be going potty. Use the potty command that you will learn in Quick and Easy Puppy Potty Training, and stay with him there until he does his business. Reward him with praise and a treat. This is his first introduction to puppy house training and it should be a positive experience.

Once you have entered your house, walk around with him still on the leash. Let him sniff and explore his new environment. Keeping your new puppy on the leash will help you control him, and keep him from roaming away from you and finding a place to do a potty in your house.

Your Puppy Crate

Start training your puppy that his crate is his new house. Bring your puppy to his crate. Allow him to sniff it and enter it. Place food or treats inside and some fun puppy toys. Praise him when he enters. This crate will become his retreat and den. Place it in a central area in your house so that he feels like he is part of the family and not isolated. We will discuss the puppy crate in future posts.

Your Puppy’s First Night in Your House

Chances are your puppy will find the initial separation from his family difficult. During the day he probably will get loads of attention from you, but night time may be hard for him. Enclosing him in his crate for the night will help him sleep better and prevent him from roaming around the house and endangering himself (and this is part of your puppy house training).

If you can get an old toy of his from the breeder, it will make him feel more comfortable if you put this inside his crate. If you think it will help your puppy, you can temporarily bring his crate into your room and place it close to your bed. But unless you don’t mind a new permanent bed companion, resist the urge to let him sleep in bed with you. You are training him to sleep in his crate.

Get more tips on puppy house training.