Archive for June, 2011

Puppy House Training | Research, Decide, Prepare

Like children, puppies need to have reached a specific developmental stage in order to understand when they need to go potty, and to hold it in until they have reached the designated spot. Each puppy develops at his own pace, but as a general rule some time between nine and twelve weeks your puppy should be able to identify his own need to go potty. Having said that, it is important to start puppy house training as soon as you get him.

There are a number of very successful methods for puppy house training. In the following parts of this series, I will tell you about the different options and you can choose what works best for you.

Three Rules of Puppy House Training

Whatever method you choose, please remember the three rules of puppy house training:

  1. Don’t panic
  2. Be understanding but firm
  3. There will be accidents

Keep in mind that house training a puppy is never a quick fix; it is a process which has a number of stages. Make sure you are aware of all the stages before you start and you have the equipment and time available to implement them.

Stage 1—Research, decisions, preparations
In my ebook “Quick and Easy Puppy Potty Training”, I have provided information about the best puppy house training methods, along with suggestions of equipment you will need to implement them. After reading the book, you can decide what method you want to use. Base your decision on what will best suit you and your lifestyle.

If you are bringing the puppy into a family home, you also need to decide at this stage who is in charge of the house training and who will be involved in the training. Remember that leadership issues are involved here—therefore do not put your children into a power struggle situation with the puppy—they should not be actively involved in the training and should not discipline the dog.

Decide where you want your puppy to do his business. This will be based on what kind of house/apartment you live in, what size dog you have, and how much you will be around to let him out. Most people prefer that their dog goes potty outside but I will also talk about other options.

Set aside time for this project. The first few days of puppy house training are very intense. It would be wise for you to make sure that you will be at home with the puppy for these days, maybe even for a week or two. The more time you devote to this, the quicker the puppy will learn and the faster he will master house training.

Puppy House Training | Puppy Supplies

Supplies for Puppy House Training

There are a number of items that you will need for your puppy as a one time investment. Pet stores have lots of puppy accessories these days, but just concentrate on what you will need for your puppy house training. Your new puppy will need to chew and while you are house training him, he will have accidents. Where you can, I recommend that you use old stuff, if you have it already.

Puppy Crate

You want to create a place for your puppy that he will regard as his retreat, his private space, like a den. A puppy crate is the most important tool you will use. This will be very useful when it comes to house training your puppy.

Blanket, toys and bones
You may feel the need to put an old blanket inside his crate. I don’t suggest this. Soft bedding may tempt your puppy to go potty in his crate, which you do not want. Save that bedding for after he has been house trained. You can have bedding for him to relax on outside of his crate, after you know for sure he has done his potty. Make sure it is old, because he will either chew it, go potty on it, or both.

At a later stage you will treat your puppy to new bedding, but in these first few months a nice used blanket or bed will do fine. Some people want to buy a nice basket for their puppy to sleep in. While these baskets are very cute, they are impractical, hard to clean and chewable. I don’t recommend it until your puppy is older.

Puppy House Training Products

For puppy house training, you will need some old towels or dish cloths to clean up any mess. You will need newspapers or puppy potty pads to cover and protect your floor. Make sure that you have a good rug and floor cleaner which completely neutralizes the urine and feces, such as Nature’s Miracle. You don’t want any cleaners that just cover up the odor.

It is important to provide your puppy with toys that he CAN chew on. You can get some great chew toys at your pet store.

Although they are available on the market, do not to give puppies rawhides, or real bones, as they are not easy to digest and they can cause choking and splintering. They are simply too dangerous. They can also cause your puppy to become sick, and house training a puppy with diarrhea is much more difficult.

Collar and leash
You will need to get your puppy a collar. Because your puppy is growing quickly he will outgrow his collar a number of times in the months ahead. For this reason I recommend that you get a simple collar. You should measure your puppy’s neck to get the right fit (or ask the breeder to measure it if you are getting it in advance). Get tags with your name, phone number and address to keep on your dog’s collar.

It is important that your puppy adjusts to wearing a leash from a very young age. You will need to use the leash and collar in your puppy house training as well. You will need to lead your puppy to the area for him to do his potty. This is key to your success.

You will want to get a cheap nylon leash that is around 6 feet long. As your puppy grows and his obedience training starts, your leash needs will change, but this one will be good initially. Your puppy will chew his leash, so wait until you are sure he won’t chew it anymore before you buy a nice one for him.

Food and water bowls
When acquiring bowls for your puppy to eat and drink from, once again be practical and think about his chewing reflex! Stainless steel bowls are your best option as your puppy can’t decimate them. Please steer clear of plastic bowls, their chewed up pieces can be dangerous for your puppy.

Puppy food
There are a lot of puppy food options on the market these days. Be guided by your veterinarian’s suggestions. Important factors in deciding the right food include your puppy’s age, his size, and the quality of the food.

Buy the highest quality food you can afford. Not only does good quality puppy food offer the nutrients needed for your puppy to grow and develop properly, but high quality food can help your puppy house training. High quality food will help keep your puppy healthy, and will help him have normal bowel movements. Poor quality food can give your dog very irregular bowels, which may make it difficult to house train him.

Find out what the puppy was eating before he came to you. If you are not continuing with the same brand, I advise you to initially mix it with your brand, gradually reducing the amount of his old food. This way you can slowly eliminate the old food from his diet and it will make the transition a bit easier for him. Buy some puppy treats for him. Try and avoid biscuits with food coloring or salt in.

Puppy hygiene and grooming products
It is important to stick to a good hygiene regimen. This will definitely help keep down medical bills later on.
You will need a brush to groom him, nail clippers to keep his nails trimmed, pet shampoo, and a toothbrush and dog toothpaste. This doesn’t have anything to do with puppy house training, but it is important to get these supplies and start training your puppy to get used to this early.