Lotsa Dogs Lotsa Fun

Lotsa Dogs Lotsa Fun
The Big Dogs Wait at The Door

Friday, March 23, 2007

Housetraining your puppy

One of the most common complaints we get from customers who're inquiring about training is that puppy persists in doing his business in the house. There are lots of different ways to dissuade him from this smelly habit, but the quickest way is to use positive reinforcement. Dogs have an easier time understanding what we DO want than they do sorting out our angry outbursts.

For example, if your puppy pees or poops indoors it does no good to yell at him, hit him, or rub his nose in it. All that tells him is that his human goes nuts when he relieves himself. You want him to think, "Gee, I have to go, better tell my human". And you're teaching him to think, "Gee I have to go, better get as far away from my human as possible 'cause she has a weird aggression problem".

The alternative? Watch your puppy closely and when he starts to squat, interrupt his action with a single loud noise that makes him pause, rush him outside and praise him lavishly when he finishes his business. A treat doesn't hurt, either.

If you miss him going into squat, don't cry over spilled..... um, pee. Don't say anything to him, just clean it up, and ignore any attempt to play with you while you're down there on the floor cursing silently.

And oh, BTW, the reverse is true. Rewarding a puppy for doing something undesirable is as foolish as punishing him for doing something in all innocence. Also, if he poops indoors and looks at you "guiltily", that's not guilt, it's fear. He's expecting you to yell or hit or whatever. Again, just IGNORE MISTAKES, and watch more carefully next time. Better yet, take him out at logical times, like after eating or drinking.

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