House Training your Puppy


Every puppy can be house-trained successfully, although some take longer to learn than others. By spending time with your dog and being patient, you can speed up the process and he will soon want to go outside in the garden rather than in the house.

Territory marking:
Toilet training is probably the subject that warrants priority in most households. However, it can be the most difficult attribute to teach; every puppy wants varies in his ability to grasp what it is that you want done because to the dog there are many in-built facets in the acts of urination and defecation. Territory marking is important to both dogs and bitches, as is packing-marking – eliminating on the same patch as that used by other dogs of the same breed or the same family. Male dogs do not usually use the leg lifting marking stance for urination until they reach puberty, perhaps at 12 to 18 months old. Bitches usually squat to urinate all their lives but they may also lift a leg sometimes, especially when marking.

Pick a spot:
When you first bring your puppy home, carry him into the garden and put him down on the patch that you would like to be used for elimination purposes. Try to pick somewhere near the house, as you will be spending quite a lot of time there! You may decide that paving is most easily cleaned, or you may want him to use the grass. Remember that on clay soil bitch urine bleaches the grass in circles but on chalk soil this is not noticeable.

Your puppy will be anxious to urinate after the journey and so you will get a successful result almost straight away. Now praise your puppy exuberantly for his good behavior before taking him inside.

You have to watch your puppy carefully to prevent him soiling in the house. Always keep the doors to your formal rooms shut unless you are actually in them, so the puppy does not have to opportunity to ‘mess all over the house’, as complaining owners say. Establish the times when you will take him outside, such as first thing in the morning, when he wakes up from a daytime sleep, straight away after feeding or drinking, following a vigorous game or play session, and before setting him down for the night. It also a good idea to take him out after any excitement, such as when you have visitors or a family member returns home from work or shopping and is greeted enthusiastically by the puppy.

Taking your puppy out:
You will need to take your puppy out regularly if you want him to be clean inside your home; the emphasis is on taking him outside yourself. This means that you go too, rain or shine! It is absolutely useless to push the puppy outside, then close the door and leave him to his own devices. He will not be learning anything, expect perhaps to wonder why he was suddenly shoved out into the cold. Go with your puppy – every hour on the hour if necessary. Stay near the place you have selected for him to use and say the words you have chosen to encourage him to perform – always use the same one or two words so that he will soon learn to recognize them. Praise and reward him rapturously when he goes.

Using newspaper:
At night or if the weather is bad and the puppy is very small, you can use newspaper. Although it only postpones the ordeal of garden training until later on, this system can be helpful in really cold, wet weather. To train you puppy to use the newspaper, place some thick pads near the door opening out into the garden. When he starts running backwards and forwards sniffing or turning around in the small circles, pick him up and place him on the newspaper.

When he is accustomed to using the paper you can gradually remove some pieces and then move the remainder towards the kitchen door. At the door it is then as easy matter to place the newspaper outside. At bedtime or if you are leaving the puppy for a short time in playpen, you can surround his bed with sheets of newspaper in case of accidents. Instinctively, he will not want to soil his own nest.

Accidents will happen:
If you do have the odd accident in the house, clean it up as soon as possible with a solution of biological washing powder tom remove the smell, dogs tend to return to the same spot if they can smell any traces of previous urination or defecation.

Worth the time and effort:
It takes time but, when learn t, house training is there for a dog’s life, except perhaps in illness or old age. Never chastise your puppy when he makes a mistake in the house unless you catch him in the act. If so, use you voice, never your hand. He regards urinating and defecating, and where he wants to do them, as perfectly normal behavior and will not understand why you are punishing him. However, by taking him outside and praising him when he does go, he should soon relate the praise and reward to the required performance and will start asking you to go out. If he barks to attract your attention and runs to the door or paws at it, take him outside immediately and reward him when he goes.

Introducing other pets:
If you have other pets, you will need to introduce your puppy to them gradually. Under your watchful instruction. Never leave them alone together you must be present all the time.

Meeting cats:
Do not force your new puppy to accept a resident cat. The socialization process will take times as they get accustomed to each other. Holding the cat near the puppy so he can smell it is not advisable the cat will object and I could be painful for the puppy if he gets scratched. The cat will probably find a high place to stay safety out of the way for the first few days.

Feed them in different places and don’t let the new puppy eat the cat’s food; it may upset his stomach. Sooner or later the cat will venture out but if the puppy gets too frisky the cat will defend itself. The puppy will soon learn to keep out of the cat’s way.

In fullness of time it is usual for a dog and a cat to live together harmoniously in the same house even after what might have been a tense start o their relationship. Some cats and dogs even sleep together in the same bed. However, this does not mean that the dog will tolerate a strange cat running across the lawn, and he may well chase it.

Small pets:
Take special care to separate or even shield the new puppy from any pet rabbits, gerbils, hamsters, mice, guinea pigs or other small animals you may own, as they are a natural prey for a dog and it would be wise not to tempt him. When your puppy is a little older, he can be introduced to them but only under your supervision. About all, you must make sure that he cannot follow his natural instincts and chase them, or frighten them with his presence. Most dogs will learn to live alongside small pets but it may take some time, and some breeds, such as terriers and sight hounds, may never accept the co-existence of smaller animals with in the same household.

Socializing your puppy:
When a puppy faces something or someone, whom he has never encountered before his first instinct is to run, and it is up to you, his owner, to socialize him so that he becomes accustomed to different people, other animals, traffic and loud noises.

Benefits of socialization:
Inadequate socialization can lead to a puppy growing up into an adult dog with behavioral problems and to avoid this you must ensure that your puppy has a wide range of good experiences with people, animals and things during the critical socialization period before he is twelve weeks old. Under socialized dogs may become fearful, aggressive or destructive and it is your responsibility as an owner to prevent this.

Meeting people:
It is essential that your puppy encounters different peoples of all ages, appearances and personalities. So you should make a point of introducing him to children, teenagers, elderly friends and relatives, and people with beards or wearing uniforms. Your puppy will soon learn not to be fearful of strangers or to behave aggressively towards them.

You will have to wait until after his vaccinations to introduce your puppy to the people who visit your house regularly the postman, the milkman and the refuse collectors. Let your friends neighbors handle him and when he is old enough take him into town or to the park and let him mix with a wide range of people although always on the lead and under your control.

Household noises:
A puppy should not be over protected from household noises, and it is a good idea to get him accustomed from an early age to the sounds of a wide range of domestic appliances, including the vacuum cleaner, dishwasher, radio, television and washing machine. In addition, you could try exposing him to sudden loud noises; dropping a dustbin lid about 5m (15ft) away from him is not a bad idea.

Some dogs who can appear to be extremely confident with people and other animals are terrified of bangs and therefore noisy thunderstorms and fireworks can be torture for them. Get your new puppy accustomed to noise from an early age.

Puppy socialization classes:
These are sometimes a good way of getting your puppy accustomed to meeting other dogs as well as a wide range of people. Ask your vet for the details of your nearest class; they are now widespread in most areas. He will not be able to go along until he has completed his course of vaccinations; indeed many training and socialization classes will only accept puppies over 16 weeks of age. These classes are fun and very educational for both you and your puppy. As well as learning to mix and play with other dogs of different ages in a controlled environment, he will learn how to walk by your side on a lead without pulling and the basic obedience commands.

The experienced dog trainers will be able to advise you on caring for your puppy and can answer your questions on socialization and behavior problems. If the class is run by your veterinary clinic, there may be qualified veterinary nurses on hand to whom you can talk about health issues.

Nervous puppies:
It is essential that you socialize a fearful puppy or he may grow up into a nervous or aggressive adult. Protect him from aggressive older dogs and make sure that his experience with other dogs are always enjoyable, playful ones. If you take him to a park or a public place, keep him on a lead it can be a long, extending one away from unfamiliar dogs. Handle him frequently, holding, stroking and grooming him. Take him out in the car with you to a wide range of places with different people and noises. Get him used to crowds, trains buses and cyclists. It is also a good idea to make visiting the vet an enjoyable experience for him and to accustom him to being examined, having his mouth opened and nails clipped. This will make him a more confident dog.

Dangers and hazards:
Your home can be a dangerous place for a puppy, so talk to your family about the hazards lurking inside the house and outside the garden. A puppy will investigate everything he comes across so don’t leave any dangerous objects lying around.

Danger zones outside:
Dogs like being outside and their garden become an extension of their territory. Puppies will explore territory. Puppies will explore every corner, so you must make your garden escape proof, most puppies can squeeze through very small holes. As they grow, some of the taller breeds will jump 1-1.5m (3-5ft) if something attracts their attention. Securing wire netting on top of fencing and bending it over inwards towards the dog’s territory will solve this particular problem. Make sure that all gates and garden doors close securely and cannot be opened by an inquisitive dog. Nor should there be a gap at the bottom under which he can crawl; if so, attach some strong wire netting at ground level.

Garden security:
Take care when getting your car out the puppy could be underneath. Get into the habit of checking up on him always knowing where he is. Callers can leave gates open so check they are closed before letting the puppy out into the garden. If you have a swimming pool or pond, it must be securely fenced other hazards within the garden include insecticides, poisons and slug bait all poisonous to dogs. Even if you don’t use these yourself, your neighbors might, so make sure that your garden is escape-proof.

Check also that there are no old cans of paint or varnish lying around and that all the outside drains are properly covered. Puppies investigate everything they come across, so never think he won’t touch that because the odds are that he will. It is not easy to keep a new puppy off your cherished flower beds. The easiest way is to use very low wicker hurdles as temporary barriers. Puppies will delight in digging up what you have just planted and then proudly bringing theirs trophies to you. Spring bulbs are very dangerous, as are buttercups, azaleas, foxgloves and discard foliage from privet and Leyland cypress. Knowing what your puppy is doing and stopped him doing it is inevitably a relatively full-time occupation.

Danger zones inside:
There are danger points for a young dog inside the house, too. When they are young, long, low-slung dogs, such as basset hounds and dachshunds, as well as large breeds, like wolfhounds should not be allowed to go up and down stairs as their vertebrae can become over stressed, leading to spinal disc troubles in later life. A child gate fitted at the bottom of the stairs will put an effective stop to this activity. If your puppy should accidentally climb the stars, always help him to come down safely, step by step. A tumble downstairs at a young age could not only injure him but also make him feel inhibited or fearful about climbing any kind of steps later on in life.

Electrical hazards:
Electrical socket, plugs and trailing wires present a range of interesting and chewable opportunities for inquisitive puppies, so cover the wires, unplugged and appliances that are not in use and switch of live sockets. You could be even place a piece of furniture in front of a socket. Be aware also that on-off switches on the hot-plates of a cooker can be switched on the hot-plates of a cooker can be switched on easily by canine paws, so always turn off the heat source at the mains before you leave the puppy loose in either the kitchen or utility room.

Be tidy:
Train your self to be tidy: hang tea cloths and towels high up out of the puppy’s reach. Children will have to learn to live on a higher level. Their habit of leaving their favorite toys lying around on the floor will be tempting to the puppy who will pick up and chew any small plastic ones. This can be very dangerous as small pieces can lodge in a dog’s stomach and even tear the lining, resulting in death or at the very best, some expensive veterinary treatment.
Nor should you leave your favorite shoes at the ground level their scent will almost certainly prove irresistible to a teething pup. Puppies tend to mark their territory with urine and any clothes and other object left on the floor are seen as legitimate targets. Don’t provide temptation and make sure you take the puppy outside regularly to prevent him soiling inside the house.

Make cupboards dog-proof:
Some clever puppies can open almost any door or cupboard. If this is a problem for you, attach some simple child proof safety locks to them to prevent your dog gaining access. Do make sure that cleaning materials and chemicals are safety locked away and cannot be accessed by your dog.

Traveling with your puppy:
Most dogs enjoy going out with their owners and like traveling in cars. It is a good idea to get your puppy accustomed to going in the car with you from the earliest possible age to prevent any negative associations with car travel in the future.

Travel boxes or crates:
These are beneficial for both the dog and car driver. If a dog is jumping around in your car especially at high speeds, you will be distracted and cannot drive safely. A travel crate also offers security if you need to brake suddenly or your car is involved in an accident if the doors were to fly open or the windows break your dog could escape onto a busy road becoming a danger to himself and traffic. It is easy to train your puppy to go into a crate by feeding him inside it; he will soon enter willingly and you can close the door for a short while to get him used to being inside.

Acclimatizing your puppy:
To get your puppy used to traveling by car take him out for short journey as frequently as possible. Drive slowly to avoid unnecessary motion, and take him to places with enjoyable associations such as the park for a run or a friend’s house for games.

Visiting the vet:
Tell your vet that you are going to acquire a puppy and make sure he knows which breed you are contemplating so he can find out in advance about any potential health problems before you take your new puppy along for his first checkup.

A pleasant experience:
When the puppy has settled down after a couple of days in his new home you will need to take him to veterinary clinic for his first set of vaccinations and to get him checked over by the vet it is very important that this is pleasant experience for the puppy to prevent him being anxious or aggressive when he goes to the clinic in later life. Regular handling and good socialization with a wide range.

Do not put him down outside on the pavement between your home and the veterinary surgery or set him down on the floor of the surgery.

The vet will give your puppy a general examination and will vaccinate him. Several canine diseases are a threat to your dog’s life, especially parvovirus, distemper and leptospirosis, and it is essential that he is inoculated against these. Most vets will perform the initial vaccination between 10 to 12 weeks, with the booster following two weeks later. If the puppy is deemed to be not old enough for vaccinations, then do make an appointment at the first opportunity.

Ask the vet anything that might be bothering you about your puppy’s diet, behavior or health and also about taking out pet insurance. Puppies are vulnerable to disease and it is always a wise move to take out insurance because of the ever escalating costs of veterinary services. Several reputable companies specialize in this area, offering different levels of cover, so ask your vet for advice.

Young puppies can get all the exercise they need from their own exuberance when running about and playing, there is no need for any formal exercise. In fact it could harm their development if they are forced into too much activity at too young an age.

When to start exercising:
The age varies from breed to breed but between five and six months is usual the breeder or your vet can advise. For large dogs, such as Irish Wolfhounds, too much exercise can be harmful for a puppy whose bones are still growing. However, it is a good idea to take even a young puppy for short walks on a lead.

Lead training:
Begin lead training as soon as the puppy arrives. Get him use to wearing a collar, and then add a light lead; he will quickly get accustomed to it trailing after him. Pick up lead and follow him without applying any pressure. After a while assert some light pressure and gently guide him. Talk to him all the time in an encouraging way to boost his confidence. Make it fun and train in short bursts as puppies become easily bored.

Your social responsibilities:
Behavioral scientist have now proved that owning a dog is beneficial to adult and children, but in the light of today’s social attitudes you must train your dog to fit into modern society’s perception of what constitutes acceptable social behavior.

Aggressive dogs:
The 1991 UK dangerous dogs act gave the counts new powers to deal with dogs that were perceived to be dangerous. As a dog owner, you should be aware of your responsibilities and take steps to prevent your dog behaving aggressively.

Socialization helps your puppy to grow up into a confident, friendly dog who can accompany you in public. If he does show signs of aggression, keep him on a lead, fit a muzzle if needed and seek help from a pet behavioral counselor.

Fouling public places:
Many local authorities have introduced dog no-go areas, especially on beaches and in parks, and are enforcing dog fouling by laws under which owners can be fined if they allow their dog to foul public places without picking up the mess. There are many ways of doing this and various gadgets are sold to pick up dog feces. You would be wise to always carry something to scoop up dog mess, even if it’s just a plastic bag, when you’re out walking your dog.