Potty Training Your Pup

There’s no doubt about it, puppies are cute, but they’re also hard work. There’s the general training, the socializing, the feeding, and also the toilet training. So, to help you get ahead, here are some tips and tricks you need to take note of when it comes to toilet training your puppy.

Don’t push them

First and foremost, remember your home is not a familiar environment for your puppy, and the first few days can be stressful for them. Everything is new, and your pup needs to get used to you and your movements just as much as it needs to get used to the new location – house, backyard and neighborhood included. And it’s not just the sights that matter to your dog either, but also the smells and noises.

While you should start toilet training your puppy as soon as you get home, it takes time and patience, and every puppy is different.

Watch out for the signs

There are signs your dog will show when it needs to go. These include sniffing around, fidgeting, and beginning to circle before squatting.1 A whining or pacing dog may also be indicating that it needs to go to the toilet, as well as a dog that has been chewing on something for a while and suddenly moves to do something else.2 If you keep a constant vigil on your pup during the toilet training process, watching out for these signs will mean fewer accidents.

Choose an area where you would like your pup to toilet – this might be a pee pad on your apartment balcony or in a bathroom, or outside. The moment your pup indicates it needs to go, take it to this area. This teaches them that they need to go to this spot or area when they feel the need to go to the toilet. Picking the pup up straight away is crucial, so they associate the act of going outside with the feeling they’re getting.

It’s also important to continually take your puppy out according to timings. The key times are after waking up from a nap, after eating, or after a play. Puppies can’t hold their bladder for that long, so give them plenty of opportunities to go. This will of course change as they get older.

Understand associations

A puppy learns associations in training. When it comes to going to the toilet, a puppy will associate an area with a toilet because of the to the following:

  • Smell of urine, feces or ammonia.
  • Location – when training, try to take them to same spot every time. That way, your puppy will associate that spot with going to the toilet.
  • The feeling of the surface beneath its paws.
  • Physiological things such as after food, when it wakes up, and after a play.
  • Commands – when trained, dogs will associate certain words, commands or sounds with going to the toilet.

At first, it’s a good idea to take your puppy out frequently. For example, set a timer for every hour. When the timer goes off, pop your puppy on a lead and take it to the designated toilet spot. Once there, be patient as your puppy may not go instantly. Give it time, but do not play while waiting otherwise your puppy may confuse toilet time with play time.2

If your puppy doesn’t go, don’t be alarmed. Simply take them back inside and try again a little later – dogs like humans are not robots.

If your puppy does go, reward them straight away. Use encouraging words and make a fuss that they have gone to the toilet in the correct spot.

It’s also a good idea to have a little play outside once your puppy has successfully gone to the toilet. This ensures your puppy associates outside with its toilet space and a place it can play, rather than one or the other.

Add a cue

It would be ideal if your puppy learns to go on command. While it won’t be needed every time, there will be moments when you’ll need your puppy to go to the toilet at a specific time. For example, before bedtime or on a long car ride. Wouldn’t it be great if at these times you could simply take your dog outside and say a specific word, and suddenly they’d relieve themselves? Well, it all starts as a puppy.

Whenever you take your puppy to the toilet, use the same command. For example, you could say the word ‘toilet’. Say it before and during the fact. That way, whenever your dog hears the word ‘toilet’ they know they need to relieve themselves.

Accidents will happen

One of the most important elements you need to remember when it comes to toilet training is that accidents will happen. It’s a fact of life. Crucial to this; however, is not to get angry. It’s highly unlikely your dog has done this on purpose, and getting angry will only make things worse. Puppies do not have full control over their bladder. That’s what toilet training is all about – teaching them how to hold and where they should be going. It’s all part of the developmental process. So, accidents can happen without the dog even being able to prevent or control them.3

Never shout, become angry, say ‘no’, or punish your dog for going in the wrong spot – it doesn’t teach your dog where to go, but it does teach them to be scared about going in front of you, which makes training much harder.2 Don’t make a fuss or an issue over it, just simply clean it up.

It’s also important to use an ammonia-free cleaning product and make sure you clean it well when a puppy has an accident. If the area smells like the toilet area to your pup, it will continue to be used as one.

If you notice your dog is about to go in the wrong place and you’d like to avoid an accident, interrupt them in a calm and cheerful way, and take them to the correct spot. Remember to praise them when they go.

toilet-training-puppy-1.jpg

Reward your puppy

Positive reinforcement is a successful and effective way of toilet training. Your dog will soon associate going to the toilet in the correct spot, with the fact that it’s doing something right.

The reward itself can be in the form of praise, whether it’s talking to your puppy, a long pat, a tummy rub or even a play. As long as you are talking and interacting in a positive and upbeat manner, you are reinforcing good behaviour. You can also give your dog a delicious treat or its favourite toy to play with.

Other issues or difficulties

There are other elements that need to be considered, especially if your dog is having a hard time picking up toilet training. For example, being cooped up for too long can stall the process. Sometimes dogs, especially puppies, can’t hold on. If you’re going to go out for a while, it’s a good idea to leave your puppy in a spot where they can go if they need to.

Also, remember your puppy has gone through a change coming into your home. It’s a brand new environment with new people, and this can affect the way it learns. Be kind to your puppy and give it time.

If you are really struggling with toilet training your puppy, please seek veterinary attention. Occasionally there may be a medical reason why your puppy has issues with toilet training. Your vet is the perfect professional to help you with this and advise you how to treat.

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The Puppy Training Guide: Guest Post

Training Puppy the First Week

Puppies learn very quickly with proper instruction. The first few days at home are extremely important for puppies and the precedents you set now will last a lifetime. All family members must agree upon responsibility and rules for the new pup.

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House Training a Puppy

It’s normal for a young puppy to be a little ‘input-output’ machine. Since puppies are growing and developing rapidly, they eat food often, burn up lots of energy and seem to need to eliminate constantly! They also have not yet developed bowel and bladder control, so they can’t ‘hold it’.

Read more …

Crate Training a Puppy

Crate training can be an effective way to house train a puppy. Puppies do not like to soil their resting/sleeping quarters if given adequate opportunity to eliminate elsewhere. Temporarily confining your puppy to a small area strongly inhibits the tendency to urinate and defecate.

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Training a Puppy to Stop Biting and Mouthing

Biting and mouthing is common in a young puppy especially in play and while teething. Puppies must learn to inhibit their bite and normally, they would learn this from their littermates. But, because we take them away from this environment before this learning is completed, we must train our puppy they cannot bite us.

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How to Train a Puppy to Stop Whining, Crying, and Howling

Whining, crying and howling often result when a puppy is left alone. Puppies will whine and cry when separated from their owners. The puppy is afraid he is being abandoned by his pack and is sounding the alarm so that he can be rescued. At other times, a puppy whines, crys, or barks because they need or want something.

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Puppy Obedience Training

Obedience training is one of the best things you can do for your puppy and yourself. Although obedience training doesn’t solve all behavior problems, it is still the very best foundation for solving just about any behavior problem. Training opens up a line of communication between you and your puppy.

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Training Your Puppy to Come When Called

Training Your Puppy to Come When Called

To many a puppy, the command “come here” means, “quick, run the other way!” Your puppy is always learning whether you are intending to teach something or not. We often unintentionally train our puppy NOT to come when called.

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Training Puppy to Stop Jumping Up

Training Puppy to Stop Jumping Up

Jumping up can be dangerous as well as annoying. Young children and elderly people can easily be toppled over and seriously injured by exuberant, friendly dogs. Start now to teach your puppy not to jump up. Even little dogs can cause problems and injury to themselves and others when they leap and jump around.

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Training a Puppy about the Collar, Leash and Stairs

Training a Puppy about the Collar, Leash and Stairs

Introducing your puppy to his collar, leash and the stairs can be a challenge. If your puppy is trained properly, it will be simple, satisfying and successful. Always use praise and lures rather than force.

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Training Puppy to Stop Pulling On Leash

Training Puppy to Stop Pulling On Leash

Do not drag your puppy. Do not yank or pull on your puppy’s delicate throat and neck. Never use a choke collar on a puppy. Instead, teach your puppy to walk nicely on leash before he develops a habit of lunging and pulling on leash.

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Training a Puppy to Control Barking

Training a Puppy to Control Barking

Barking is a perfectly natural canine behavior. Puppies bark, whine or howl for many different reasons. Barking can be a blessing as dogs will alert to sounds and movement we cannot detect. Barking can also be a puppy’s cry for help! Here are some training tips to help you understand and also put limits on puppy barking.

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Submissive and Excitement Urination in a Puppy

Submissive and Excitement Urination in a Puppy

Submissive urination is a normal way for your puppy to demonstrate submissive behavior. Even a dog that is otherwise housetrained may leave dribbles and puddles of urine at your feet when greeting you. Excitement urination with a puppy is usually caused by lack of bladder control. The puppy is not aware that he is urinating; he’s just excited and any punishment will only confuse him.

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Puppy Socialization - Why Socialize A Puppy?

Puppy Socialization – Why Socialize A Puppy?

Socialization and puppy training are of utmost importance as puppyhood is the most important and critical time in your puppy’s development. What you do and do not do right now will affect your puppy’s behavior forever. A properly socialized puppy is well adjusted.

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Training Puppy to Chew Her Toys

Training Puppy to Chew Her Toys and Stop Chewing Everything in Sight!

Any area that the pup has access to must be kept clear and clean. Put out of puppy’s reach anything you don’t want him to chew or destroy. Do not allow your puppy to have unsupervised access to ‘unchewables.’ Do not chase the puppy in an attempt to take something away. Instead provide puppy with her own toys and teach her how to play with them exclusively.

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Training a Puppy to Overcome Separation Anxiety

Puppy Separation Anxiety

In some situations, a puppy will experience separation anxiety when left alone. They will often bark, chew, dig, scratch at the door, soil the house or destroy your home and yard. We often unintentionally will train a puppy to behave this way by causing over-dependancy in our puppy.

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Winning Your Puppy's  Love, Trust and Respect

Winning Your Puppy’s Love, Trust and Respect

Just as a child needs a caring parent; an athletic team needs a coach; your puppy needs a leader and a clear social hierarchy. If you do not take up the role of leader, your dog will; and you will end up with an unruly, disobedient dog. Many people try to win their new puppy’s love by letting the puppy always have its way. Buckets of affection is a wonderful thing for most puppies, but it must be tempered with respect.

Read more …

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This Step-by-Step Guide Can Help You Completely Train Your Dog

Are you ready to start training your dog or puppy? Proper training and socialization are among your dog’s basic needs. It’s important to start training your dog as soon as possible.

At first, dog training can seem pretty overwhelming, especially if this is your first dog. The truth is that training your dog is a very big project. If you take it step by step, you will find the task to be far less daunting. Here is some information to help get you started:

  • Start a Dog Obedience Program: Learn how to set a basic foundation before you begin to train your dog.
  • Train Your Dog Using Games: Training your dog should be fun! Everyone knows it’s easier to learn when you are having a good time, so try implementing some games into your dog training regimen.
  • Six Weeks to a Well-Trained Dog: Using this schedule as a guide, you can teach your dog the basics in about six weeks.
  • Positive Reinforcement: There are many different ways to train a dog, but most dog professionals agree that the positive way is the best for both the dog and trainer.

Watch Now: How to Train Your Dog With Positive Reinforcement

Need help with dog training? Consider getting help from a dog trainer. Try group classes and/or private lessons, and check here for tips on affordable dog training.

Unless you plan to keep your dog outdoors–and few of us do because it’s not recommended–you’ll need to teach your dog where to eliminate. Therefore, house training (also called housebreaking or potty training) is one of the first things you need to work on with your dog. Crate training can be a very helpful part of the training process. This includes house training as well as many other areas of training:

  • Crate Training Dogs and Puppies: Here are the basics of training your dog or puppy to accept and even enjoy the crate. Not only will it help with housebreaking, but it will also give your dog a place of his own.
  • How to House Train your Dog: When it comes down to it, house training is not that complicated, but this doesn’t mean it’s easy. Consistency and diligence are key during the housebreaking process.
  • Submissive/Excitement Urination in Dogs: If your dog is still having accidents in the house, it may be more than a simple housebreaking issue. Your dog might urinate out of excitement or to express submissive behavior.

Every dog needs to learn to walk on a leash. Besides the fact that most areas have leash laws, there will be times when keeping your dog on a leash is for his own safety. Learn how to introduce your dog or puppy to the leash, then teach him how to walk properly on the leash, even beside you on a bike. A loose leash walk teaches your dog not to pull or lunge when on ​the leash, making the experience more enjoyable for both you and your dog.

Black lab puppy on a leash, watching his owner Chalabala / Twenty20

Socialization means training your puppy or adult dog to accept new people, animals, and various places by exposing him to these things. Socialized dogs are less likely to develop behavior problems and are generally more welcomed by others. Socialization can also help prevent the development of fears and phobias.

Clicker training, a common form of positive reinforcement, is a simple and effective dog training method. Although it is still fine to train your dog without clicker training, many people find it helpful. With clicker training, you can easily and effectively teach your dog all kinds of basic and advanced commands and tricks. It’s fast and easy to learn how to clicker train your dog

There are some basic dog training commands and dog tricks that every dog should know like come, speak, drop it, stay, back up, etc. Basic commands give your dog structure. In addition, they can help you overcome common dog behavior problems and will help keep your dog safe.

How to Train Your Dog to Stay

What’s more fun than showing off your dog’s cool tricks?! Dog tricks are a great way to take your dog training to the next level and give your dog some mental stimulation.

dog training treats lukajani / E+ / Getty Images

Proofing is the last step in training your dog to do any new behavior. Learn how to proof behaviors so your dog will be as obedient at the park or a friend’s house is he is in your own living room.

Remember, just because you have reached the final stages of training, it doesn’t mean that behavior problems won’t crop up. Learn about the most common dog behavior problems and how to deal with them. These guides will help you navigate this part of the training process:

  • Proofing Behaviors: Practice behaviors in a variety of situations with different levels of distraction. Without proofing, your dog may behave well in your living room, but seem to forget all his training when he is outside the house.
  • Teach Your Dog Self-Control: This method teaches your dog that nothing in life is free, but that he needs to earn things like food and attention through obedience.
  • Common Dog Behavior Problems: Understanding potential behavior issues can help you detect and address them before things get out of control.
  • Dog Behavior Management Versus Dog Training: While dog behavior management and dog training are two different things, they are not mutually exclusive. Behavior management is an important part of any dog training program.

Once your dog has mastered all the basics, you can consider moving on to more advanced tricks. These activities will help keep your dog active, fit and mentally stimulated. Plus, they will help strengthen the bond you share with your canine companion.

Remember that training is an ongoing process. You will never be completely finished. It is important to keep working on obedience training throughout the life of your dog. People who learn a language at a young age but stop speaking that language may forget much of it as they grow older. The same goes for your dog: use it or lose it. Running through even the most basic tricks and commands will help them stay fresh in your dog’s mind. Plus, it’s a great way to spend time with your dog.

Australian Shephard on agility course Terralyx/ Twenty20

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Puppy School – Puppy Training Classes

** COVID-19 update: All Puppy School classes are temporarily postponed until further notice due to current restrictions to essential services. Thank you for your patience and understanding. **

What will I learn at Puppy School?

PETstock Puppy School’s program is based on using a reward-based training method which teaches pet parents:

  • How to communicate with your puppy or dog
  • How to develop solid foundation obedience in all environments
  • The importance of socialisation, mental and physical stimulation
  • Ways to help curb any behavioral problems
  • How to find the correct equipment for your dog
  • The appropriate rewards for best results

PETstock provides a safe environment that will see you and your dog or puppy thrive together under the skilled guidance of our friendly, professional training team.

Skills/Topics:

  • Week 1
    • Bridge/marker and release word
    • Focus, sit and recall exercises
    • Building the bond wth your puppy
    • Toilet training, socialisation, nutrition information

    Week 2

    • Mat exercise
    • Down exercise
    • Social interaction
    • Sit for a pat
    • Health, jumping, digging information

    Week 3

    • Loose lead walking
    • Social interaction
    • Sit & Down stay
    • Complex skill
    • Training equipment information

    Week 4

    • Stand exercise
    • Social interaction
    • Sit & wait for food
    • Basic first aid
    • Grooming information

    Week 5

    • Graduation
    • Where to from here
    • Responsible pet ownership

Skills/Topics:

  • Week 1
    • Calming/massage techniques
    • Engagement exercises
    • Training techniques
    • Social interaction (all weeks)
    • Motivation information

    Week 2

    • Bridge/marker words/release words
    • Target training (Teaching phase)
    • Recall with wait
    • Mat exercises
    • Behavioural issues information

    Week 3

    • Stand exercise (stand stay for preschool grads)
    • How to check your dog
    • Loose lead walking with exercises
    • Targeting
    • Health requirements

    Week 4

    • Leave it/ food refusal
    • Stay exercise on and off mat
    • Party tricks – having fun
    • Give, take, fetch

    Week 5

    • Graduation
    • Q & A

Is my puppy or dog suitable for PETstock Puppy School classes?

To ensure we’re providing all Puppy School students a safe and healthy environment, your puppy or dog will need to be:

  • In good overall health
  • For level 1 and 2: Minimum C5 Vaccination.
  • For Puppy Preschool: Minimum C3 vaccination 10 days prior to class.
  • Currently flea and worm treated
  • Friendly towards people
  • Friendly towards other dogs

If you are unsure if your puppy or dog meets these requirements, please contact the Puppy School Trainer at your local PETstock store.

Need to get your puppy or dog’s vaccinations, flea and worming up to date? Visit PETstock VET.

What to expect from your dog at PETstock Puppy School

Just like humans, dogs learn at different rates and each dog will often behave differently to the others during class. You may find that you dog is active, a barker, shy, boisterous or even timid.

These behaviours are all normal and it’s likely your buddy’s behaviour will change as the program continues. It is important to concentrate on your dog’s development and not compare them to others in the class. Your trainer will ensure that each dog receives individual attention throughout the course.

What to bring to PETstock Puppy School

  • Your puppy or dog!
  • Your dog’s current vaccination certificate
  • Flat collar and lead
  • Mat or towel
  • Treat pouch and high value treats (in pieces which are no larger than your small fingernail)
  • Your dog’s favorite toy

Tip: To help grab your pooch’s continued attention, don’t feed your puppy or dog prior to class.

Keep in mind:

  • Arrive 10 minutes before class
  • Wear suitable attire and closed footwear
  • Family involvement in your dog or puppy’s training is highly encouraged! However please keep in mind that the minimum age for owner-trainers is 10 years old, and then only under full adult supervision
  • Keep your puppy or dog on their leash at all times, unless instructed otherwise by your trainer

The value of homework

Each week, our Puppy School trainers provide participants with recommended activities to complete with your dog before the next week’s class. The work you do at home with you dog is vital part of achieving success in PETstock Puppy School!

Attendance

We understand that occasionally, events beyond control mean you may need to miss a class. If this is the case, simply let your PETstock Puppy School trainer know and they can advise you on how to work on your skills at home with your dog and resume normal classes the following week. If you should miss more than three sessions, we ask that you re-enrol to complete the program at another time. No refunds will be given for non-attendance.

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Puppy Training Schedule: What to Teach Puppies, and When

By Michele Welton, Dog Trainer, Breed Selection Consultant, Author of 15 Dog Books

We always anticipate the joys of all that’s good about owning a puppy.

But often it doesn’t work out as well as we’d hoped. Puppies are delightful bundles of energy and curiosity…. but they can also be exasperating and frustrating.

If you respond properly to the challenges of bringing a new puppy into your home, the adjustment period will be shorter and less stressful for both of you.

If you do not respond properly….. well, unfortunately that’s why so many teenage dogs are turned over to rescue groups and animal shelters.

Starting at 7 weeks old….

Training a puppy by teaching feeding routines

Routines are reassuring to puppies. For example, his food and water bowls should stay in one place.

Teach your puppy the daily routines that will govern his life.

  • Where his food and water dishes are located.
  • What times of day he will eat.
  • Where his bed is.
  • What time he goes to bed.
  • What time he will be taken out in the morning.
  • Where he should go to the bathroom.
  • Where his grooming spot is (for brushing, trimming, nail clipping, teeth cleaning).

Be consistent, consistent, consistent.

Dogs thrive on sameness, routines that are familiar, predictable, repeated. As much as possible, do the same things with your puppy every day – the same things in the same order, using the same words.

For example… here’s a good mealtime routine:

  1. Cue your pup when you’re ready to prepare his meal. “Are you hungry? Want your food?” Exaggerate the key words.
  2. Have him come with you to the kitchen. Get his bowl from the same cupboard and set it on the same counter every time. He should be right there watching you. You want him to see that YOU are the source of his food.
  3. If he’s acting excitable, don’t put his food down, else he’ll learn that excitable behavior makes the food appear! If he’s racing around, barking, or jumping, he should be on leash so you can stop those behaviors. Puppy sitting before meal“Sit” before meals encourages calmness and patience – two valuable traits that will make other training much easier.
  4. When he is calm, the bowl is ready to go down. If he already knows how to sit, have him sit first – it’s a subtle and gentle leadership thing. Then say “Okay!” and place the bowl on the floor, in the same spot every time. “Here’s your food.”
  5. If you have multiple dogs, each should have his own eating spot away from the others. Place the bowls down in the same order each time, saying the dog’s name as his bowl goes down. “Buffy… here’s your food. Kelly… food.”
  6. During mealtime, don’t let kids or other pets approach any dog who is eating. If one of your dogs is not well-behaved enough to obey this rule, he should be dragging his leash so you can get hold of him. If necessary, feed the dogs in separate crates or separate rooms. Bullying or stealing food is completely unacceptable in a multi-dog household.
  7. If a pup walks away from his bowl, pick it up. If there is still food left, make a mental or written note, as it could suggest illness.
  8. After 10 minutes, all the bowls should be picked up to avoid picky eating habits or food guarding habits to develop.
  9. The final part of the routine is a potty break immediately after every meal. If you’re still housebreaking, take the pup out on leash. If he’s already 100% housebroken and eliminates reliably when you send him out himself, that’s fine. In either case, announce the potty break: “Do you need to go OUT? Time to go OUT.”

As you can see, you’re not only showing your puppy what YOU will do as part of the routine, you’re also showing him what you expect HIM to do as his part of the routine.

Once your pup learns the routine for, say, meal time, if you do your part every time, he will do his part every time. Automatically. Day in and day out.

The trick is to make sure the routines your puppy is learning are good  ones that lead to good  behavior.

Because if he learns bad  routines, he will repeat them just as readily.

Most behavior problems in dogs are caused by the owner (inadvertently) teaching the pup bad routines.

Good routines should cover as many of the 24 hours in your pup’s day as possible. You want a good routine for meal time, potty breaks, grooming, play time, bed time, getting up in the morning, and so on. I recommend the best routines in my Respect Training For Puppies.

The easiest way to raise and train your puppy is to establish choreographed routines – same things, same order, same words – with yourself as the director, the one in charge. Create good routines, stick to them, and your pup’s behavior will be predictable and good.

More  to teach your puppy starting at 7 weeks old

Along with establishing good routines….

Training a puppy by teaching household rules

Teach Puppy which behaviors are allowed in your house and which behaviors aren’t. This particular behavior would be a “No.”

  • Teach your puppy that “No” or “AH-AH” means “Stop doing that behavior.”
  • Teach your puppy that “Yes” or “Good” means “I like that behavior.”
  • Begin a proven housebreaking program where your puppy can only go to the bathroom in the right place.At 2-3 months old, puppies are infants and won’t have reliable control of their bladder for several months. (Tiny breeds are notoriously difficult to housebreak and take even longer.)

    Still, housebreaking begins the day you bring your puppy home.

    Establish the right pattern from the very beginning and Puppy will be housebroken as soon as his internal organs can cooperate.

    But if you do it wrong, housebreaking will become a nightmare. And sadly, many owners don’t realize they’re doing something wrong until Puppy’s “accidents” have become a bad habit…. and bad habits are hard to undo. So you want to establish the right pattern from the very beginning.

    There are several methods of housebreaking, including using a crate, an exercise pen (“ex-pen”), a doggy door leading into a small potty yard, or a litter box (for tiny breeds).

    You’ll find detailed housebreaking directions in my puppy training book (see bottom of page) – and yes, I cover each one of those housebreaking methods so you can choose which one works best for your pup and your lifestyle.

  • Teach your puppy to go into his crate or pen and to stay quietly when the door is closed. Crate training a puppyA crate protects your puppy from household dangers and is an invaluable aid in housebreaking.

    Your puppy’s crate is his safe and secure den.

    Some people mistakenly refer to a crate as “doggie jail” but that is not the way Puppy will view his crate.

    Oh, at first he might be unhappy to have his movements curtailed, but it won’t be long at all before he goes into the crate on his own, to take a nap or just to get away from household activity.

    For a new puppy, a crate helps with housebreaking and provides a safe den for sleeping.

    When your puppy is used to his crate, it will be easy to take him visiting, or for trips in the car, or to the vet.

    When we watch TV, we sit in our favorite chairs and our dogs typically choose to lie down in their crates (doors open), watching the same shows we watch (sort of).

    Pups who are not yet housebroken should NOT be loose in your house. Unless you are interacting closely with him, your pup should be in a crate or pen, or connected to you via a leash.

    The #1 mistake owners make with a puppy is giving him too much freedom in the house, too soon. Loose pups either get hurt or develop bad habits. For their own safety and to prevent future behavior problems, your puppy should not be loose in your house.

Starting at 8 weeks old….

Teach everything above (routines, housebreaking, crate training, Good, No), plus…

  • Teach your puppy to be calm indoors. Pups who are allowed to be excitable indoors are far more likely to have behavior problems. Don’t allow running around the house, rushing the doorbell, attacking the vacuum cleaner, or lots of rough play, barking, or jumping.
  • Teach your puppy to take food and toys gently from your hand. Don’t let him have anything if he grabs at it.
  • Teach your puppy NOT to mouth or nip at anyone’s hands or feet. Training a puppy by teaching him gentlenessTeach your puppy to be gentle when interacting with people. He must not nip or chew on people’s hands.

    Puppy’s mother (and siblings) began teaching gentleness by firmly correcting Puppy when he played too roughly.

    Your job is to take over from where they left off and teach Puppy how to restrain himself when he plays with humans.

    Remember, you must be the one who sets the limits of ALL good and bad behavior.

  • Teach your puppy NOT to jump on anyone, including yourself.
  • Teach your puppy to give or drop whatever is in his mouth when told.
  • Teach your puppy to stay still (more or less!) and not fuss when you’re brushing him, bathing him, clipping his nails, or brushing his teeth. Teach him to accept handling of any part of his body. Training a puppy by teaching him to accept handlingStart handling your puppy immediately so he learns to accept anything you need to do with him.

    Your puppy must accept YOU as the leader in your family. Being the leader simply means you are the one who decides what is okay for Puppy to do and what isn’t okay.

    For example…. brushing, bathing, clipping nails, cleaning teeth, giving a pill, putting on a collar or harness.

    These are all times when YOU – not Puppy – have to be the one to decide what is necessary. Puppy should stand quietly for anything you need to do with him.

  • Teach your puppy to respect the other pets in your family. He may not take anything away from another pet. He should “take turns” for treats and attention. No bickering, pestering, pushiness, or jealousy.

Starting at 10 weeks old….

Teach everything from the previous sections, plus…

Training an older puppy

Older puppies are ready to start learning more advanced words after they are obeying basics such as “No.” Don’t jump ahead!

  • Teach your puppy to walk on the leash without pulling. If your pup is currently pulling on the leash, don’t take him for any more walks until you’ve first taught him to stop pulling inside your own home and yard.
  • Teach your puppy to wait at open doors and gates until you give permission to go through.
  • Teach your puppy to come every time you call. For now, that might mean keeping him on a leash in the house and a long cord in the yard, so you can make sure he comes.
  • Teach your puppy to be quiet. Lots of barking makes dogs more excitable. Don’t allow barking at harmless things such as your neighbor or your neighbor’s dog. Certainly your pup can bark to alert you to something, but he should stop barking when told. He should be quiet when left home alone.

Starting at 12 weeks old….

Teach everything from the previous sections, plus…

  • Teach your puppy to Sit and then to stay sitting until you cue him to get up.
  • Teach your puppy to go to his dog bed when told, and to stay there until given permission to get up. This valuable exercise teaches calmness, impulse control, and physical and mental relaxation. Every pup should be able to do it.

Starting at 16 weeks old….

Teach everything from the previous sections, plus…

  • Teach your puppy to go for a structured walk where he stays close beside you and pays close attention to you, instead of being distracted by everything else.
  • Teach your puppy to greet people and other animals politely, or else ignore them. Don’t allow him to act excitably, aggressively, or fearfully toward people or other dogs.

Respectful dogs understand and do what you say

Before they’re 6 months old, my pups know how to do everything in the lists above. They pay close attention to me and do whatever I ask of them.

If you’re unsure about how to teach everything on my lists, it’s all covered in my puppy training book, Respect Training For Puppies (30 seconds to a calm, polite, well-behaved puppy).

Is your pup a little older?

You might be thinking, “But my pup’s already 6 months old… what do I do now?”

Simple. Start at the very beginning, as though your 6 month old pup was only 7 weeks old. Start by establishing the routines that will govern everything in your pup’s life. Start with housebreaking. Start with crate training. Start with “Good” and “No”.

And if your pup is 12 months old? 18 months old? Or even older than that?

Older puppy

When I foster an older puppy, I train him exactly as I would a younger pup – I start at the very beginning, with the basics.

You might think a training schedule would be different for a much older puppy…. but it isn’t.

Whether your puppy is 3 months old, 6 months old, or 18 months old, the order of training should start with the same words and respect training I’ve been talking about.

Namely…. daily routines, praise and correction words, crate training, housebreaking, acceptance of being handled, gentleness, and household rules.

So if your older puppy (or adult dog) is still mouthing on your hands, or barking back at you when you tell him to do something, or if he doesn’t stop whatever he’s doing when you say, “No”, you need to double down on those basics.

Then you can move on to more advanced stuff.

“But how?”  you want to know. “How  do I train my puppy?”

Shiba Inu pup learning to be calm and patient

It’s best to get this right the first time around, because Puppy won’t ever be the same age again.

You get only one chance to teach all the right habits to a “clean slate” puppy. If you try to train your puppy without help, you will probably have to re-do the lessons, only this time with an older puppy with bad habits.

But what kind of help?

You don’t need to sign up for an obedience class or “puppy socialization” class to get help training and socializing your puppy. Those classes can be overwhelming for a puppy. Gentle pups can get over-run by bullies, which can completely ruin your pup’s temperament. And excitable puppies just get more excitable in those classes.

I don’t recommend taking a puppy to any group class. I don’t even take my own pups to such classes. The risk is too great.

Instead, teach your puppy at home. I’ll help you. My puppy training book is called Respect Training for Puppies: 30 Seconds to a Calm, Polite, Well-Behaved Puppy.

I’ll show you my proven step-by-step training method for teaching your puppy all the words he needs to know, plus consistent household rules and routines, housebreaking, crate training, acceptance of being handled, calmness, gentleness, and general obedience training.

My training method is:

  1. BASED ON LEADERSHIP AND RESPECT, which means you and your family are the leaders in your household and your pup is the follower. Dogs LOVE to be followers when you show them that you’re a confident, consistent leader who makes all the decisions.
  2. BALANCED, which means positive reinforcement (praise and rewards) for good behaviors, and corrections for bad behaviors.I don’t teach or recommend so-called “purely positive” methods that allow misbehaving pups to continue misbehaving, instead of teaching them which behaviors are and are not allowed. “Purely positive” is fine for teaching tricks and high-level competition exercises, but NOT for teaching the solid good behaviors that all family dogs need to know, and NOT for stopping behavior problems such as barking, jumping, chewing, nipping, chasing, etc.

puppy training bookIf you want your puppy to be a good family dog, teach him with a balanced training method based on respect and leadership. It’s the perfect match for how your pup thinks and learns. Check out Respect Training For Puppies.

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NEW BOOK RELEASE: “She Chose Me;” The Heart Wrenching Tale of a Woman and Her Dog with Cancer

The Treadmill for Dogs

7 Dog Gadgets You’ve Never Seen

You would be surprised at how much ‘dog stuff’ there is out there. We could make a HUGE list of everything we have found working at Canine Companions, but we are going to limit the list to ten today. Take a look below and find ten of the coolest dog gadgets today!

dog Product 1: the camera, 2-way audio, treat dispenser!

Any pet owner knows that their furry friends rule their home, and specialized pet cameras are becoming a popular way to keep an eye on what they’re up to back at the ranch.The ability to check on your pet back at home, keep them entertained and ensure they’ve been picked up by dog-walkers is something everyone can benefit from. But pet cameras differ from a smart home camera, and pack extra features that are a tad more playful than your standard Nest camera.Pets left alone can become lonely. With WOpet Dog Treat Dispenser , you can See/Talk/Treat/Play with your furry friends while you are away from home. WOpet brings more fun and quality time to you and your pets.

Click here to learn more!

dog product 2: the professional dog treadmill for exercise in the home

Lack of exercise can cause your dog to have poor endurance, slow response and obesity. The pet treadmill helps pet train, exercise, lose weight and have a healthy body. It is ideal for small and medium sized dogs. Even if it rains, you can keep your pet indoors for exercise.

Equipped with a safety key that will stop when your dog pulls out the safety key. And there is an emergency stop button on the remote control. Once your pet is in danger, you can immediately stop treadmill by pressing the button.

Equipped with remote control that can be remotely controlled wireless. There is also a display that clearly shows speed, time, distance and calories. It has 12 modes that can be set freely, multiple speed adjustable and timing functions.

Made of 600D oxford cloth, ABS and iron pipe, the pet treadmill has a solid structure and strong load-bearing capacity. Waterproof and detachable oxford cloth blocks the pet’s line of sight, so they don’t look around to improve their concentration.

Easily install it in 20 minutes. And it has built-in wheels for easy movement and storage. The base is adjustable in three heights to meet the needs of different pets.

Click here to learn more!

dog product 3: automatic, timed dog food to keep a routine

Smart pet feeders make sure that your pet gets fed. If you don’t make it home on time due to inclement weather, working late, or a social event, you don’t have to worry that your pet’s dinner will be late.

Click here to learn more!

dog product 4: the portable dog paw cleaner

The Dexas MudBuster is a new, innovative and easy way to rinse your dog’s dirty or muddy paws, before they track it all over the house! Using the MudBuster is easy: muddy paws go in, clean paws come out! To use, add a little water to the base of the Mud Buster. Then, insert the muddy paw, do the twist, dab the paw dry, and repeat for 3 more feet! The Mud Buster features an array of soft, gentle, thick silicone bristles inside an easy-to-grip tumbler. Designed to be gentle on your dog’s paw, the silicone bristles will gently loosen mud and dirt, keeping the mess in the MudBuster and not in your home or car. The Mud Buster is great for trips to the park, hiking, running or even playing outside. The Medium MudBuster is specially sized for medium to large sized breeds. BPA free!

Click here to learn more!

dog product 5: the automatic ball launcher

All For Paws Interactive Ball Launcher is an automatic fetching machine that can be used by dog and owner or just the dog. The launcher features make independent play easy and fun, all you have to do is plug it in, choose your launching distance and then drop in a 2.5” max ball.

Click here to learn more!

dog product 6: the purple dog bed; orthopedic to reduce pressure

The Essential orthopedic bed made with ergonomic gel memory foam is so cozy and indulgently supportive that your dog will never want to get out of bed. The thick high density foam base supports your dog’s joints and pressure points making it great for all dogs, but especially those with arthritis, recovering from surgery or suffering from other mobility issues.

Click here to learn more!

dog product 7: the dog food puzzle for mental stimulation

More than 60% of pets have obesity due to excessive eating.
Elimination of obesity, intellectual stimulation; slow feeder dog bowls promote healthy eating,
adjusting pet weight and prolonging meal time prevent indigestion. Also slows down the speed of eating. Reduces anxiety by providing mental stimulation.

Click here to learn more!

Should I Put My Dog In Training?

Image Source: Integrity K9 Services: Executive Protection Dogs

If you’ve adopted a puppy or an adult dog, you may be wondering if you should invest in dog training. Is it really necessary? Why does it matter? Whether you are struggling to tame your unruly canine companion or simply want to fine-tune your dog’s skills, training has numerous positive outcomes for both pet and owner. Check out the following benefits of dog training services that every owner should know.

Safe and Sound

Training your furry friend will ensure his or her safety. If your dog is obedient, he or she is far less likely to dart out in front of a car and more likely to come back when called in the face of precarious situations. A trained and properly socialized dog will often be less aggressive towards other animals and people. Not only is this a security measure for your dog’s safety, but for others and their pets as well. We recommend starting early, if you have a pup, so that they grow up with the expectation that it is not okay to be aggressive.

Busy Owners

If you are super busy, you may feel you have no time to allot for training your pet. In the short-term, a dog training service will take up more of your time. In the long-term, dog training may actually save time. Dog training can be useful for busy dog owners who don’t have hours to spend on picking up after their pets’ accidents or providing constant monitoring and support. It is easier to leave your dog with peace of mind knowing that you can spend more time on what you need to focus on (and with your dog) rather than fixing your untrained dog’s mistakes.

Create a Strong, Lasting Bond

If your primary goal is to strengthen the bond you have with your dog, dog training services are the way to go. Statistics illustrate that a trained dog has a better bond with its owner. Positive training will improve communication, emphasize teamwork, and foster mutual respect. Your dog will become fully integrated into your family, respect your rules, and enjoy life to the fullest.

Train to Protect, Retrieve, or Alert

After you lay down a basic framework of obedience rules and commands for your dog to follow, you may decide you want to teach him or her a special skill. As your dog moves further throughout formal basic training, he or she will be able to learn more advanced commands that involve protecting you, retrieving important objects you need when you are unable to, or even alerting you to danger.

References:

Benefits of Taking Your Dog To Obedience Training

Dogs: Positive Reinforcement Training

dog-with-treat

Eliminate Food-Guarding Behavior in 7 Steps

Guarding possessions, whether it be food, a special toy, or any other item, is a normal behavior in dogs. When dogs ran wild, they were forced to guard their possessions to survive. Those who did guard their food, and/or their family were more likely to survive and thrive. Unfortunately, this could become an issue for us, as their family.

Guarding behavior can range from completely harmless to extremely aggressive. Some dogs guard their resources from everyone. And, others guard their possessions from only certain people (like ‘strangers’).

Some dogs guard their bone. Some dogs guard their toy. Some dogs guard their food.

Which of the above is your dog doing?

We’ll talk about how to resolve these issues. And, if your dog isn’t resource guarding, we’ll talk about how to prevent resource guarding as well.

Prevent the Behavior

dog-with-treat

If you have a puppy, now is an excellent time to begin preventing resource guarding. Puppies are prone to developing food guarding behavior because they must compete with their litter mates.

As soon as you bring your dog home, you should begin hand-feeding. Sit down with your puppy and feed him one piece of kibble at a time. Speak softly to your puppy as you’re feeding.

Once your dog is comfortable with hand-feeding, you can move to the bowl. Set the bowl in your lap or directly next to you. Watch your dog’s behavior as she’s eating with you. Continue speaking to your dog in a soft, positive voice as she’s eating.

My Dog is Already Food Guarding

If your dog is currently guarding her food, there are ways to desensitize your dog. The process we will use is known as counterconditioning.

While completing these exercises, be sure to listen to vocalizations and watch your dog’s body language. This will help you understand how he or she is feeling during this time.

The First Step: Only Standing Nearby

You need to go about this step-by-step. Try standing a few feet away from your dog while she’s eating her kibble. During the first step, you should not try to move closer. Calmly talk to her in a reassuring manner while she’s eating. This should be repeated a minimum of ten times before moving to the next step.

The Second Step: Standing and One Step

In the second step, you should still begin by standing a few feet away from your dog. But, you can take one step closer to your dog at this time. When you take your step, throw a treat toward your dog’s food bowl. Then, step back to where you were in the first place. Each day, you can take an extra step (as long as your dog is calm/relaxed). Step 2 should also be repeated a minimum of ten times before moving to step 3.

Step 3: Standing and Walking Away

If your dog has successfully mastered steps 1 and 2, you can move on to step 3. If your dog is still uncomfortable, please stay with the first two steps.

In the third step, continue talking to your dog in a soft tone, while walking toward his food bowl. Stand next to your dog’s food bowl, place a treat in the bowl, and walk away slowly. This step should be repeated a minimum of ten times.

Step 4: The Treat Trick

Continue applying what you have learned in the first three steps. In this step, while your dog is eating, you can hold a treat in your hand. Slowly show your dog the treat as he’s eating his meal. This step should encourage your dog to stop eating what’s in the bowl and take the treat. Once your dog has taken the treat, walk away and stand a few feet away from your dog. Continue to do this at each mealtime until your dog has finished eating.

Step 5: Pick Up the Bowl

The next step… raising the bowl. Please only attempt this step if your dog is 100% comfortable with steps 1-4.

Stand next to your dog and pick up her bowl with one hand. Don’t pick it up all the way… only lift the bowl slightly from the floor. Then, return the bowl to your dog immediately.

Step 6: Now She’s Comfy

Once your dog is comfortable with step 5, you can take the bowl away, place a treat in the bowl, and return it. Your dog now associates you with goodies. At this point, your dog should no longer have any problem with you being near her food.

Step 7: The Final Step

The final stage is to help the other members of your family go through all six steps. Be sure everyone in the household completes the steps in the same manner you did. And, don’t skip a step! This will allow your dog to learn there’s no reason to guard his food… not only from you but from anyone.

DO NOT PUNISH

Do not punish your dog for guarding her food. Your dog is guarding her food because she thinks you’re going to take it away and she won’t get it back. Punishment often results in the behavior worsening as the trust between you and your dog is lost.

DISCLAIMER:

If your dog becomes aggressive with his or her food, you should not attempt to resolve this behavior on your own. Please contact a Canine Behaviorist to assist in the process.

 

6 Steps to Potty Training Your Puppy

puppy training tips.png

Young puppies have an extremely hard time holding their bladder and will need to relieve themselves frequently. Potty training isn’t an easy process, but with time and dedication, you’ll have a much easier time as your pup gets older.

Potty training should begin the moment you pick up your puppy. This will help her get on the right track, sooner. Although she may have accidents, she will begin to understand what is expected of her. And, this will mean less clean-up for you. In this article, we’ll go through the steps of potty training… the ‘do’s,’ and the ‘do not’s.’

Step 1: Praise Your Puppy Excessively

Being required to go potty in a designated area is new to any dog. A dog’s instincts don’t tell them they’re not permitted to use the bathroom inside the house. Their instincts tell them to find an area where they don’t sleep or eat, and use the bathroom there, whether inside or outside.

That’s why it’s so important to praise your dog excessively when he uses the potty outside. Your dog needs your feedback to be successful in potty training (and all other types of training). Be sure to praise your puppy immediately after they potty outside… or else they won’t know what you’re praising them for.

The praise can be in the form of an excited “yay, good job,” a yummy low-calorie treat or kibble, or both. Many dog lovers carry around a handful of kibble in their pockets out of their puppy’s daily portions.

Step 2: Utilize a Crate

There’s controversy in the dog world about using crates… some dog lovers want a crate and others feel it’s not necessary. But, the crate essentially becomes your dog’s ‘den’ or ‘safe space.’ The crate is also helpful because puppies don’t like to use the bathroom where they sleep.

The crate should have a soft layer of padding to it. A dog bed generally works just fine. The crate should be large enough for your puppy to stand up and move around, but not large enough for your pup to relieve himself and move to another spot to sleep.

You can also place toys in the crate with your puppy so they’re able to play if they get bored. Mental puzzle toys, and some type of chew toy, are usually best. The Kong toys work extremely well, they’re mentally stimulating, and puppies generally can’t rip them to shreds. One of the biggest mistakes puppy parents make is grabbing a toy that looks neat, but their puppy shreds the toy into small pieces and end up swallowing parts of the toy. This could lead to a blockage… and we don’t want that to happen.

For this step, it’s critical to note that puppies should not stay in their crates for long periods of time. The crate should only be utilized when you’re not able to pay attention to your puppy. Then, once their potty trained, you can leave the door to their crate open so they’re able to freely enter and exit.

Step 3: No Punishments

Punishing your puppy for urinating or defecating on the floor can do more harm than good. By the time you find out your puppy has had an accident, your pup likely doesn’t remember what they did. And, even if you catch them in the act, punishing your puppy could permanently damage the bond and trust they have with you.

Staying calm when they have an accident is essential. You shouldn’t yell, chase, or smack your puppy. You also shouldn’t ‘rub his nose in it.’ Not only will you lose their trust, but they will associate going potty with punishment and may resort to using the bathroom in areas you won’t find.

Some dog lovers will argue, ‘but rubbing her nose in it works.’ And, yes… sometimes it does. But, you risk the bond you will have with her for the rest of her life by using punishment as a learning method.

Step 4: Show Her Where to Go

If you catch your puppy in the act, instead of punishing, try to re-direct her attention. You can re-direct her attention by saying “let’s go potty outside” or something similar. Then, immediately bring her outside to show her where it’s okay to use the bathroom. Then, once she uses the bathroom in your designed area, that’s when you can excessively praise her. She will connect the dots, and learn you are happy when she uses the bathroom in that particular area.

Step 5: Don’t Overuse Puppy Pads

You can, and should, have puppy pads in the house while you’re training your pup. But, you shouldn’t set them up in multiple areas around the house. This is confusing to a puppy, and they won’t understand why it’s not okay to use the bathroom in the house. They also may not be able to distinguish between a puppy pad and an area rug, or why she’s allowed to use the bathroom in some areas of the home but not others.

Step 6: Establish a Routine

Establishing a routine with any puppy or adult dog is critical. Dogs have a great sense of time, and if you have a set routine it will make potty training much easier. For example, if you always take her potty after she eats, she will understand after she eats she goes potty outside. This may take time- so don’t get upset if she doesn’t immediately understand the routine. Don’t worry- she will.

The Bottom Line on Potty Training

The most important step you should be aware of in this process is to always be positive with your puppy. Dogs and puppies are eager to please you. They want to make you happy as often as possible. Also, understand every dog is different, and some puppies may take longer than others to learn what’s expected of them.