How to House Train Your Puppy and/or Adult Dog
By Jon Decker
House Training a Dog:
Here are the basics to house training a dog.
1. If you bring home a puppy you will first want to section off an area for your little one. Puppy proof this area and make sure there are no wires or loose items. On one side of this sectioned off area, leave a bed and way on the other side put down a wee wee pad. This will be their first home and they will learn to differ between going in the bathroom as opposed to the home.
2. When your dog is ready (usually around 4-5 months of age and up), you can crate your dog. Make sure you introduce the crate to your dog in a pleasant, fun filled way. Do not have your dog walk in their for the first time and shut the door behind them. But rather tie the door open, put treats and toys in the crate and let them get used to it. Gradually (through the day) close the door behind them and extend the time they stay in. Many dogs will not love it at first, but rest assured, it will be OK, it’s the best way to house train a dog, and in the future your dog will consider his crate, his own little den.
3. How long should a dog stay in a crate? A dog can usually hold its bladder equivalent in hours to its age (a 4mth old can hold it 4 hours and so on). Ideally you want a puppy to be taken out for a walk and bathroom break every four to five hours (starting with their morning walk) at first. The key is quiet simple: the dog can not go to the bathroom in the house or the crate! House training is like pregnancy, you can not be a little bit pregnant and you can not be a little bit house trained. There is no comfortable medium.
4. Here are some quick thoughts on house training:
a.) Coordinate your house training with your vet. Ask your vet if it would be OK to only feed your dog in the morning and how much to feed? If your dog continues to wet its crate, ask your vet how and if you can alter your dogs water intake.
b.) Do not crate your dog more than 6 hours at a time.
c.) Do not punish your dog by putting them in the crate. They have to see it as a happy place.
d.) NEVER HAVE ANY GEAR (COLLAR, HARNESS,ETC.) ON YOUR DOG WHEN PUT IN THE CRATE. Dogs must go into the crate “naked”. Dogs have gotten tangled on the crate and hung themselves.
Jonathon Decker is a trainer for Downtown Pet in New York City.
Downtown Pet offers professional NYC dog walker services in Lower Manhattan
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