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Potty Training Tips


Pet Talk

By Brent E. Herrin, DVM

House training can be easy…
One of the more common problems that new puppy owners encounter is difficulty in housetraining their newest family member. There are numerous ways to accomplish this but by far the most effective is crate training your puppy. In addition to making housetraining easier, crate training also keeps your pet from being destructive or getting hurt when you can't watch over them, and helps your pet accept confinement
without getting "stressed out". This is handy if they are ever injured or boarded at a kennel.

House training with a crate works based upon a basic premise of dog behavior: if a dog is confined to an area that is no larger than their bed, they will not soil it unless they cannot help it. This allows you to follow the number one rule of dog training-don't allow them to do anything except what you want. The first hurdle is to stop thinking of confinement as punishment. Most dogs, once accustomed to the crate, actually feel secure in their "plastic den". A word of caution though, at first your pup may cry. Do not give in and let them out or they will never be quiet in the crate. This may take some persistence on your part at first, but it will be well worth it in the long run.

Here's how it works:

· Select a carrier-you want that is small enough that they will not potty in it and large
enough for future growth. Your veterinarian will be of some help here.
· Watch or confine-if you can't keep your eye on them constantly, they whould be in
the carrier.
· Teach them where to go-when you first let them out in the morning, take them
outside on a leash to a designated "potty area" and give a "potty command". This is
serious so do not encourage play. As they are going, praise them repeating the
"potty command".
· Learn their patterns-you can expect them to need to go 10-20 minutes after they
eat, after a nap, and any time they haven't gone for 1-2 hours.
· Don't punish-if they have an accident, it is your fault not theirs. If you can't tolerate
an occasional mess, you should have gotten a plant instead. If they go to the
bathroom in the carrier it is either too large, you aren't taking them out often enough,
or they have a medical problem, which should be checked out by the veterinarian.
As they learn what to do they will become "substrate trained" and prefer to go on a particular substance. We hope that they choose grass as their substrate. Once they are "trained" you can vary the routine and maybe even stop using the crate, but I bet your don't. If you have more questions about crate training, your veterinarian can provide you with more information.

Don't forget to take your pet to see your vet.

Burns Cuddly Canines would like to Thank Dr. Herrin for allowing us to use his article
on our website.