Very young puppies should not be taken outdoors to relieve themselves because they most likely have not had their full set of vaccinations and are susceptible to many deadly viruses such as the parvovirus. In this case, newspapers or puppy pads should be used as an alternative. However, once the puppy has gotten all its vaccinations, outdoor training should begin as soon as possible for the puppy’s sake and yours. The puppy pads also teach the dog that it cannot go wherever he/she pleases. The key to any type of training is patients and consistency to avoid fear and confusion. The puppy will make mistakes and it is important not to lose your temper or the dog will not understand what you are trying to communicate.
The first step is to move the puppy pad close to the door you will be using to take it outside. If the dog starts to get a little confused, move the pad closer to the door in small increments and be sure he/she sees you moving it. When the puppy goes to the mat to get relief, gently pick the puppy up and carry it outside using a catch phrase such as “time to go poops” or something similar. Repeating this phrase when you see the puppy heading toward the pad will teach it to associate the phrase with going outside. In some cases, bringing the pad outside with you will reinforce the association. The phrase will come in handy later, on rainy days, when you want the dog to hurry up and do its business.
Constantly monitor your dog in the first phases of the training to catch the pup before it goes. Trying to correct the dog after the fact will only confuse it. Puppies go often and there is bound to be an occasional accident but the dog will not relate a punishment to the accident, even if you stick its nose in it – which is cruel and counterproductive. It will damage the relationship you have with your dog and could make it aggressive. Correcting an accident while it is in progress with a simple, stern “no” and taking the dog outside right away is the only way to discipline the animal. Be sure to follow up the activity with lots of praise such as “good boys/girls” to reward proper behavior. This is a perfect opportunity to bond with your pet for a lifetime of respect, trust and love.
Not In The Dog House (http://www.notinthedoghouse.com) is all about how to treat your dog like your best friend. From selecting a breed to dog training tips, we have you covered! If you are looking for a place to start, look at the articles we have on different dog breeds.
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