Housebreaking a dog is more than just getting the dog to relieve himself in the right place and at the right time. It includes this, but it also involves his entire behavior in the house. He must learn things like what rooms he is allowed to enter and what places he is not allowed to lie on.
No one wants to find out their dog urinated on the carpet. (A more exhaustive list of dog behavior problems is available in Dove Cresswell's Dog Training Online.) Of course, pups can't help it if they are indoors and need to go. They don't have the knowledge or capacity to wait. They do what is natural. Therefore, it is important to start the training process on day one.
The best age to get a pup is about eight weeks old. However, a dog usually can't control the muscles to hold the urine until the proper time until he is about twelve weeks old. Therefore, it is important to take your dog outside often during the first days of ownership. Set a schedule and plan to get the dog outside after every meal. You can take him for a walk if you live in the city, or let him romp outside if you live in the country. Take him out every hour at first, and reinforce good actions positively.
Positive reinforcement is crucial. He will understand a pat, a dog biscuit, kind and encouraging words. This assures the pet that he is pleasing you and most dogs like to do that. So, opportunities to go, and much praise when he does will reinforce his acceptable behavior.
Perhaps your dog is not welcome in every area of the house. For example, you may not want a black shedding dog on the white couch! Perhaps the dog is to stay out of your bedroom or at least off of your bed. Your pet must understand these rules.
This kind of training, say the best books on dog training, requires consistency and patience. So, if the dog goes into the forbidden area, then instruct him with words and force him out of the room or off of the furniture. Do this every time he trespasses so that he knows this is never allowed. If you make exceptions, it will only confuse him.
If you suspect your dog is trespassing when you are not watching, but not when you are, then it is obvious he likes the place but knows it is wrong. One family made it clear their dog was not to get on the living room furniture. But when they came home and felt the warm spot on the softest chair, the dog was caught. Try tricking the dog into thinking you are not watching when really you are. Then when you catch him disobeying the rule, rap his bottom with a paper and scold him so that he gets the message this is never allowed, watched or not.
Dogs are pleasers, so praise for right conduct goes a long way. Any reward you can think of will reinforce the good conduct, and withholding the reward will reinforce the cost of bad conduct. Be patient and don't give up! In the long run, both you and your dog will be glad.
Hope you enjoyed this article. Learn more tips and read reviews of top dog training books at http://www.dogtrainingbible.net.
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