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House Training

To expedite and simplify the housetraining process for your dog, remember two key principles: Principle #1: Reward your dog each time she eliminates in the designated area, and Principle #2: Take steps to prevent her from having accidents.

Housetraining Principles

  • Rewarding Elimination: Reward your dog every time she eliminates in the right place.
  • Preventing Mistakes: Prevent your dog from making mistakes by following a routine and supervising her.

The Basics

  • Outdoor Schedule: Take your dog outdoors on a schedule, depending on her age and needs.
  • Elimination Spot: Always take your dog to the same spot to eliminate to establish a visual and olfactory cue.
  • Exit Door: Use the same door to take your dog out to help her signal when she needs to go out.

Principle #1: Rewarding Elimination

  • Immediate Praise: Praise your dog as she finishes eliminating and give her a special food treat.
  • Consistent Reward: Reward her with a walk or play session after she eliminates to reinforce the behavior.

Principle #2: Preventing Mistakes

  • Frequent Outings: Take your dog out frequently, on a regular schedule, and supervise her when indoors.
  • Confinement: Use a crate or a designated area when you can't supervise your dog to prevent accidents.

Use of a Crate for Housetraining

  • Acclimate Your Dog: Get your dog used to the crate before using it for housetraining.
  • Confinement Usage: Use the crate for short periods when you're away and unable to supervise your dog.
  • Alternative Confinement: If your dog eliminates in the crate, consider using an exercise pen or a baby gate to confine her.

To Paper Train or Not to Paper Train

  • Transitioning Surfaces: Use newspapers or wee-wee pads initially and transition to outdoor elimination gradually.
  • Litter Box Training: Small dogs can be trained to use a litter box, transitioning from papers to litter over time.

Teaching Your Dog to Eliminate on Cue

  • Establish a Routine: Take your dog out on a schedule and wait for her to eliminate.
  • Cueing Elimination: Use a verbal cue ("Go pee") as she starts to eliminate and reward her when she finishes.
  • Reinforcing the Cue: Continue using the cue consistently until your dog associates it with the desired behavior.

Remember, consistency and positive reinforcement are key to successful housetraining. Avoid punishment and be patient with your dog as she learns.

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