Monday, April 1, 2024

The first few days in your home are special and critical for a pet. Your new dog will be confused about where he is and what to expect from you. Setting up some clear structure with your family for your dog will be paramount in making as smooth a transition as possible.To make the transition as smooth as possible at home, here are some helpful tips on how to set your new pup up for sucess with both house and crate training.

House Training:

Coming into a new home with new people, new smells and new sounds can throw even the most housebroken dog off-track, so be ready just in case. House training is accomplished by establishing a surface and location preference AND by preventing the dog from eliminating in unacceptable places.

As a general rule, a puppy can only hold his waste for the same number of hours that he is old, in months. In other words, a four-month-old pup should not be left alone during the day longer than four consecutive hours without an opportunity to go outside.

By the time the pup is four months old, he should be able to make it through the night without going outside. Adult dogs adopted from shelters are often not fully house trained and need a refresher course. Here's what to do to get started with house training:

  • Keep the dog on a consistent daily feeding schedule and remove food between meals.
  • Know where your dog is at all times. To anticipate and prevent accidents, you need to watch for early signs that he needs to eliminate. These signs include pacing, whining, circling, sniffing and leaving the room. If you see any of these, take the dog outside as quickly as possible. Not all dogs learn to let their owner know they need to go outside by barking or scratching at the door. Some will pace a bit and then just eliminate inside.
  • Accompany the dog outside and reward him with praise, treats, play, or a walk whenever he eliminates outdoors. It’s best to take the dog to the same place each time, as the smells may prompt the dog to eliminate. Some dogs will eliminate early on in a walk; others need to move about and play for a bit first.
  • Take the dog outside on a consistent schedule. Puppies should be taken out every hour, as well as shortly after meals, playtime and naps. All dogs should get out first thing in the morning, last thing at night, and before being confined or left alone. Adult dogs must get out at least four times a day.
  • If you can catch the dog in the act of eliminating inside, make loud noises. Immediately run to the dog and rush him outside. If he is small, pick him up; otherwise, just grab him by the collar and run outside with him. The idea is to startle him, which should stop him in mid-stream. Allow the dog to finish outside, and reward him. If you do not catch the dog in the act, do not do anything to the dog. Clean accidents with an enzymatic cleanser to minimize odors that might attract the dog back to the same spot.

Crate Training:

Crate training is effective, helps with potty training, and keeps your furry friend out of trouble. Be sure to use a crate that is large enough for the dog to stand up, turn around and lay down comfortably. You don’t want the crate to be too big (as the dog may relieve himself inside of the crate).

  • Make going into the crate a positive experience for the dog by offering a treat in the crate and/or using an excited tone of voice when you are ready to put the dog in the crate. They will learn to love going into the crate. It’s like “their home”.
  • Put the dog in the crate when you leave the house and at night. Crate the dog when you are away from the home until you are confident that the dog will not go potty in the house.
  • Be sure to let the dog out of the crate regularly for potty breaks (offer a treat/praise when the dog goes potty outside). Young puppies need to be let out of their crate every 3-4 hours, and adult dogs (1 year+) every 6-8+ hours.
  • Leave the dog in the crate when you are away from home. Upon coming home, take the dog outside immediately to potty. Reward with praise/treat when successful.