Wed 7 Apr, 2004 09:36 pm
Are there any kits on the market for use in house training puppies?
Dunno about a kit, but I've housebroken lots and lots of puppies ... and older. The key is attention, consistency, and positive reinforcement.
First, you've gotta understand a puppy has the attention span of .... well, of a puppy. Don't let yousef get frustratrd when that evidences itself.
Now, dogs are pack animals, and acceptance within the pack is pretty important to a puppy. Naturally, you have to establish and maintain Alpha Status for yourself. Be firm, but be fair and be fun to be around.
Puppies are real good at two things ... intake and output. Output is generally on the puppy's mind shortly after intake. Immediately following a feeding, take the puppy to wherever you want the output to take place. Its important that be the same place every time during the learning phase. If output takes place, praise the pup profusely, but briefly, and return to your normal routine. If several minutes pass with no output, no big deal ... return to your normal routine but keep an eye on the pup. As soon as it looks like the pup is considering output, drop whatever you're doing and gently take the pup to the output place. If you don't notice in time, don't rag on the pup. If you catch it in the act, a sharp, stern "No!" will suffice, whereupon you gently but firmly take the pup to the output place. If things proceed as preferred, cool. Praise the pup and get on with life. If not, get on with life but keep a closer eye on the pup. When and as soon as it appears output is imminent ... well, I'm sure you have the idea now.
If you miss the signs all together, only to discover the pup took care of business on its own, elsewhere than the designated output place, bummer. But, that's gonna happen. Make no deal of it whatsoever, just clean it up and go on living. Don;t worry, you'll get another opportunity soon. Follow the drill. Pups usually go for a little output on waking, as well, and also after a bout of intensive play. Same drill ... pup wakes up, take it to the output place. Pup romps and plays for a while, then becomes distracted ... same drill. Reward it with praise everytime you get the desired result, don't make a fuss if you don't. If you follow the regimen as outlined, the pup will be housebroken in around a week. Sometimes it only takes a couple days. Sometimes it tkes a little longer. And even when it seems the pup has got the idea, continue with the praise when the pup does ut on its own. Expect, be prepared for, and accept that there will be accidents. Just clean it up and go on living. The interval between accidents will grow and grow. I've never known the method to fail. It even works with older but untrained dogs ... manyif not most of whom catch on even more quickly than do puppies.
Remember ... attention, consistency, and positive reinforcement.
Thank you for all of your advice and for taking the time to type it here.