Housetraining: An Owner's Guide to a Happy Healthy Pet

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First things first!! There's no doubt that a primary concern of dog owners is having a housetrained pet. September Morn is a writer and dog trainer who is well-versed in the trials of housetraining. How to train dogs of all different ages, and to resolve special housetraining problems, are discussed in full.
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1999-03-26 Hardcover New Housetrain your dog once and for all with Housetraining: An Owner's Guide to a Happy Healthy Pet. Not only do you get the fundamentals of properly ... training dogs of every age, you'll learn how to schedule your outings so that your dog can't help but get it right. Finally, if you're just exasperated by recurring problems, this book provides the solutions to put your dog on the cleanliness track. Read more Show Less

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Overview

First things first!! There's no doubt that a primary concern of dog owners is having a housetrained pet. September Morn is a writer and dog trainer who is well-versed in the trials of housetraining. How to train dogs of all different ages, and to resolve special housetraining problems, are discussed in full.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781582450100
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/1/1999
  • Series: Happy Healthy Pet Series , #11
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 128
  • Product dimensions: 5.54 (w) x 8.57 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Table of Contents

PART ONE: About Housetraining.

1. Canine Cleanliness.

2. Getting Ready for Your New Dog.

3. Bringing Your New Dog Home.

PART TWO: Making Housetraining Easy.

4. Age-Appropriate Housetraining.

5. Paper-Training.

6. Outdoor Training.

7. Crate-Training.

8. Two-Way Communication.

9. A Schedule May Help.

PART THREE: Special Housetraining Problems.

10. Recurring Elimination Problems.

11. Health-Related Problems.

PART FOUR: Beyond the Basics.

12. Resources.

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First Chapter

[Figures are not included in this sample chapter]

Housetraining: An Owner's Guide To A Happy Healthy Pet

- 3 -

Bringing Your New Dog Home

The Homecoming

At last the big day has arrived! It's time to bring home your new dog. You'vebeen carefully preparing for the arrival of the pup. A potty yard is fenced outsideand your kitchen is baby-gated as a puppy corral, with a comfortable dog crate, tip-proofwater bowl and several safe chew toys. Your cupboards are filled with high-qualitydog food.

CRATE FOR TRAVEL

As you're about to walk out the door you remember to grab that new dog crate fromthe kitchen to take with you for the pup to ride in on the way home. Whether or notyour new dog is crate-trained, it will be safer riding in a crate. Inside its newcrate-den, the dog will be less distracting to the driver and won't create dangeroussituations.

At first your pup might object to a crate if it's never been in one before. It'snatural for dogs to resist unfamiliar situations. Give it something yummy to chewwhile in the crate and the pup will worry less about being confined.

A plastic crate is usually best for car travel because it's strength and rigidityprotect the dog in case of sudden stops and turns. Plas tic crates have solid sidesthat don't rattle like the wire type, so they are more cozy and quiet for the dog.With a plastic crate, if the pup goes potty or gets carsick on the way home, themess won't leak out of the crate and soil your car.

TRAVEL GEAR

A crate for a pup or small dog will fit on the seat of most cars. If you're transportingyour dog alone, place the crate in the front seat and strap it in with the seat belt.Face the door of the crate toward you, so your puppy can watch you drive insteadof viewing the scenery whizzing toward the windshield. Doing so can help preventpuppy motion sickness. If you have an assistant with you, secure the crate in theback seat and have your helper sit with the pup to keep it content.

You'll need a large bag to stow all the gear your pup will require on a car trip.Parents of young children sling along a diaper bag stuffed with kid equipment whereverthey go. Packing puppy necessities is similar. Your doggie bag should hold a leash,flashlight, quart of drinking water, biscuits or dry dog kibble, small pull-opencan of dog food, spare chew toys, plastic bags for poop pick up, a roll of papertowels and a first-aid kit with supplies for people and pets. Truly prepared dogowners also keep in the car some spray cleaner, old towels and a package of disposablewet wipes for hand cleaning. Toting a few extra things you might not use is betterthan being caught without needed supplies.

SCENT MARK

When you are adopting your new dog, obtain a bit of newspaper or paper towel soiledwith some of its urine. If your pup is still with its littermates, a scrap of newspaperfrom their communal potty area will do the trick. Carry this scented pa per home tomark the area you've chosen as your pup's elimination place. If the dog smells itsown urine in the potty area at its new home, it should adapt more readily to usingthat spot.

If your home is more than an hour from where you adopt your dog, its first lessonin elimination manners will be on the drive home. Stop for a potty break after aboutthirty or forty minutes of travel, sooner if the dog is restless. It's normal fora pup to fuss a bit if it's never been on a car ride, but if after fifteen minutesyour dog still won't settle, it may need to eliminate.

ELIMINATION BREAK

When you stop, leash your dog before you let it out of the car. It's not at allsafe or wise to allow a new dog to run free. It doesn't know you yet and you reallydon't know it either. Don't give it a chance to run off and get lost or injured.Leash it instead.

Allow the dog a chance to walk around and stretch its legs. It may need to urinateor defecate, so allow ample opportunity for that. After it eliminates, walk the puparound or just talk to it and pet it. The bonding process has begun and althoughyou may have met the pup only hours ago, right now you are the most familiar facein its universe. Let everything you do show your new dog you're its trustworthy friendand will care for its needs.

After your potty and petting break, return to the area where your pup eliminatedearlier and calmly encourage it to go again. It may or it may not need to, but offerit the chance. After a minute or so, load everyone in the car again and head forhome.

On the way home from the breeder's (or anytime that you are traveling withyour dog), take a break to let it eliminate and to stretch its legs.

The First Day--First Impressions Are Lasting

The first day with a new dog is a very exciting time for the whole family. Thepup has met you, but on arriving home everyone will be excited to pet and play withit. Keep an eye on the puppy and take it to the potty place before it can have accidentson the floor.

When you arrive home, take the urine marked paper you brought from your pup'sformer home and rub the scent in the area(s) that you've selected as eliminationplaces for your new dog. If you'll be training the pup to potty outdoors, pour 1/2cup of water through the urine paper and let it seep into the ground there. Don'tleave the paper on the ground though, or your pup may think it's something to playwith.

INTRODUCTION TO POTTY AREA

Let the dog out of its crate and take it on leash to its new toileting area. Indicatethe spot you've scented with its urine. The familiar odor will give the dog a cluethat this is the place to go. (If you are unable to scent a spot for your pup, juststand there and wait for it to make its own mark.)

Keep the dog leashed so it won't wander away. Stand quietly and let it sniff aroundin the designated area. If your pup starts to leave before it has eliminated, gentlylead it back and remind it to go. If your pup sniffs at the scented spot, praiseit calmly and just wait. If it produces, praise serenely, then give it time to sniffaround a little more. It may not be finished, so give it time to go again beforeallowing it to play and explore its new home.

POTTY AREA RULES

Take your pup to its potty place frequently throughout the day. Each time yousuccessfully anticipate elimination and help your pup to the potty sp ot, you'll movea step closer to your goal. Stay aware of your puppy's needs. If you ignore the pup,it will make mistakes and you'll be cleaning up more messes. The dog's understandingof house rules will suffer if you don't guide it carefully during the first coupleof weeks it's in your home.

Don't fret if your pup doesn't eliminate every time you take it to its toiletingarea. Just familiarize the dog with the approved place and give it sufficient opportunitiesto go there. Try not to let it make mistakes in the house. Praising your dog forpotty success will housetrain it quicker than scolding for accidents. Most dogs canbe housetrained without punishment by anticipating their needs and helping them formgood habits.


TOO MUCH EXCITEMENT = NO ELIMINATION

Do not excite your dog when it's in the potty area. Overenthusiastic praise or too much chatter will cause a dog to tense its muscles and not finish the job. The dog will feel the urge to go again when it calms down, after you've taken it into the house. This situation is not the one that you want to encourage.


Timing Is Everything

A pup under 3 months may need to urinate every hour and will move its bowels asmany times a day as it eats. Once past 4 months, its potty trips will be less frequent.

Keep a chart of your new dog's potty behavior for the first three or four days.Jot down what time it eats, sleeps and eliminates. After several days a pattern willemerge that can help you determine your pup's body rhythm. Most dogs tend to eliminateat fairly regular intervals. Once you know your new dog's natural rhythms, you'llbe able to anticipate its needs and schedule appropriate potty outings. Your dogwill have more successes than failures, and that will speed housetraining.

THE FIRST NIGHT

Most dogs, even young ones, will not soil their beds if they can avoid it. Forthis reason, a sleeping crate can be a tremendous help during housetraining. Beingcrated at night can help a dog develop the muscles that control elimination. It willalso learn that you're alert to its needs both day and night.

Bedtime

Just before bedtime, take your dog to its potty area. Stand by and wait untilit produces. You must not put your dog to bed for the night until it has eliminated.Be patient and calm. This is not the time to play or excite your dog. If it's tooexcited, a pup not only won't pee or poop, it probably won't want to sleep either.After your dog has emptied out, put it to bed.

A good place to put your dog's sleeping crate is near your own bed. Dogs are packanimals, so they feel safer sleeping with others in a common area. In your bedroom,the pup will be near you and you'll be close enough to hear when it wakes duringthe night needing to eliminate.

Mid-Sleep Outing

Pups under 4 months often are not able to hold their urine all night. If yourpuppy has settled down to sleep but awakens and fusses a few hours later, it probablyneeds to go potty. For best housetraining progress, take your pup to its eliminationarea whenever it needs to go, even in the wee hours of the morning.

Your pup may soil in the crate if you ignore its late night urgency. It's unfairto let this happen and it sends the wrong message about expectations for cleanliness.Resign yourself to this mid-sleep outing and just get up and take the pup to potty.Your pup will outgrow this need soon, so you won't have to do this forever. Withtime, your pup will learn that it can count on you and you'll wake happily each morningto a clean dog.

Take your puppy out to the potty area frequently--although it may not eliminateevery time, you are establishing a familiar routine.

THE SECOND DAY--ESTABLISHING A ROUTINE

This will be your first full day with your new dog, so start off by teaching ita command to eliminate. Immediately upon waking, take your pup to the potty areaand calmly command it to eliminate. Say, "Go potty," or, "Do business,"or, "Urinate"; it doesn't matter what command you choose, any word or shortphrase will work. Just pick a command you can say in public without embarrassment.Use the command consistently each time you take your dog to potty. After it eliminates,reward with praise that includes the command word, as in "Good potty" or"Good do business." Soon your dog will associate that word with the actand will eliminate on command.

After your pup empties out in the morning, give it breakfast. Let it eat and drinkuntil it's satisfied, then take it to its toileting area again. After that, it shouldn'tneed to eliminate again right away, so you can allow it some free playtime. Keepan eye on the pup though, because when it pauses in play, it may need to go potty.Take it to the right spot, give the command and praise if it produces. A young pupwill sometimes fall asleep in the middle of play. Don't wake it to go potty, butbe sure you take the pup to its elimination area as soon as it does awake.

On day two, first t hings first. Out to the potty area before anything else.


TIMES FOR ELIMINATION

When a puppy first awakens, when it pauses in play and after it eats or drinks, it will need to eliminate. Always take a puppy to its potty area at those times. Those are universal elimination times for all dogs, including mature adults.


Food

Pups younger than 4 months need three or four meals a day and free access to freshdrinking water. Nutritional needs are high in puppies, but holding capacity is small,so they must eat frequent small meals. The digestive system is closely allied withthe elimination system. Eating sets them both in motion. A pup will move its bowelsabout as many times a day as it eats, so frequent meals mean frequent elimination.

Water

Make sure your dog has access to clean water at all times. Limiting the amountof water a dog drinks is not necessary for housetraining success and can be verydangerous.

Prevent accidents by limiting the dog's access--not by limiting its food andwater.


THE IMPORTANCE OF WATER

Always allow your pup or adult dog access at all times to clean, fresh water. Limiting the amount of water a dog drinks is not necessary for housetraining and can cause serious illness or death.

A dog needs water to digest food, maintain a proper temperature and proper blood volume and clean its system of toxins and wastes. A healthy dog will automatically drink the right amount. Do not restrict water intake.

Controlling your dog's access to wate r is not the key to housetraining it, but controlling its access to everything else is.


Watch Your Pup

Never allow your pup out of your sight, either indoors or out, unless it's securelyenclosed in its crate or puppy corral. When you're not able to watch your pup, itwill make its own choices. If it's free to roam your house, you can bet it will chooseinappropriate places to go potty. Be watchful. Help your pup avoid elimination accidents.Every potty mistake delays housetraining progress; every success speeds it along.

Vigilance now, during your new dog's first few weeks in your home, will pay bigdividends. In the beginning you'll have to stay on full alert to keep your new pupout of trouble, but as time passes the pup will understand the rules better. Helpyour pup as much as you can right now; it's a stranger to your home and needs lotsof guidance. Your job will become easier as the dog learns which behaviors earn praise.


IMMUNIZATION CONCERNS

Young pups that have not finished their vaccination series are at risk if exposed to canine diseases. Public areas where many dogs are walked can be hazardous for incompletely immunized pups. Germs may lurk invisibly in the grass or on the pathways. Walk your unprotected pup only in less-used areas and keep it away from any dog feces you see.

Be sure to keep your pup current on all immunizations. Up-to-date immunizations, along with a good diet, plenty of water, exercise and rest are the surest ways to keep your pup in the peak of health.


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