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Housebreaking that new puppy | Pets

You have a new puppy. Now what? Housebreaking is first and foremost.

The key to housebreaking is to know 100 percent of the time when your puppy eliminates. Reward him with verbal praise like “good boy” for eliminating outside. Startle and redirect him for eliminating inside the house. If you catch your puppy in the act of going potty inside, clap your hands to startle him, immediately carry or lead him outside to his potty area and praise him when he eliminates.

To successfully housebreak your puppy, you must have 100 percent eyes-on attention unless the dog is asleep or in his crate. Puppies need to eliminate most after eating, drinking, sleeping and playing and they typically need eight to 12 trips outside each day. Use the same door to go outside and go to the same potty area each time. Repeat a phrase such as “go potty” every 10-15 seconds but do not otherwise interact with your puppy. Give huge verbal praise immediately after he has finished eliminating. Make sure to schedule all meals to help regulate your puppy’s system and to help you best predict when he needs to go outside. Puppies usually eliminate five to 30 minutes after eating.

Never use potty pads to housebreak, as they give your dog permission to eliminate in the house.

Never leave your puppy alone for long periods of time. Puppies do not have mature bladders and can only “hold it” about their age in months: three month old puppy equals a maximum of three hours between potty outings, even overnight. Never ever rub your dog’s nose in his “mess.” This only leads to fear.

The main idea to remember with anything you are trying to teach your dog is that they repeat behavior that gets rewarded, so tell your puppy what he’s doing right.

Florence Bernhard is the owner of The Tail Waggers club.

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