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House-Training instructions - Amazing K9s

House-training

Consistency and schedules are key.  Sorry, no videos of dogs going potty.  If you have a dog, you know what it looks like.   

Because your dog is a service dog you are going to have to train him to go potty while leashed and on command.   While this is initially tedious and can be frustrating, the end result is well worth the effort.  Your best success will come if you are diligent in watching and supervising your dog or puppy, then sticking to a pattern and being very consistent.  I very strongly recommend crate training your puppy.  It is vital for both house-training and chew-training.

THE CRATE

When your puppy is free to roam in the house, you don’t know exactly when your puppy needs to go potty.  In a crate, you can predict fairly accurately when your puppy needs to go out.  Timing will help with this.  I have a guideline further down.

Crate-training exploits puppy’s instinct to keep his bed clean – gradually tones up his flabby little puppy muscles.  Puppy muscles weaker, bladder smaller, frequent meals – much more frequent elimination.

Be sure and make your puppy’s crate the happiest place on earth.  Throw toys and treats in the crate to encourage him to go in.  Leave the door open at first.  Then close the door for only a second.  Then increase the duration.  Take a Kong and run a (non toxic) rope threw it, then stuff it with the puppy’s food and a little peanut butter.   Tie it to the back end of the crate (away from the crate door).  Make the crate entertaining for the puppy.  Get some old sheets and make a comfy bed in the crate.  I sometimes use towels but only if the puppy is not chewing and swallowing the material.   Lamb’s wool pads without stuffing is the best.  It is rarely chewed, however there is always an exception so watch your puppy.  Do not leave your puppy in his crate too long as this will force him to soil it and may result in ruining of his tendency to want to keep it clean.

For long term confinement (i.e. when you’re at work) try a long narrow area with the bed at one end and the bathroom area at the other.  Use a long-term confinement area for times that are longer than the puppy can hold in the crate.

Confine with baby gates – potty area at one end; bed, food, water, toys at other.

An x-pen or the kitchen is ideal confinement area – not too large, high traffic, easy-to-clean floor.  Get a cement mixing pan and put a piece of sod in it.  Or you can use sand, shavings or pellets, but that tends to get very messy if the puppy likes to dig in it.  The cement mixing pan and sod are sold at Home Depot or Lowes.   X-pens can be bought online (www.petedge.com or Amazon) or in any pet store.

Take a piece of the soiled sod, or the sand or shavings and put it in a part of your yard where you want your puppy to go potty everyday.   Put your puppy on a leash and take him to the sod and wait for him to sniff and go potty.  If he doesn’t go in 10 minutes, take him back inside and put him in him crate.  Take him out again in 15 minutes and try again.  Continue this pattern until he goes and lavish him with praise.  Take the puppy to the same spot every time.  This is important and will make house-training easier.  This is how the puppy raisers for Guide Dogs for the Blind are instructed to train their puppies.

Don’t say the word “go potty” or “do your business” until the puppy is in the act of actually doing it.  Otherwise “go potty” will be associated with going outside and not the act of going potty.  When your puppy makes the association of “go potty” with going potty, then you can say it when you take them out.

Surface is important.  Puppies will learn where to pee by smell (where they or other dogs have peed or pooped), by the texture on their paws (grass, dirt, gravel, concrete) and as far away from where they sleep as possible.    Go to the same spot to make it easier, or at least the same kind of surface.

Accompany the puppy to eliminate.  Go with him rather than sending him outside.  This way you’ll know whether he’s gone or not.  Also you can reward him with lots of praise at the instant he finishes.  Praise and reward all outdoor elimination for first few several weeks.