Puppy Basics: Potty-Training, Reprimanding, and Rewards...

Potty Training Your Puppy:

Make sure you feed your dog at regular times every day as this makes bathroom breaks regular as well. Feed your puppy 2-3 times a day.

As soon as he is finished eating, take him to a grassy "potty area". Speak the words "go potty" or "go in the grass" before and while he is eliminating. Be sure to praise him when he is done.

What you are doing is building word associations with the dog that will allow you to encourage his potty activity on command.

This comes in handy when you and your dog are at unusual locations and at pit stops during long haul travel. It also saves you from cleaning unwanted fecal material off the carpet at home.

It is a good idea to train your puppy to use a place where you can easily clean up and dispose of the droppings into the sewer. This is because worms that infect dogs and make them sick get spread around through the eggs or larvae found in the feces. Some, like the roundworm, can also infect children.

Reprimanding Your Puppy:

Talk to puppies like you would to children when they do something wrong.

Tell them "no" and show them immediately what the correct behavior should be and reward them for doing it right. After a few times they'll know how to do it right.

For example, tell him "NO" when you catch him chewing the shoes. Then immediately give him his own toys to chew and cheer him on to chew on the toys. Praise him for doing so.

Use sparingly those reprimanding words like "No," "Stop that," "get off" and "bad dog!" Instead use more praises to reward good behavior in your dogs, this way the reprimands will take on stronger meaning.

A correct reprimand is short, sharp and immediate.

Only reprimand when you catch your dog doing something wrong, and punish only with your voice.

Hitting, kicking, slapping or spanking your dog can create more problems and usually makes existing problems worse. You may just end up with a barking and chewing dog, one that is leery, hand-shy, fearful or aggressive.

If you really have to spank one with your hand, just slap him across the behind.

Repetition and Rewards:

Repetitions are a crucial aspect of any dog's training. You should always reward them for doing something right while training. The more often he is rewarded, the better and quicker he will learn. Create situations where your dog can get plenty of practice at doing the right things.

Be sure to praise and love on him when he does a good job. This is simple but not always easy to do. Bad behaviors like biting, constant yelping and barking and tearing the house apart get our immediate notice. What we easily forget to acknowledge are the good parts - when the dog is lying down quietly, chewing on his own toys, leaving the carpet unsoiled.

Praise and reward are the most important part of maintaining your dog's good behavior and preventing him from getting into trouble.

Dog Toys, Games and Treats:

Foods, treats or praise will bring out the best responses from your dogs during training.

Treats can come in the form of their favorite food, toy or something they really love to do.

Some favorite treats are ice cream, cheese, ham and chicken. One Boxer dog even fancies a handful of ice cubes to crunch on though he's not thirsty. Test human food treats a little at a time though, because some dogs can be sensitive to certain things. Milk products for instance, can give a puppy diarrhea.

The all time dog favorites of fetching, tug-of-war, and hide and seek games can be made more treasured using your dog's favorite ball or toy, and giving him plenty of stroking in between throws.

Daniel Lesser
Dog and Puppy Articles, Pictures and Resources http://www.thingsfordogs.com

In The News:

Pets of the Week: Ice and Onyx  Chesterfield Observer
Paws off politics  The County
Pets of the Week  Clarksville Now
Meeting Herndon Mayor's Pets  Virginia Connection Newspapers
Flagler Pets of the Week: Feb. 26  Daytona Beach News-Journal
Pet of the Week  WXXV News 25

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