Bringing a new puppy home is such an exciting event for everybody! The whole family gathers around and dotes on their cute and cuddly new companion. Then something happens. The new puppy goes and pees on the carpet. Suddenly you realize that training a puppy is the price you have to pay for having a puppy in your home.
You can make training your new puppy a chore or you can make it an enjoyable experience for everyone, including your dog. All it takes is a little education about animal behavior to avoid toilet training the new member of your family the wrong way.
All animals, including ourselves, do what they do through a mixture of instinct and learned behavior. You may notice that your puppy will experience some anxiety before it relieves itself anywhere in the house. That is because dogs instinctively know that they don’t want to soil their own dens, but your new puppy has just come to a new home and doesn’t know where its “den” is.
On top of that, your new puppy can’t “hold it in” for very long. It knows something is about to happen and will run around the room, whimpering and sniffing until finally it can’t wait any longer. Punishing your puppy for this would not be appropriate, because it has done nothing wrong. Laughing it off would also be inappropriate, because it needs to be shown the right place to go or it may decide that it got it right the first time!
Do not loudly scold your puppy, hit it or rub its face in its mess. Immediately clean up the area and take the waste matter outside and put it where it belongs. Take the puppy with you and let it see and smell where its waste belongs. Then go back and clean up thoroughly. Take special care to use a cleaning solution that completely eliminates the odor, remembering that your dog has a keener sense of smell than you do.
You will have to keep your eyes open for a few days or weeks if you want to successfully toilet train your puppy. Look for those behavioral signs that tell you it needs to go. Take it outside and wait for it to finish and then offer it a reward for good behavior. You will not only have shown your puppy the appropriate place to go, but have established yourself as the leader of the “pack.”
Teaching the puppy who is boss is as important as toilet training itself. Dogs are pack animals, which means that they either follow the pack or lead the pack. Your puppy must know from the beginning that it is living in your home and that you are the leader of the pack. You need not be a harsh leader. In fact, benevolent leadership is a far better way to lead.
Training a puppy from an early age is best for everyone. You will have a happy, well-adjusted pet and your life together will be satisfying for both of you.
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