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Germaine Greer - Author Details - Random House Australia

Puppy House Training Do’s And Don’ts

By Brandon Layne

House training a puppy is important for the well being of your puppy and for your own sanity. The lack of house training is the number one reason that dogs wind up neglected, abandoned, or in animal shelters, but it’s the failure of the owner – not the puppy.

It’s very important for you to house break your puppy properly. Proper toilet habits need to be established when your puppy is young, since these habits can last a lifetime, and are very hard to break once they’re established. In most cases, true house training can’t begin until your puppy is six months old because puppies younger than that probably lack the bowel and bladder control needed for true house training.

Before they reach that age, puppies should be confined to a small, puppy proofed room during those times when you can’t supervise them. Puppy proofing a room is very similar to baby proofing a room. Just as you would put breakables and possible choking hazards out of reach of a baby, you need to eliminate the potential for your puppy to make a mistake and reduce any potential hazards from the room. That includes removing anything that your puppy might chew on.

The entire floor of the room should be covered with newspaper or some other absorbent material, and the paper should be changed every time it is soiled. Over time, you will notice that your puppy has a preferred spot for using the toilet. Gradually begin reducing the amount of paper you put down – narrowing in on that preferred area.

This preferred toilet area will form the basis of later house training and once your puppy is old enough you’ll begin to train him to exercise bladder and bowel control. You will establish a new toilet area (outside) and begin to train him to control himself until taken outside to the toilet area.

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