What is it about puppies that makes them so irresistible? The first time you bring a puppy home, everyone rushes in excitement to greet their new family member. Then, when the new puppy has an “accident” on the rug, everybody seems to disappear. This is when you have to start training a puppy.
Many people find toilet training a puppy to be a frustrating and maddening experience, but it needn’t be. If you educate yourself about dogs and their behavior, you can learn how to train your dog without causing either the puppy or yourself too much anxiety.
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.
To make matters worse, the poor thing doesn’t have the ability yet to “hold it in, ” so it may run around the room whimpering and then just have to let go wherever it happens to be at the time. It is important not to punish the puppy for its mistake. It hasn’t done anything wrong. On the other hand, it is equally important to teach it that the place where it relieved itself before is not the place to relieve itself the next time!
Do not teach it by punishment. Rubbing its nose in the poo and yelling at the dog aren’t going to do any good at all. Instead, remove the waste and take it outside, where it belongs. Leave it there so the puppy can sniff out its location the next time. Clean the area indoors where the puppy relieved itself and remove all traces of odor using an appropriate cleaning solution.
Constant vigilance may be required at first for quick success at toilet training. Look for the signs that the puppy needs to go and take it outside before it relieves itself. Then immediately offer it a reward. In this way, your puppy will learn two valuable lessons. It will learn positive reinforcement for good behavior and it will learn that you are 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.