House Training a Dog or Puppy

House training is important for a good relationship between the dog and its owner. All dogs are capable of being house trained whether they are a puppy or an adult dog but the sooner you start the better. Dogs are creatures of habit, so if you let bad habits develop early it will be harder to change them in the future.

The Dog's Den
Untrained dogs and puppies should not be left free to roam the house unsupervised. If no one is going to be home or you are unable to keep a close eye on your dog, then you should confine him to either their crate or a small confined area (the dog's den) covered with newspapers where he can't do any damage. In the confined area you should put a few toys, their bed (can be a towel, cardboard box or open crate), and their food and water bowl (don't leave it filled up though because they will eat and drink and need to eliminate continuously). Just remember that you should not leave your dog confined all day, but give your dog sufficient playtime and exercise.

New Area Introduction
Once you have established the dog's den or living area, which can be any confined area of the house, try spending as much time as you can with your dog in that area. As mentioned earlier put a few toys, their bed and feeding bowls in their den. Feed your dog, let him sleep and play with them in this area.

After your dog gets used to their bed, you can introduce the dog to new areas of the house by moving the dog's bed to different areas of the house. You want to confine your dog to his bed, close the crate door if his bed is a crate or leash your dog to a piece of furniture if the bed is something else, it's important to never leave your dog unattended when you leash your dog. Another way to introduce your dog to other parts of the house is by leasing your dog to yourself by tying the leash around your waist. This way you can keep a constant eye on him and make sure that he doesn't cause any mischief. Once your dog is potty trained, you can let your dog eat, sleep, and play with supervision in the rooms which you have already introduced. Do this one room at a time.

Dogs are naturally inclined to chew on things, which helps keep their teeth and gums healthy and exercises their jaw so it is wise to buy chew toys for him to chew on. By giving them their own toys to chew on they'll be less inclined to chew on things which they aren't supposed to chew on. If your puppy does chew on objects which he isn't supposed to you must give him a stern "No Chew" command, then make him sit down, and praise him for his good act of sitting and give him a toy that he can chew on. The "No Chew" command must be given when he is in the act of chewing so he'll associate his chewing with the command. It is important that you constantly praise and reward your dog for their good actions such as when they eliminate in their area or play with their toys.

Keeping your dog off furniture is an important part of house training. If your dog is on furniture that he's not supposed to be on, give him a stern "Off" command and quickly bump him off by pushing his stomach with your knee or hand then make him sit down, and praise him for his good act of sitting.

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