|By J. Kruczek
The first necessary and often unrealized
initiation into dog training is when a person or family
decides to get a puppy in the house. Puppies are not only
demanding in terms of craving affection and a play partner,
behaviorily they can push the patience of the calmest
people on the planet.
One of the most difficult things to break them of is the
dreaded "accident", or unexpected going to the bathroom
in the house, commonly referred to as House breaking.
I recently purchased a male miniature Schnauzer, and he
was leaving surprises all over the house. He being a very
smart dog, seemed to be actually hiding them, behind whatever
piece of furniture he thought would do the trick.
Fortunately, I've had many dogs up to this
point, so I am accustomed as to how to approach such mishaps.
First and foremost, it is helpful if you can have someone
in the home all day (or as often as possible) for the
first few weeks. Its difficult to expect a young dog or
puppy to hold it's urine or movements for more than a
few hours. After all, how would you feel if your were
chained to your favorite recliner and not able to relieve
yourself when the urge came. This provides an opportunity
to familiarizing the puppy with going out and going to
the bathroom, since one can let the dog out every hour
Be sure to create "KEY Word" that the dog
will recognize each time they are let outside. The obvious
one that I use is "Outside!" everytime I let the puppy
out. You will be amazed at how quickly they catch on to
key words. My puppies grasped the outside keyword along
with "upstairs" and "whose here". Each time I now excitedly
yell "Outside!" the dogs come running.
Monitoring when the dog eats and how much
it is drinking is also beneficial, since most dogs will
have an urge to relieve themselves shortly after. Puppies
will tend to eat and drink alot since their energy requirments
are quite high, so visits outside should be often.
If you absolutely want a dog, and no one
will be home for a large part of the day, see if a neighbor,
family member or friend will help you out at first by
letting the puppy outside at regular intervals. If this
is not an option, you can corral a section of the home
(laundry room, basement) and place paper on the floor
to get the dog accustomed to only going on the paper.
For shorter intervals, you can place the puppy in a crate
or metal cage designed for keeping the dog's run of the
house in check. It seems most dogs will not go to the
bathroom in an area where they sleep or 'nest' and a crate
offers this environment.
You will also want to take the dog outside
on a leash when letting them relieve themselves to avoid
the "running off" behavior that can occur if a rabbit
or other animal is seen. Be sure to let them out in the
same area every time so that they will begin to realize
that this area is for going to the bathroom. This may
sound funny, but they do indeed begin to realize the purpose
of going outside to their special area is for relieving
Lastly, surviving throughout the night with
a new puppy can be a daunting task for many. The best
thing to do here is the crating method that was mentioned
earlier in this article. Place a crate in or near the
bedroom of the person or persons who will be responsible
for reacting to the puppies yelps to be let out to go
to the bathroom. As was mentioned earlier, they do not
seem to want to urinate where the sleep or nest, so this
is very effective for getting through the night. Be sure
that you carry the pup, since letting him/her run the
house with a full bladder or bowel is asking for trouble.
I've made the mistakes and learned the hard way.
Having a dog can be a very rewarding experience.
They are the most loyal pet and can be the most obedient
if you take the time and caring required.
About the Author
Have been involved with raising dogs from the puppy stage
since I was a young child. My family has had many dogs
and I have been directly involved with training them from
I have had no other pet that has brought
greater enjoyment and consider all the time training them
and helping them well spent. Other