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House Training Your Dog

One of the most dreaded tasks in raising a puppy, or even in bringing an adult dog into the home, is house training. But, if you use a little patience and your dogís natural instincts, it doesnít have to be so bad.

Dogs are fairly clean animals and will try to avoid soiling any area in which they usually eat or sleep. You can use this instinct to your advantage when housebreaking your furry friend.

There are a few different methods for teaching your dog not to use the house as his personal toilet, but one of the most effective seems to be the ďstart smallĒ approach. This means that when you bring your dog or puppy home, use one specific room or area of the house as your dogís special place.

Get your dog his own bed, or make him one, and put it in this special place. Spend as much time with your dog as you can in his special room, whether itís playing with him there or just taking him there to sleep or eat. Itís important to make your dogís special room fun for him, so that he enjoys being there.

At first, keep your dog in his bed when he isnít in his special room. He may initially have accidents in that room, but heíll realize soon enough that itís his room. Once he realizes this, heíll avoid eliminating there.

At the same time, designate a toilet area where your dog should learn to eliminate. Each time he needs to go out, take him to this area so that he will begin to make a habit of using this area as his toilet.

There are two key things to keep in mind in regard to your dogís toilet area.

First, donít keep him confined without access to this area for too long. If your dog canít get outside for too long, heíll be forced to eliminate in his special place, potentially setting back his house training significantly.

Second, keeping your dog on a feeding schedule can help you know when heíll need access to the toilet area. If he eats at the same time each day, chances are that heíll need to eliminate at the same time each day as well. Knowing his schedule and making the toilet area accessible to him at these times can only help your training.

Once your dog has learned to eliminate only in his toilet area and isnít having accidents in his special area, you can begin to expand his area to the rest of the house.

Go slowly, allowing him access to one room at a time and monitoring him closely when he is in these rooms. Allow him to play, eat and even sleep in the new room, but only under supervision.

Heíll soon learn that this new room has become part of his special area; once he makes the association, you can allow him access to the rest of the house, one room at a time.

Remember, house training can take time, and your dog is sure to make mistakes. Severely reprimanding him for accidents will only scare him and slow down the learning process.

If youíve put some time into the process, and your dog still has accidents, a quick trip to the vet may be necessary to rule out a physical reason. Urinary tract infections and other medical concerns can cause your dog to eliminate while sleeping.

Barring any medical problems, your dog should be house trained in no time!

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