This article is courtesy of DogTime.com.
Your canine newcomer is just itching to learn household manners. She wants to please, but she has to learn how. Before the young pup can be trusted to have full run of the house, somebody must teach the house rules. There's no point keeping house rules a secret. Somebody has to tell the pup. And that somebody is you. Otherwise, your puppy will let her imagination run wild in her quest for occupational therapy to pass the time of day. Without a firm grounding in canine domestic etiquette, your puppy will be left to improvise in her choice of toys and toilets. The pup will no doubt eliminate in closets and on carpets, and your couches and curtains will be viewed as mere playthings for destruction. Each mistake is a potential disaster, since it heralds many more to come. If your pup is allowed to make "mistakes," bad habits will quickly become the status quo, making it necessary to break bad habits before teaching good ones.
Begin by teaching your puppy good habits from the very first day she comes home. Remember, good habits are just as hard to break as bad habits. Most pressing, your puppy's living quarters need to be designed so that housetraining and chewtoy-training are errorless.
Confinement will help you housetrain
Successful domestic doggy education involves teaching your puppy to train herself through confinement. This prevents mistakes and establishes good habits from the outset. When you are physically or mentally absent, confine your puppy to keep her out of mischief and to help her learn how to act appropriately.
The more you confine your puppy to her Doggy Den and Puppy Playroom during her first few weeks at home, the more freedom she will enjoy as an adult dog for the rest of her life. The more closely you adhere to the following puppy-confinement program, the sooner your puppy will be housetrained and chewtoy trained. And, as an added benefit, your puppy will learn to settle down quickly, quietly, calmly, and happily.
Housetraining your puppy when you're not at home
Keep your puppy confined to a fairly small puppy playroom, such as the kitchen, bathroom, or utility room. You can also use an exercise pen to cordon off a small section of a room. This is your puppy's long-term confinement area. It should include:
- A comfortable bed
- A bowl of fresh water
- Plenty of hollow chewtoys (stuffed with dog food)
- A doggy toilet in the farthest corner from her bed
Obviously, your puppy will feel the need to bark, chew, and eliminate throughout the course of the day, and so she must be left somewhere she can satisfy her needs without causing any damage or annoyance. Your puppy will most probably eliminate as far as possible from her sleeping quarters-in her doggy toilet. By removing all chewable items from the puppy playpen-with the exception of hollow chewtoys stuffed with kibble-you will make chewing chewtoys your puppy's favorite habit, a good habit! Long-term confinement allows your puppy to teach herself to use an appropriate dog toilet, to want to chew appropriate chewtoys, and to settle down quietly.
Housetraining your puppy when you're at home
Enjoy short play and training sessions hourly. If you cannot pay full attention to your puppy's every single second, play with your pup in his Puppy Playpen, where a suitable toilet and toys are available. Or, for periods of no longer than an hour at a time, confine your puppy to his Doggy Den (short-term close confinement area), such as a portable dog crate. Every hour, release your puppy and quickly take him to his doggy toilet. Your puppy's short-term confinement area should include a comfortable bed, and plenty of hollow chewtoys (stuffed with dog food).
It is much easier to watch your pup if he is settled down in a single spot. Either you may move the crate so that your puppy is in the same room as you, or you may want to confine your pup to a different room to start preparing him for times when he will be left at home alone. If you do not like the idea of confining your puppy to a dog crate, you may tie the leash to your belt and have the pup settle down at your feet. Or you may fasten the leash to an eye-hook in the baseboard next to your puppy's bed, basket, or mat. To prevent the chewtoys from rolling out of reach, also tie them to the eye-hook.