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Housebreaking Your Puppy

Most animals that are born in a nest have an instinctive desire to move away from the nest to relieve themselves. They will do so without being taught as soon as they are able. Dogs are no exception, and at the age of about three weeks, they will begin to leave the sleeping area to urinate. We just have to teach them that houses are our nests, and that they have to move outside when they want to relieve themselves. Take your puppy outside to the same spot in your yard or garden at the following times:

1. Shortly after each feeding, playing, exercise, and any excitement.
2. Immediately upon waking
3. First thing in the morning
4. Last thing at night
5. Once every hour

It is important to stay outside with him. Be patient and wait. As soon as he begins, say a chosen phrase to him such as "Be clean!".When he has finished,praise enthusiastically and play a game with him. Keep the area clean by picking up any mess and flushing it down the toilet.

Puppies are easily distracted when outside, so having the patience to stay with him until he has settled down is essential. If you leave him to it, he will probably run to the back door and spend the rest of the time trying to get back in with you. Once you let him in, the stress of the separation, together with the increased excitement and exercise, will make him want to go, and you will be left with a mess inside and an uneducated puppy.

However, there is no need to stay outdoors for hours, waiting for him to go. Wait for a few minutes only, and if nothing happens, take him inside and try again a little later. If at any time of the day you notice him sniffing the floor and circling or getting ready to squat, immediately interrupt him and take him outside. Let him walk. Do not pick him up, or he will not learn the vital link in the process, which is: "When I need to go, I need to get to the back door and into the garden."

If, at any time, you catch him in the act of going in the house, shout! What you shout is immaterial, but it needs to be loud enough to capture his undivided attention and to stop him mid-flow, but not so loud that he runs for cover. Do not punish or get angry; the distress this causes your puppy will inhibit the learning process. He will also begin to avoid going to the toilet in front of you because he knows it makes you angry and will sneak away to do it, making it harder for you to teach him the correct behavior.

As soon as you have shouted, run away from him, toward the back door, calling him happily and enthusiastically to encourage him to follow. Go outside to your chosen spot and wait until he has relaxed and finished what he started earlier. Say your chosen phrase as he goes, praise him, and play with him as usual. Take him back into the house and put him in another room while you clean up any mess.

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