Housekeeping Your Dog

The Correct Methods of Housekeeping your Dog

Three Effective Methods of Potty Training Your Dog: Crate Training, Paper Training and Litter Plan Method

Following the right methods to housebreak your dog makes it far from the nightmarish experience a lot of dog owners might want you to believe. The fact that dogs are not just smart but fall into a habit pattern very fast and would do just about anything to please their owners only help the matter. A bite of his favorite treat or even a pat on the head or a Well done, boy is enough incentive for it to excrete where you teach him to. Following the proper methods makes it easy enough.
I don’t need to remind you of the ordeal of having to deal with frequent droppings just about anywhere and a home stinking of dog poop. While it is not a mammoth task to housebreak your dog, certain breeds of dogs are more difficult than the rest to be potty trained. So if your darling pet seems to be taking longer than you expected to be potty trained, you might just have to blame it on his breed. While Border Collies get potty trained within 3 to 4 months, Great Danes might have to be trained consistently for as long as a year and a half before they excrete where they are supposed to. Housetraining some other breeds like Afghan Hounds, Yorkies, Beagles, English Setters, Huskys etc. can prove to be quite a handful in case of housetraining.
The Woof Factor is the one-stop shop for everything you need to know about various housetraining methods. The e-book that every member receives – All About Your Canine Friend  provides a comprehensive list of all known dog breeds and the specific methods of potty training that work best for them, along with a host of other useful information. And the best thing is, this e-book is absolutely FREE OF COST.
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A very common error that dog owners make while housetraining their dogs is Inconsistency.
It is very crucial to carefully select the best and most appropriate housetraining method for the breed of dog you own and stick to it. Even if your dog seems to be taking a little too long to take in the training, do not ever abandon training midway and experiment with other housetraining methods. This would confuse your dog and it may take even longer to be housetrained, if at all.
Following are some of the tried, tested and proven effective methods used for ages to housetrain dogs. You can take your pick from them.

Crate Training

Crate training happens to be the most widely known as well as a very effective method of potty training your dog and have been known to work wonders on both puppies and adult dogs.
A dog typically considers its crate as its private domain, its home. As no sensible human would excrete in his bedroom, it is likely that your dog would refrain from excreting inside the crate, unless of course he is forced to stay inside the carte for too long. So the first step in housetraining your dog through the Crate Training method is that it is NOT to eliminate inside the crate. It is upto the caregiver to make sure that the dog consumes enough water throughout the day and eliminates at regular intervals. To ensure that he clears his bowels at regular intervals, fix a spot where you wish him to eliminate and lead him to that spot every hour.
If he takes to it the first time lucky you! If he doesn’t, well, you just need to keep taking him back there. Once he does eliminate in the right place, encourage him with a pat, a good word or a small treat. Gradually, the dog would learn to associate receiving rewards with eliminating at the right place. As said earlier, dogs are eager to please, so they would eliminate at the right place to win your approval and gradually form the habit of doing so. Once he is used to it, you need to broaden his horizon and teach him to treat your entire home as his crate where he should NOT eliminate.
A good idea would be to make him spend longer time outside his crate and allowing him to roam freely around the house, one room at a time, so that the learns to mark the entire house premises as his private domain and thus keep it clean by not eliminating. This often takes a while, but with patience and consistent training, the day you need not be apprehensive about him relieving himself in your house will not be far.

Paper Method

The paper method is another age old method. However, the common opinion goes that it is more apt for puppies than for adult dogs. But you could still try it on your adult dog  you never know what might work!
It is only but fair to warn you beforehand that irrespective of whether you are training a puppy or an adult dog, this method is going to be messy. Puppies generally excrete more frequently than adult dogs whereas adult dogs would understandably eliminate a higher volume. So before taking up this method of housetraining your dog, ask yourself if you are ready to do quite a bit of cleaning up.
The most important part about paper training is that it is the owner’s responsibility to provide fresh paper each time the dog wishes to eliminate, as a dog might refuse to eliminate on a dirty paper. If cleaning up after your dog makes you sick, tell yourself that you are doing this to spare yourself from needing to live in a stinking house with an untrained dog all its life.
Since the papers used for elimination need to be laid on the floor, a bathroom is a great place to carry out this training. That way, your bedroom or living room floor would not be damaged. Start with layering the entire bathroom floor with old newspaper. At regular intervals, or when you feel your puppy or dog needs to eliminate, lead it to the papered bathroom. The next step of the training process would be to make it eliminate at one particular spot in the bathroom, and not all over it. Surprisingly, very few dog owners have faced a problem with regards to this. Most dogs themselves mark a spot where they would prefer to eliminate.
Once you find your puppy or dog heading to that exact same spot everyday to eliminate, remove the layering of paper from the rest of the bathroom floor. However, layer the area around your dog’s preferred spot with paper as well, at least for some time to give it some free movement.
Do not underestimate the power of praises and prizes. The sooner your dog associates these with elimination in the right place, the sooner it is going to be potty trained. Scold it, gently, if it poops frequently anywhere else during the training period.
The purpose of this training is to instill in your dog the lesson that wandering around and excreting wherever he fancies is strictly forbidden and that he is supposed to excrete only on paper and not on any other surface.
Once you notice that your canine friend has grasped the idea fully and excretes only on the paper, start moving the paper away gradually towards the exit of the house, day by day. As the dog has already associated excretion with the paper, it would adapt accordingly. Gradually, shift the paper outside the house where you want it to eliminate and voila! Your dog would follow! However, this might not be as asy as it sounds. The trick is to remove the paper by a small length towards the final destination everyday to avoid confusing your dog or puppy. Once the difficult part is over, and your dog walks out to the paper every time it needs to eliminate, it would be worth the effort.
With time, it will learn to associate outdoors with eliminating and then you would be able to do without laying the paper for it. It would eliminate in its fixed spot even without the paper.

Litter Plan Method

Litter Plan method is similar to paper training in the sense that the training needs to be carried out in a specific marked space. The bathroom is the best place to begin this training. The first step would be to buy a nice litter box for your dog. They are readily available at pet supply stores.
Start off with the litter plan method the same way you would for paper training. Start with layering the entire area (for example, bathroom) with paper. Every time your dog uses it to eliminate on, replace it with fresh paper. Very soon, you will find that your dog or puppy has marked a particular area to eliminate on. Once you find that your dog is used to elimination on a particular spot, place a litter pan lined with paper on that spot.
Every time your dog or puppy eliminates inside the litter box, you know what to do rewards, praises or encouraging pats. This would be enough incentive for it to eliminate only inside the liter box from then on. Once the habit forms, the dog would associate elimination with the litter box more than with the paper. You can then remove the paper from inside the litter box.
As with the paper method, it is very crucial to clean the litter box every time your dog uses it. Dogs would refrain from reusing a dirty litter box. If you don’t want him to revert to eliminate elsewhere, keep the litter box clean at all times.
Choose one of the above three methods and with a little time and patience, you should have a dog that is completely housetrained.
Refer to the Woof Factor for a list of alternative housetraining methods, you never know which one would work best for your dog! On top of that, “All About Your Canine Friend”  the compreensive e-book that comes absolutely free tells you all that you ever wanted to know about dog breeds and their housetraining.
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