Training Your Puppy
Taken from "SuperPuppy: How to Raise the best Dog You'll ever Have" by Peter J. Vollmer
Nothing is as rewarding or as good for both the family and the puppy as good training. Pups that are well-trained get into less mischief and bond better with their family. Below, we have listed some basics to help new owner's get started with their puppies. A complete "SuperPuppy" Book www.superpuppy.com , will come with your new puppy. This should help you to have a wonderful experience with your new pup. Have fun!
The Separation Reflex
In the wild, when young cubs are isolated from the pack, they become very emotional and begin whining, barking, or howling. If they are trapped in deep brush, they'll dig and chew in order to free themselves and be reunited with the pack. These behaviors are genetically based and increase the chances they'll survive.
The family dog has retained these tendencies, and that's why the puppy may become highly emotional if left alone. Chewing, scratching, and nervous elimination can be expected to occur if the puppy experiences stress due to isolation.
Heading Off Problems
An excellent method to combat these tendencies is training the pup to be confined in a den-like enclosure. A good device to use as his den is a collapsible, wire dog crate or enclosed airline shipping kennel available at most pet shops. These devices not only have the immediate benefit of reducing isolation-induced stress, but are also extremely helpful during housetraining. Even after your pup is housetrained and familiar with his new surroundings, you'll want to restrict him to his den when no one is around to watch him because the normal, healthy pup will generally cause some mischief if unattended. The tendency to learn about his surroundings is to strong for him to control, and learning means chewing, scratching, and digging. If your puppy isn't able to get into trouble, destructive habits won't be formed.
The Dog Den (Pro and Con)
You may feel that it is cruel to confine a dog to a crate. It could be cruel to just close him into the crate and leave. But if you take time to introduce the pen properly, you'll find that your pup will come to prefer it for sleeping and being alone.
All too many people give up their pups to an animal shelter because of the damage done while they are unattended. Since 80% of these pups are put to sleep, it is kind, rather than cruel, to den-train a pup to head off behavior problems.
If your pup is to be left for an extended period of time, a den isn't recommended. You should then provide a larger, damage-proof, inside area with water and a place to eliminate. A collapsible, wire barrier called an "exercise pen" can be used to create a damage-proof, safe, inside area, and is available at most pet shops. If, however, you can schedule your absences so that he's not alone for more than three hours at one time, use the den. As he grows, he'll be able to stay in it longer. Except for overnight sleeping, regular den confinement approaching eight hours should be carefully thought over.
Dogs have a tendency to eliminate repeatedly in certain areas because of scent signals. If you establish a specific outside area from the beginning, you'll be able to capitalize on this tendency. Keep it clean because too many old stools would not only be unsanitary, but could cause him to seek out another location. The scents coming from his elimination area will influence him to void, so keep him walking and smelling as much as possible.
1. Take him to the same area (approximately 15'x15') each time. Make sure there's one stool left in the area for him to smell. Stay with him.
2. Praise him verbally when he eliminates, but keep your voice soft and low so as not to distract him. Pet and praise him. Pet and praise him when he finishes, and give him a small treat if you wish.
3. Take him outside (Don't wait for him to ask):
a. shortly after eating and drinking
b. shortly after he has been very active
c. shortly after he wakes up from a nap (day or night)
d. shortly after chewing his "bone" (He should have no more than five suitable chewables available.)
e. if he pants, paces, or acts restless
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***Remember�small pups cannot "hold it" as long as adult dogs! You need to be reasonable in the length of time you are putting them into a crate. Smaller pups can only stay in their crates for 30-60 minutes. Then they should be taken out to their "potty area" to pee and poop. Be patient�every child has accidents.
Once they reach 12-14 weeks the time in the crate can be extended to up to 3 hours (working your way up slowly). By the time they are about 4 ½ months old they can be up to the maximum 6 hours.