We are well known for being a nation of dog lovers, but even the most patient amongst us are prone to lose patience when our best friend crosses the line. The key to enjoying your dog is to set limits so you know who the boss is. In a word: obedience. An obedient and well-adjusted dog is a happier dog because they just want to please. Here are some simple steps to train your dog at home.
Litter Training at home
A puppy should not be trained until he is at least 12 weeks old because it does not have the ability to “hold” until this stage. During this time it is better to confine your dog to an area of the house where you can clean up the mess easily, such as: the laundry.
When your dog is physically ready to be trained it is important to be attentive. A dog finds it difficult to make a connection between what he did five minutes ago in the room and why you are angry with him at this time. He will not associate the act with the disorder. He will understand that something is wrong but what exactly is it, is a question he will be clueless about. Hence, you will receive the look of “I’m sorry, but I’m not sure why.” So, it is useless getting angry about it sometime after he’s finished and already forgotten about it.
Therefore, As soon as the dog does his business you must react. Do not hit. Your tone will be enough to let him know you’re not happy. Take him outside and wait to do it again and then reward him. This requires patience, but the dog will eventually associate the prize with toileting where you want him to do.
Depending on the school learning and the breed of your dog, there are several methods you can use to train him at home.
1. Training paper
The training paper is used for small breeds and dogs that are indoors. It involves using layers of newspaper where the dog can urinate. Let the dog do his business on paper and then place another paper on top of the urine because the dog will recognize his own scent. When the puppy urinates on paper, you should reward him when he does not have to ignore it. Constantly move the paper to the door and possibly outside. Once he gets used to it and finally uses it outside the house, reward him and show him that you are happy. Weekends are great to work on this as you will need to be around him all the time.
2. Crate training
Another method is called crate training the puppy or imprisonment (or puppy playpen times). This means keeping your dog within a certain space where he is allowed to make a mess. Also, it’s still recommended to cover the floor with newspapers to help reduce the cleaning afterwards. This method has been criticized for producing sad and destructive dogs. This is probably because of being stuck inside the playpen whole day. Dogs need a break, some fresh air and of course lots of physical exercise. If you use this method, be sure to take a walk regularly. A puppy is not a hamster that can be confined in a small space all his life. When you start this here are a few steps that you can follow to ensure that your dog is happy and equally excited.
a. 30 mins timer: I know this might sound very basic and you may think that may be timer isn’t important since you are watching him etc. but if you need to get done with this quickly and stress free, set a timer! A timer will remind you every 30 mins to take him to the crate and it will set the tone for this new routine for your dog.
b. 5 mins at a time: Don’t wait longer than 5 mins for him to do. Just wait for 5 mins at a time and if he doesn’t do it in those 5 mins, take him out and give him a break for another 30mins before bringing him back.
c. Treat him every time: If he does it in those 5mins, treat him right there and then. Be excited for him, he will learn soon that this pleases you and he will try to please you again and again.
d. Be consistent: as mentioned earlier, weekends are the best time to start the routine since you can give him all the time and attention.
e. Feed him more broth: to get quicker results, keep feeding the dog more broth.
f. Keep reducing the crate: one your dog understands that he has to use the crate only, then keep reducing the area of the crate to just the right place. Make the crate smaller and smaller so that in the end there’s only one small patch of grass or mud where it’s okay for him to do it.
g. Leave the door open: now, since the dog is using the designated area only so try leaving the door of the playpen open and encourage him to use it. If he does it, celebrate it!
h. Now slowly you can remove the crate and encourage the dog to use that place.
i. Dealing with accidents: there will be accidents, since this process takes time. But eventually you will learn. And then you will be able to train him better. The whole process depends on the level of your supervision and your excitement. If the dog is not using the area yet and accidents are still happening, increase his time in playpen a little more than 5mins and be a little more vigilant
j. Once, you are successful and he’s using that area, now you have to encourage him to go to that area even if he’s a little far away from that. In the beginning it is always better to keep the dog closer to that space.
3. Belly bands: A belly band is a new way to prevent males lift their leg at home. The belly band is not very comfortable for the dog and should be removed when you take it out.
4. Training older dogs: Contrary to popular belief, you can teach old dog new tricks. As for the puppies, house training is a habit and old dogs can fall into bad habits. But you can always train them. The whole process is the same as mentioned above.
5. Clean it up: It is important to remove odors from the interior. Use vinegar to remove the smell which discouraged him from doing it again.