Elderfox's Blog

Thoughts of an elder writer-in-progress

BEING ONE’S OWN SELF. . .

on August 8, 2010

        God bless the breeder who has paper-trained your new puppy…or has at least informed you of “how to” with the use of your crate which is the size appropriate to the needs of the puppy while housetraining.  The crate you have purchased, made ready and located where the puppy’s privacy will be the one spot in your home that belongs to the dog.  A wire crate is the most preferred because it can be folded up and are more portable than those made of fiberglass.

The basic reason for the crate’s success in housetraining is because your puppy, if properly attended, will not soil its nesting area. But don’t expect miracles.  A puppy cannot control an active bladder, and obviously will need you to become aware (and recognize) the multiple times the pup will need to be taken outside, or placed in a papered exercise pen to relieve itself. Puppy needs to go first thing in the morning (and will most likely awaken you…and often that means getting up at early hours to go out, rain or shine). However, pup will soon learn a schedule (possibly yours) as it becomes more able to control what is expected of it.

Seeing your puppy eliminate also provides an opportunity to view a stool while cleaning it up to make sure there are not any worms, constipation, diarrhea problems that may need a veterinarian visit. You should have a health record for your puppy from the breeder/seller regarding immunization.  Taking an unimmunized puppy onto public grounds, or into an unfenced yard, is inviting trouble if the puppy hasn’t had necessary vaccinations. 

A cue word can also be beneficial when the puppy begins to eliminate; as is letting the puppy go on various surfaces—on grass, gravel, concrete, dirt–letting the puppy know it can go pretty much anywhere it is led to.  And don’t forget the lavish praise!

Bowel movements may depend a great deal on feedings.  A young puppy given 3 to 4 meals a day may have that many movements, more than he’ll have as an adult. If the puppy is being confined to a paper-spread exercise pen, be sure to remove the soiled top layer of paper to eliminate odor and the possibility of the pup becoming a stool eater.

A male dog will start lifting his leg from about 4 months of age up to a year, or may sometimes squat as an adult.  A female is more deliberate in selecting a spot but once she’s urinated, she is usually through.  The male releases a little at a time so if he wets when returned to the house after only a few minutes of being outside, you probably haven’t let him finish. 

Duel training to paper and outdoors can be beneficial and always take the dog away from the front yard or the back door.  A male dog will eventually begin to “mark” his territory which will inform other dogs this is his home…and invites other dogs ( free running dogs/strays) in the neighborhood to notify your dog of its presence in the area by over-marking those same areas.  (It’s an ancestral thing. )

Once the puppy has relieved itself, it can be allowed to visit and play with family, chasing a ball or playing with a toy.  Should an accident happen, don’t punish the dog.  Immediately take it outside for several minutes then return it to the crate. At first, Pup will let you know it isn’t happy with confinement but given a treat or toy will settle down. However be careful not to keep the puppy in the crate for long periods of time. It needs plenty of human companionship and exercise.

The crate is a tool to promote a better behaved companion for his and your sake.  Be firm. Be consistent.

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