Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Housebreaking - Pets, Understanding Your Dog

Housebreaking your puppy or older dog can be successful.

You love your dog with all your heart. But, is that enough? Love is not just a soft human emotion, but to get this job done you'll have to dig deeper and find some TOUGH LOVE. If you are not providing tough love to your dog and he is not completely housebroken, you will discover that your relationship will always have stress. I've seen this happen and it is truly heartbreaking.

So let's talk about how we can avoid this problem...
First, consistency is key. No matter if it is the time you take your dog outside to relieve himself, the door you use to go outside, or even the same words you say to tell him it is time to go outside, consistency is your most valuable too.

Take a second and think how a dog want your dog to understand what you want. By doing the same thing over and over, your puppy will see the pattern and begin to understand what comes next. Dog are canines and live in packs. They want to "follow the leader" which is you. They also want to please you. So each time your dog does the right thing, praise him. If you just hit him over the head with a newspaper when he has an accident, he will begin to hate the newspaper. By praising him when he does the correct behavior (give him a biscuit too, if you want) he will remember this and want more... so he'll do the correct behavior again and again to get more praise and/or more biscuits.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Housebreaking Advice - Part III

Housebreaking a puppy is hard work. The key to success is to use consistency. The best way to be consistent is to use a dog crate to housebreak your puppy.

Many people don't like the thought of their baby in a crate. But, think about a human baby. When he/she is small we put our "babies" in a bassinet, then a crib and then in a playpen. We do this because it is the safest place for our new born. Well, the same theory applies for our pet. By placing a dog in his own crate, he will be safe. Also, he will not be able to pee or poop on your rugs, furniture or floors.

So, by limiting your dogs ability to walk all around your home, you are also limiting where he can leave his mess. This is so important for BOTH of you. A dog leaves his mess as a way to "mark" his territory. If you let him continually defecate indoors he will continue to smell for his markings and defecate over and over again in that room.

Since a dog will not defecate where he sleeps, he will work very hard to hold his business until he is let out of his crate. Remember in an earlier post, once your puppy is old enough to hold his urine for 6-8 hours, he is ready to start his crate training.

Try this schedule for a week.

1) In the morning, place the dog collar on your puppy, tell him "time to do your business" and take him outdoors to relieve himself. Wait for him to do both. Then praise him and pet him repeatedly.

2) Bring your dog inside, play 30-40 minutes then feed him, let him drink and let him out one more quick time before he goes back in his create with a toy (No Food!)

3) When you return home (from work), same step as #1 above. Assuming you are feeding him dinner, he can stay out for a longer period of time, but make sure to take him or let him out no more than 20-30 minutes after he eats. It will be time for him to do his business. In the evening give him lots of play time or take him for a nice walk.

4) During the evening, try to limit any additional water or food treats until 30 minutes before you are ready to let him out for the night.

5) Right before bedtime, let him out one last time. Then put him in his crate with no toy and say "good night."

The pattern is simple. Only feed and/or provide water prior to you ability to let him out. When an animal consumes food and water their body responds by making room, hence the need to go to the bathroom. If you find your dog doesn't make it for 30 minutes without a mess, then shorten the time period. Most dogs need that time to get their engine going... if you know what I mean.

If you are home during the day, sure the puppy can be let out to play. That just means you need to let your dog out go outside more often. We are trying to associate coming out of the crate as the time to do his business. Also, be consistent with which door you are using to take your pet outdoors. This will enable him to know that when you go to that door, he will be going too and can relieve himself outside.

Before you know it, when he is playing before or after a meal, he will go to the door and signal you "I'm READY!" And you know what that means... you have just housebroken your puppy. YEAH!!! Great Job!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Housebreaking Advice - Part II Options

Now that you are ready to housebreak your dog you have more than one option to choose. Yes. Options! So often people think of housebreaking a dog means you must take your dog outside to do his business. This is not always the case. If you live in an apartment running up and down the stairs is not ideal. Other pet owners who leave their dog(s) inside for long periods of time don't want their pets to wait till they get home to "do their business."

So what other options do you have? Simply, you can train your dog to do his business inside. Just like a cat uses a litter box, dogs can be trained to go to one specific place inside too. Many people start training their puppies in the house using newspaper. When they are small, they need a place to get to fast. So, using newspapers it the first step.

Housebreaking a pet is just that simple. It is to teach your dog to do his business in the same place over and over again. Sure its convenient to go outside, it seems natural, but you still have to scoop the poop! There is nothing wrong with you training your dog to do his business inside. Using papers is convenient and easy.

If you decided that inside is for you there are a few things to keep in mind. First, pick a place that is out of the way, away from where you and your dog eat or sleeps. A dog will not mess near his food. Smart dog!! Also, the smell is hard to take depending upon what you feed him. Urine can get into carpeting or even wood floors. Once the smell is there - you might not smell it, but Fido will - he will return again and again thinking this location is his spot to do his business. So first put down plastic or some kind of water resistant material. Then add your paper on top. If you want there are special pee pads you can purchase.

So take some time and think about what will work best for you and your pet. Once you make your decision housebreaking your dog can begin. Looking to get started right away... check out House Training a Puppy.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Housebreaking Advice - Part I

Puppies of all shapes and sizes are fun, loving and just great pets. It's so exciting when you add a new pet to your family. They love to play, lick your face and make us laugh. What's not to love? Well... no one loves cleaning up after them. I guess you have to take the good with the bad!

So, learning how to housebreak your dog is so important. The faster you are able to do it the faster your relationship will grow and you can enjoy your pet to the fullest. But, before you begin with any type of training, the most important information you need to know will be - Is My Puppy READY?

What I mean is simply, "can my dog hold his urine for approximately 8 hours?" Just like a baby, you bring a child home from the hospital, but you don't start potty training a child until he/she is at least 2 or 3 years old. Dog are the same. They cannot be housebroken on day one. Dogs of all breeds, including large breeds also need have their puppy bodies mature enough so that their bladder can hold its pee for hours at a time. That is why it doesn't make sense to try and start training an animal until his or her body is physically ready. You will have much more success if you start your housebreaking training once you get the all clear from your Veterinarian who will tell you when your puppy is physically ready to start.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Dog Calorie Counter - Is Your Dog Eating Healthy ?

Check out the brand new... DOG CALORIE COUNTER. It is here for you to try, or copy and send to family and friends.

As we all know, you can't do your best when you don't feel well. As much as we try to get ourselves up and out of the house, it's hard to find enough time to exercise. So, when we don't move around enough and we keep eating, a few pounds are eventually added to the scale.

Did you ever think this could happen to your dog? If your dog isn't physically fit, how will he be able to enjoy playing with you let alone want to be trained? Keep in mind that adding a few pounds can easily happen to your canine, just as it happens to the best of us. Overeating or just eating the wrong food can cause weight gain. Eating foods with lots of fillers and poor nutritional content is also a concern. As humans we are more conscientious of our health, we feel every ache and pain, but we also need to be advocates for our pets. Poor nutrition and weight gain in our pets will not only make them move slower, but more prone to developing life-long diseases.

With that in mind... check out my new calorie counter. Enter the info about your dog and see how many calories he should have daily. Then check on your current dog food label to see how they compare. Are you giving too many calories to your pet? Don't forget to add in any other biscuits, cookies or treats he gets. It's surprising how quickly the calories add up... don't we know it !!

Check with your Veterinarian to see if you pet needs any special vitamins or minerals to supplement his diet. Different dog breeds have different needs. Then keep him on a healthy track giving him healthy food, treats and snacks. Did you know that dogs love vegetables ? Crazy, but true. They love the crunch, they are low-calorie and have lots of vitamins and fiber! We always have lots of them in our house.

Discover how easy it can be to make homemade treats or meals for your dog. Click here to find my favorite homemade dog food and homemade dog biscuit recipes.

There are many great ways to keep your dog healthy - lots of exercise, water, love and good nutrition.

Until next time...Woof Woof

Monday, January 25, 2010

Welcome Dog Friends

Hello and Welcome to Training Dogs, Solutions Made Simple !

Thanks for taking the time to check out our blog. Stop by often and find out what's new. There are so many tips and tricks to training your dog. Check out the techniques that worked for me. I'll share my tips with you. Feel free to share them with friends and family too. Then drop a line to let us know how you are doing. Together, you will be able to build a strong relationship with your dog, not to mention having hours of fun!!

Dog Food Calorie Counter

Dog Calorie Calculator by TrainPetDog