Introducing a new dog into your family and home can be a rewarding and challenging time. In that introductory period, a lot of boundaries are set, and relationships are formed. This is the time period where a dog owner can establish boundaries in a positive and firm manner to begin a loving relationship with his/her new pet.
Puppies almost always require house training, but even older dogs can have accidents or chew things up if their routine is interrupted, or something is wrong with the dog. However, in general, when a new dog is introduced into your home, the biggest challenge is usually in deciding how to house train the dog.
1. Setting a routine
Dogs function better when they are allowed to follow a regular routine. Not only will this help ease anxiety in the dog, but it will also help you decide on the best times to feed, walk and take your dog outside. The feeding schedule impacts the walking and sleeping schedule. Remember that a puppy will need to defecate shortly after eating.
Generally speaking, a puppy that is a few months old may need to empty his/her bladder every two hours or so. Note that good times to take your puppy outside include: immediately after waking up, during and play, after eating or drinking. Try taking your dog to the same spot first thing every morning. Establish a routine and habit to eliminate each morning in the same spot. The scent will also act as a trigger.
2. Be Aware
Knowing your dog’s schedule helps keep things in check, but most of a dog’s day is not scheduled. Keep an eye on what your dog is doing throughout the day. Bad habits are less likely to continue if they are corrected in earlier stages.
Take notice of any bowel issues or abnormal discard. Sometimes this is the only indication you have that your dog may be sick. In occasions such as these, allow the dog to go outside more often, as they need more time than usual. Watch for signs that your dog needs to go out. When you see scratching at the door, squatting, sniffing, circling or you hear barking, it’s time to immediately take your dog outside.
Dogs are conditioned from birth not to eliminate in their dens, crate and house training is an innate part of a puppy’s natural programming.
By correcting poor behavior each time, you are conditioning the dog to behave properly. Consistency is important. If you have a sock that you play tug with, don’t be surprised if the dog wants to chew up all your socks. Dogs will be aware of scents, textures, and tastes. If your puppy has a leather toy, he/she might think it is alright to chew up your leather furniture.
The more you practice commands and gestures with your dog, the better you two will be able to communicate. The goal is that your dog will be easily prompted to act in the way you want them to behave. Beware though; they will follow your lead. If you want your dog to bark at strangers, encourage his behavior to do so. However, don’t expect your dog always to know the difference between a stranger and someone you know.