Puppy training is a big responsibility. The first few months of a dog’s life can set the stage for a long and happy life. Very young puppies can learn faster than a toddler how to gain control of their body functions, but they require constant observation during the learning process. Be sure to pick a time when your undivided attention can be provided, especially at the start of the lesson. If the new owner can’t get home to check on the animal in the middle of the day a neighbor may be recruited to help out.

Puppy housebreaking should be the first priority, and part of that process is setting up a good schedule for the animal. Going outside first thing in the morning to relieve itself is important. Even if the animal has an accident in the night; part of the training is learning that you will get that opportunity first thing in the morning. A puppy pad under the crate will keep the urine or feces from contaminating the environment. While training, one doesn’t want the animal to think that the crate is where they go to the bathroom. One shouldn’t punish the dog for using their crate as a toilet, but one also doesn’t want to encourage the behavior either. Always make sure that the crate is clean and praise the animal for going outside.

This praise and reward method is much more effective than fear and punishment which generally leads the animal to find ways of not getting caught doing something wrong. Puppies in particular don’t remember what they did and rubbing their nose in it doesn’t work as well as making the smell go away completely with odor eliminating sprays and praising the animal when he goes outside. Crates themselves are not and should not be used as a punishment for the animal, but rather a safe spot for sleep and quiet play. Puppies especially need lots of sleep and expecting the animal to be constantly around and active is not practical.

Dogs often need to go to the bathroom after eating and playing so setting up these routines will help not only the animal become trained properly, but the owner also needs to learn the new routine so he or she doesn’t upset the animal’s training. Dogs and puppies are dependent on their owner for leadership and guidance. Raising an animal – especially housebreaking a puppy – is a major undertaking. One would not expect to potty train a toddler in a few days. Puppy pads can help during this transitional period of the animals life just as pull-ups have become an integral part of the potty training for young children.

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