You’ll be living with your dog for the next 12-18 years, let’s make them respectful and safe for everyone involved

House Training Your Puppy

House training your puppy is relatively easy.  The secret is anticipating when your puppy will need to go to the bathroom, taking him or her outside before it happens in the house, and then rewarding the behavior.

Puppies need to go the bathroom about 10 minutes after eating and/or any excessive amount of play. During this time, take your pet outside on a leash and walk him or her back and forth in the same area until he or she eliminates.  Praise the puppy for the behavior and/or reward with a treat.

What if My Pet Has An Accident?
Ignore it and continue with your plan of anticipating the pet’s need to eliminate and rewarding positive behavior.   Admonishing a dog while he or she is eliminating is likely to  make them secretive about the behavior in the future. Admonishing them after the fact is pointless; the dog will not associate the punishment with the behavior.

How Long Does It Take To Housebreak my Pet?
Some dogs are house trained in as a little as a few days, others require more time, especially in homes where there is a lot to distract the pet from his ‘lessons’.  If you are concerned that housebreaking is taking too long, reach out to us for help.

Additional Information Regarding ‘Accidents’
Occasionally pet owners tell us that their dog or cat is ‘mad’ at them because the pet peed on their bed, in the laundry basket, or other inappropriate place.  Perhaps the owner came home from work and found stool or urine on the floor and thought the pet was punishing the owner for being away.  Improper urination is never a sign that your pet is ‘mad’.  It’s more likely that your pet is anxious or sick.

If new pets, new things, or new people are added to the household, your dog, in an effort to exert control over the environment, will start to mark his or her territory…and your clothes or other personal items will likely be part of the turf.

Inappropriate urination or defecation can also be a sign of a bigger medical issue. If your dog seems to lose his or her house training knowledge, set up an appointment for an examination of you pet by one of our veterinarians.

Good Manners

Don’t Share Food
As tempting as it is, you should not feed your pet from the table or share your food with your dog.  This kind of activity is fun for all in the first months or even years of your pet’s life, but it will wear on you, your friends, and guests soon enough.  Four years from now, you’re going to want to come home after work, sit a sandwich on your lap, and watch TV, not your dog’s doleful, begging eyes.

Stop Jumping
Stop jumping behavior by sticking your knee out if and when your dog jumps at you followed by the command ‘no’ and a redirect command to sit and stay.  Reward the redirect.  Dogs that jump risk injuring children and the elderly.  If the dog is a breed with a bad reputation (like a Pit Bull), you’re setting up the dog to appear aggressive.

Don’t Allow Your Puppy to Chew on You
Get your puppy off to the right start by teaching him or her that people are not chew toys.  When puppies start to playfully bite at your fingers or clothes, redirect the behavior to their chew toys.  If the puppy persists in chewing and biting, give him or her a time out.

Teach Commands
There are a few commands that every dog should know.  Dogs love learning and giving them a chance to show off their smarts by training them to obey you will result in a satisfied dog that’s pleasant to be around.  We recommend following the guidelines set forth by the Canine Good Citizens Award.  Search YouTube for videos on how to teach your dog any one of these tricks/commands.

Socialization

Dogs don’t perceive the world in the way that we do.  People dressed up for Halloween are not people, but terrifying monsters.  Men dressed in suits, if the dog is unaccustomed to seeing such garb, might as well be aliens from Mars.  The same goes for men or women in uniform.  All dogs, but especially those that have a reputation for aggression, should be introduced to a variety of sounds, people, objects and settings when they are  puppies and young adults.  Reassure the pet during such encounters and reward them for good behavior.  Invite the elderly, the young, and people of all walks of life to give your dog a treat, to praise him, and to pet him; it will foster the pet’s belief that the world is safe.

You should also socialize your dog with other dogs.  Don’t allow strange dogs to rush up to yours and immediately engage in smelling and interaction, but ask the other pet owner to allow for a slower introduction or no introduction at all except smelling from a distance.  If your dog is new to your neighborhood, there is no need for any interaction with other dogs right away.  Simply walking on the same street as other dogs is enough of an introduction  for your pet to know the other dogs that live on your block.