How To House Train Your Dog
How do you train your dog to not pee in the house? Weve come a long way from spreading newspaper on the floor. There are many ways to try, but which is the best path to take? Belly bands, den areas, potty pads and crate training are all interesting options; but which is the best for you and your dog? Bernie Berlin, Chris Perondi and Dr. Robyn Barbiers help with those questions and more in this episode of The Doggie Dish.
Bernie: It's not impossible, but what I tell people is to expect the worst and hope for the best.
Man: You can train any dog, no matter the age, the breed, or the size.
Bernie: What is the best way to house train your dog? Well, to put myself in the mode, I figured I would act like a dog. So here I am. Hmm, how do I get myself to not pee in the house?
House training is one of the most important skills that you can teach your canine friends. People often ask me, "Is there a difference between shelter dogs or dogs bought from a pet store?" Dogs that are bought from pet stores are usually from puppy mills, so they kind of fall one in the same category. Those dogs are going to be harder to house train. The simple fact is, by nature, animals learn instinctively not to potty where they sleep. So having dogs in cages, such as puppy mills, where typically they are not cleaned, they're usually knee-deep in feces, cramped, you can have anywhere from 5 to 25 dogs in a single cage, those dogs are going to be harder to house train. It's not impossible, but what I tell people is to expect the worst and hope for the best.
Chris: Okay, Bernie, you make a very good point. However, I really feel that you can train any dog, no matter the age, breed, or size, and no matter if it comes from a shelter or a puppy mill. I think the key with house training a dog or a puppy is establishing a regular feeding schedule, and you also want to have a den area for your dog. I've always found that that works really well with my pups is to have a small area, a bathroom or a kitchen area, that's designated for them, that they feel safe and comfortable, and that they don't want to soil themselves in.
Dr. Robyn: Chris, I agree with you. I like the tried-and-true method of house training dogs, and I do believe you can house train any dog, but you have to have realistic expectations. I like your idea about a den. That's also what crate training is about, a place where the animal feels safe and secure.
Bernie: The new train of thought is positive reinforcement. The whole "rubbing your nose in it" is not a good thing. Some of the many training aides that are available for house training are belly bands, litter boxes, and potty pads. Now you're asking, "What the heck is a belly band?" Well, think of a scarf. A really, really short scarf, with Velcro on each end. You put a maxi-pad in the middle of it, and you put that around his little man-part. That will contain him from peeing on anything.
Dr. Robyn: Belly bands? I'm sorry, I just think they're pretty ridiculous. They have their place. They're really fine for an animal that's incontinent for medical reasons, or a temporary help maybe. If an animal's marking though, most animals mark because they're unneutered. Get your pet neutered.
Bernie: If a dog's not neutered, that dog's probably going to be a leg-lifter. The solution to that, not always 100 percent, but majority-wise is to get your dog neutered. It's good for his health and for your household.
Chris: Ladies, I couldn't agree with you more. Spaying and neutering your dog is an absolute must. Bob Barker has been preaching it forever on "Price is Right." I honestly can't even believe it's still a problem here in the United States. That would be your first solution and would ease a lot of your frustration when you're trying to house train your dog.
Bernie: So many animals end up at shelters and humane societies across the nation because they just simply were not house trained properly. By remembering two simple things – a routine schedule and instant praise – you will be on your way to a harmonious relationship with your canine friend.
Announcer: Thanks for watching. For more of the Dish on Dogs, go to TheDoggieDish.com.
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