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Pet Tips: Puppy Housebreaking for Busy East Bay Professionals

Pet tips for busy professionals on housebreaking your new puppy.

You just arrived home with your canine bundle of joy. When you bring home a puppy, expect to work hard for a few months and earn a loyal companion for years to come. If you planned ahead, you gave yourself a weekend or even a whole week to acclimate your new puppy to your home before heading back to work.

If you didn't, you may need some help, but you can do it!

Since a puppy can only hold his bladder for a few hours, you'll want to hire a dog sitter during the day while you're at work. Your puppy doesn't know that he's supposed to go to the bathroom outside. So it's you and your dog sitter's job to teach him.

For the first month or so, it will require careful vigilance and a crate. Your puppy prefers not to eat or sleep where he eliminates, so get a crate that's just large enough for him to turn around in, but small enough that he can't eliminate in one corner and sleep in the other. As long as he can physically hold it, he will, and the more often you crate him, the stronger his bladder will grow.

Every time your puppy comes out of the crate, ask him if he wants to go "out" or "outside," and then take him out. Direct him on a leash to the same spot every time and issue the command to "potty." When he goes to the bathroom, repeat the word "potty" and give him a treat and lots of praise!

Your puppy is not born understanding words like "out" and "potty," so don't expect him to know what you're asking right away. Keep repeating the words every time he performs the actions, and he'll start to understand. Reinforce the command in your praise by saying, "Good potty!" If he refuses to go, take him back inside and immediately crate him. After several minutes, take him out again. Repeat the cycle until he goes.

Whatever you do, make sure you and your sitter do it consistently. With diligence, repetition, and constant praise, your puppy will start to understand that he's required to go outside, not in.

Read more here at www.EntirelyPets.com ....

Shan Serran
www.EntirelyPets.com

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Pleasanton Mom September 08, 2012 at 02:09 AM
Shan: Great piece. I have a question..... Do you suggest keeping the puppy crated pretty much 24/7 while housebreaking them except for when you take them outside? I'm just thinking the poor little puppy will get cabin fever and need to use up puppy energy and that it seems mean to keep the puppy crated all day. I have a family member that is waiting for a puppy to get a little older so she can take him home, so your post is perfect timing. By the way, how old do you suggest a puppy be before separated from their mom? The lady that is giving my family member a puppy is saying she can take him at six weeks, but that sure seems young to me. Do you have an opinion on this? Thanks again for the post.
Shan Serran September 10, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Hi Pleasanton Mom - Great questions. 8 weeks is ideal for taking a puppy home to play it safe, but 6 weeks can be okay just as long ad you're prepared. As for leaving your puppy in the crate 24/7 there's a debate behind that. Some say 24/7 and some say not. For me, I just don't feel right leaving your puppy in the crate 24/7...after all it's a puppy and they're young. They need love and care, right? So of course take your puppy out to socialize, talk to him, play with him and all those great things. Usually about an hour each day of socialization and 2 hours for a good walk.
Marga Lacabe September 13, 2012 at 02:04 AM
Shan, I read quite a bit about puppies when we got our GSD, and what I read is that large dogs puppies should not be exercised that much because they are at risk for joint issues and hip displasia. It may be worth researching just how much you should walk each kind of dog at what age.
Shan Serran September 13, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Great tip Marge. Thanks!

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