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Positive Reinforcement in House Breaking

Getting a new dog can be exciting for the family and depending on the age of the dog, puppy or older dog, you will want to take steps to protect your home.

Positive reinforcement house breaking will create a strong bond between you and your new member of the family. The main emphasis on this approach is to reward your dog when they have done something right.

House breaking is the first lesson of any pet that will be in the home, and it sets the tone for the relationship you will have in the future.

Puppy Training

Training a puppy is different than training an older dog, and has some advantages and disadvantages. The best way to start as soon as you get home is to accustom your dog where to go to eliminate. Show the pup which door is to be used to go out of , then open the door and give a command, such as “hurry up” or “go do your business”.  Whatever you are comfortable saying it needs to be consistent.

Your puppy probably will not have the slightest idea what you are talking about so pick him up and walk outside to the area where you want him to go. This can also be on a leash if the yard is not fenced in.

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Let him take his time and sniff around, once he has gone praise him and give him a reward. You will need to repeat this until the pup gets it. One other thing is that if you catch him having an accident, simply say “NO” and show him the door.

Older Dog Training: They Can Still Learn New Tricks

Training an older dog in positive reinforcement house breaking is more difficult, especially if they have never been trained before. You will not only have to house train your dog; you will need to un-train a learned behavior from before.

With an older dog using a crate is very beneficial, because they will learn there is only one place to go instead of throughout your house.  Older dogs have a tendency to hide where they eliminate especially if they have a fear of getting into trouble.

In the case of the older dog, put him on a leash and walk him out to the area where you want to go and stay with him until he does, then return to the house. Consistently do this before playing with him, after feeding him or during the day. Do not play with him until he has done his thing and praise him for being a good dog.

When you first bring your dog in the house expect mistakes, it is common for your pet to not understand what you want from them. The key to success with house training is to be consistent and stay on a schedule.

If you are unable to do this for some reason, have someone available that will keep up the training while you are away. Always stay firm but positive in your approach.  And remember the key to great training is consistency.

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