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10 Easy Steps to Housetrain Your Dog

1. Prevent undesirable elimination by not letting your dog wander all over the house without supervision, and by keeping your dog confined in a small area when you can't observe him constantly. This could include a crate or a gated-off room like a kitchen or mudroom. Use caution in rooms with wires, as dogs--especially puppies--like to chew them.
2. When your dog sniffs the ground or walks in circles, quickly but calmly take him to the desired elimination area. Ideally, don't wait for these behaviors. Take your dog out regularly as described below.

3. Feed your dog a dog a measured amount of food at the same time every day. When your dog walks away from the bowl, or after about 30 minutes, pick up the bowl. Don't offer uneaten food in addition to the next meal. If your dog doesn't eat it's normal, provided meal at mealtime, it needs to learn that it has missed an opportunity to eat.

4. Puppies instinctively need to eliminate after eating, drinking, playing, resting, sleeping or being confined.

5. After any of the above activities, take your dog to the selected elimination area.

6. Use a specific verbal cue that you want your dog to associate with desirable elimination, such as "Go potty" or "Do your business." The command should be short and to the point, and should be used by all members of the household to ensure positive results.

7. When your dog begins to eliminate, quietly praise him (to avoid distraction).

8. When your dog is done, praise him enthusiastically, pet him, and reward him with a treat immediately. It is advised to bring treats with you outside so they can be given quickly.

9. Reward each time with praise, but as your dog learns, give food rewards intermittently.

10. Prevention is the key to success. Preventing accidents requires that you become aware of how often your puppy needs to eliminate. Young puppies (8 to 12 weeks of age) may need to be taken outside every 30 to 60 minutes.


Remember: Keep a close eye -- recognize your dog's signals -- understand his instincts --reward his appropriate behavior

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