Training

Training

Establish a reward history. Take the dog to the same place, preferably on leash, at frequent intervals, tell him what you want him to do (“Go potty” for example) and reward with both praise and a food treat. (Don’t send the dog, take it.) All eliminations should be in that spot. The reward needs to be in your pocket so that you can give it within one second of his performance. Praise as he’s going and reward immediately. Be sure to use a reward he really likes. You may also reward the dog by taking him for a walk afterwards. You must be consistent.

(Note: regarding commands: Get to know your own dog’s habits. Watch to see if he usually urinates or defecates first etc. Give the dog a urination command and defecation command. In early training don’t risk giving the wrong cue.

When the dog is empty (just been rewarded for doing both outside in front of you) he may then and only then be loose in the house for 30 minutes or so in a dog proofed area. Supervision is important here. If he doesn’t chew on things you may give him the whole house, but always assume he will chew most anything, at anytime, if he is a puppy.

Remember, every accident inside is: 1) one you weren’t able to reward outside; 2) one you failed to catch inside which gets that habit rolling, or 3) one you caught inside before your training started. Avoid mistakes inside in early training at all costs.

Crate the dog except during supervised empty/free periods. Make the crate comfortable and give him plenty to do in there in the form of chew toy puzzles. (Kongs, Buster Cubes, etc). If you need to leave the dog alone for more than a few hours on a regular basis you may have no option other than to leave him crated. (Thought should have been given to this before acquiring the dog, but that is water under the bridge now.) Crating overnight is good and I highly recommend putting crates in the bedroom where you are sleeping. If you must leave for long periods of time in the crate please leave the dog ice cubes in a bowl attached to the side of the crate and a few toys.

4: When the reward history is well established in the outdoor toilet area, you can now set the dog up to make mistakes indoors. Usually an adequate reward history will be indicated by the fact that the dog will almost by reflex go as soon as he gets outside to his area. (few days to two weeks if you have been consistent and there have been no mistakes inside. To rule out mistakes in alternative areas, like area rugs, small rugs, etc., you need to catch him in the act of eliminating inside. If he has already completely emptied his bowels or bladder and started walking away from the accident you are too late. Ignore it. If you do catch him in the act you may reprimand.

Even for leg lifting males the procedure is the same: Establish a reward history
Prevent mistakes
Rule out wrong options: Once the dog has it down, reward outdoors occasionally. At this point you may consider sending him out rather than going with him each time as well as gradually extending his free periods in the house. Please note

GRADUALLY!!

Regressions: Caused by undertraining: the behavior was never that strong in the first place due to inconsistencies of the owner.