Even the most devoted dog lovers hate to clean up the poop.
A six-week-old puppy has no control over where he empties his bladder. All the same, dogs are on your side in house training, because they don’t like to live in their own filth. Here are three ways to use clicker training to make the house training process smoother and easier.
?First, take your puppy to his potty area right after naps and meals. It’s after meals and sleep that a puppy usually needs to empty his bladder and bowels. Stay with him for a few minutes and reward him when he does his business. If you’re using clicker training, click when he squats and reward when he’s done.
?If he’s not ready to go just yet, give him some more time. But always watch for signs — walking in circles, a certain kind of sniffing around — that it’s time. You’ll recognize the signs as you get to know your dog’s behavior. And then always click when he does a behavior you want him to repeat and use a reward of a happy voice and perhaps a treat.
?Next, designate a place for the dog to urinate and defecate. If your dog is going to “go” outside, you might want to train it to use a section of the yard for that purpose. You’ll want to pick up the waste often, because they don’t like to walk through their waste, but it’s one way to narrow the area that needs to be cleaned.
?If the potty place is inside, tape down an oven liner or a pet training pad on an easily cleaned space of floor and reward your puppy for going there. As the puppy gets older, he is better able to control his bladder and bowel. Then you can move the potty place outside. You can put away the clicker when your dog learns a behavior and begin clicker training again when you want to teach a new behavior.
?Don’t hit your dog for making a mistake. Instead, help your dog learn to succeed. Once upon a time, the common wisdom advised dog owners to rub the dog’s nose in his excrement. This is cruel and pointless. By the time the puppy is finished with his bowel movement, he has no idea what he’s done wrong.
?If you just help them get it right, they will succeed much sooner. Dogs are creatures of habit, and if you can get them to succeed — and reward their success — they’ll be more than happy to get it right in the future. Clicker training helps the dog understand exactly what you want him to do and know exactly what he’s being rewarded for.
?Your dog has a deep instinctive desire — which he shares with wolves — to keep their waste out of their living space, so he really is on your side in this. He also wants to please you. You can use clicker training to help make your dog a welcome companion around your house.
?Click here for more information about clicker training.
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