Puppy Training: Potty Training, Biting Inhibition

Potty Training, Puppy Biting, and Puppy Inhibition

Puppy Training is such an important part of rewarding dog ownership. Investing your time and energy during the infancy of your dogs life can make all the difference in the long run. Puppy training makes the bond between you and your dog stronger, it establishes pack hierarchy, and it builds the foundation on which all the benefits of a well-behaved and obedient dog can continue throughout his lifespan.

The first few months at home are extremely important for puppies, and most puppy training classes will also include house training, crate training and biting inhibition, to help you over this time. Puppy training starts with very simple obedience training. In those first classes, your puppy will learn to recognize his name, come when you call him, and sit or stay on command, gradually more difficult instructions will be introduced.

It can be tiring at first, and it is not always easy, but with a little perseverance as you progress through the program it becomes very satisfying to see, all of the commands your puppy is beginning to understand.

The following link will take you to a directory of dog and puppy trainers in your area. We highly recommend that you find a puppy training school to help you with the training of your pup. The thing I always enjoyed about puppy training school, was the ability to share all of these new and often wonderful experiences with other new dog owners. I also took full advantage of having a professional trainer on hand to field any questions concerning the overall wellbeing or behaviour characteristics of our dogs.

If you are determined to train your dog personally, then Doggle does have some helpful resources to assist you with the challenge. If you have something specific you would like to know then ‘Ask The Trainer’ is a good place to start.

If the task of training your dog without professional assistance becomes overwhelming then there is a directory of dog trainers in your area from whom you can always seek help or advice. The most important thing is to never give up on your dogs’ ability to be trained, puppies learn very quickly with proper instruction.

Potty / Toilet Training

Puppy Potty Training

The thing that figures highest on the list of all priorities is house or potty training. Even the most loved and adorable puppy will drive you around the bend when unexpected puppy accidents start turning up all over the house. This is the one habit every new dog owner is keen to eliminate early.

Quick Tips

Post Feeding Time

A puppy will always need to go to the toilet shortly after eating or drinking. His feeding routine should include taking a turn in the backyard within 10 minutes of him eating or drinking while he is still very young.

Look for Signals

It pays to be hyper-vigilant in those first weeks. Paying attention to your puppy’s whereabouts and confining his movements around the house will ultimately mean you are on hand to scoop him up and take him outside if he begins to squat. Otherwise if you notice your puppy sniffing, it is usually a signal he is locating the elimination spot.

Crate Training

Crate training can be an efficient and effective way to house train a puppy. Puppies do not like to soil their resting quarters if given an opportunity to eliminate elsewhere. Temporarily confining your puppy to a small area strongly inhibits the tendency to urinate and defecate inside.

Positive Reinforcement

When your dog does his business outside, always reward him with a small treat and lots of encouragement to reinforce the behavior.

Always be patient and never scold your dog, sometimes this behavior takes longer to modify than you would like. We began with two miniature schnauzer puppies from the same litter, one of which was house trained within a month, the other, we were still working on weeks later. Despite your ongoing efforts, should you find that your puppy is still not potty trained, then ask your puppy trainer for more advice. If you are not attending a puppy training school, then try our ‘Ask The Trainer’, for some assistance.

The following educational videos can offer some assistance with potty training your dog.

Crate Training

Puppy Crate Training

Crate Training isn’t a rule, rather it is an effective method, but it is always worthwhile taking the time to consider the philosophy behind crate training and whether it is right for you. We elected not to crate train our two miniature schnauzers, and the training process has been a reasonably seamless one. With exception of the odd misdemeanor, we have been blessed with two dogs that are particularly well behaved.

Crating Philosophy

Crate training uses a dog's natural instincts as a den animal. A wild dog's den is his home, a place to sleep, hide from danger, and raise a family. The crate becomes your dog's den, an ideal spot to snooze, feel safe or perhaps take refuge during stormy weather.

The primary use for a crate is housetraining. Dogs don't like to soil their dens.

The crate can limit access to the rest of the house while he learns other rules, like not to chew on furniture.

Crates are a safe way to transport your dog in the car.

A crate is NOT a method of punishing your dog for bad behavior, if used in this way your dog will begin to fear the space and may refuse to enter it.

The crate is not a baby-sitter, it is not a place to leave your dog for hours on end while you go about your business.

Puppies should be given plenty of time out of the crate to empty their bladders.

When your dog has been adequately trained and can be trusted not to destroy or chew the furniture in the house, then it should be a place your dog chooses to go of his or her own accord.

The following educational videos can offer some assistance with methods of crate training.

Biting Inhibition

Puppy Biting Inhibition

A dog can bite with considerable force. The average dog bites with approximately 300 pounds of force, exerting considerable pressure through those razor sharp molars. This makes sense, as a dogs main line of defense are his teeth, and every dog if frightened, in pain or threatened, will use this defense mechanism.

Rather than "No bite” you could teach your puppy bite inhibition instead. Bite inhibition is a "soft mouth." It teaches the pup how to use his mouth gently. This does not mean that your pup will forever be mouthing you, most puppies generally grow out of mouthing behavior after a few months. It means your dog will not be afraid to use his one line of defense appropriately.

I often play ruff’n’tumble with my dog, and I have been doing this since he was a pup. He now knows the difference between playful mouthing and biting. I have reinforced this with him in every one of our ruff’n’tumble sessions, so he is not afraid of his defense mechanism but he knows never to apply pressure.

There is a fine line between what is playful biting and what is damaging, so it pays to consult a trainer for assistance in teaching your puppy biting inhibition.

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