by Lilian S. Barber

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The best tips I can give anyone and everyone is that house training is not complicated, but it requires considerable attention to detail. Two things are invariables. They are easy to remember, since they start with the same letter.

  1. Consistency
  2. Confinement

Training MUST be consistent, and when you can't train consistently, confinement is necessary.

No, it's not impossible. Training to go outside is much more difficult and takes much longer than paper training. You need a consistent schedule.

  1. Outside as soon as the IG wakes up in the morning (or any other time she wakes up from a nap.) Outside IMMEDIATELY, not after you yourself go to the bathroom, change clothes, have a cup of coffee, etc., but immediately when SHE wakes up.
  2. Outside immediately after a meal
  3. Outside as soon as active play stops
  4. Outside any time the dog circles and sniffs for a place to go
  5. Outside at least every two hours (an adult can go four or five hours)

NEVER allow the IG run of the house without your being there to correct a mistake IMMEDIATELY when it occurs. Scolding ten minutes later does no good at all. The IG will just wonder why she is being scolded. If you catch her starting to pee where she shouldn't, give her a quick "NO" or whatever short command you want to use and immediately pick her up and put her on her papers or take her outside. Lavish praise if she does it in the right place. ALWAYS praise lavishly when you get the desired result. If you want to offer a food treat for the correct "performance" you can use this incentive, but timing is essential. The treat must follow the act IMMEDIATELY. My preference is to stick to verbal praise since that is always handy.

Additional notes --if you purchase a puppy and the breeder tells you that it is already crate trained and/or housetrained, expect to still have to do some work. When the conditions change, as in a move to a new home, the puppy will be confused and may not associate its new environment with previous experience. Also, if you use a larger crate than the one to which the puppy is accustomed the puppy may mess in it because it can get away from the mess and still be comfortable.

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