Training and Care — Tip Of The Week
Excerpt from Our New
Australian Shepherd Lover's Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care
If messes inside are a problem with your pup, this is the section you've been looking forward to. Housetraining is one of the aspects of dog raising that is surrounded by a lot of misinformation and legends. There's actually a simple way to do it right the first time, but you have to be patient with this process. Don't expect an overnight switch in behavior. Nature never intended dogs to live in houses, so learning to go outside for the toilet can be difficult. But on the plus side, nature is on your side somewhat. Because dogs are den animals, they tend to use one area for their toilet and they never soil their own den. So it's simply a matter of establishing where the dog's toilet area is and getting her to use it every time she needs to go.
Keep one thing in mind as you work through this chapter: the more mistakes your pup makes, the harder it will be to housetrain. Why? Because every time she toilets somewhere she leaves a scent, and that scent becomes the marker for her toilet area. If she goes outside, she'll keep going outside. If she goes inside, she'll keep going inside.
So your job is to make sure she always has the chance to go outside when she needs to. Be very vigilant for the first few weeks and it will pay off big time in the next few months. You should always take your pup outside at these times:
- After eating
- After drinking
- Before bed
- After she wakes up
- After any excitement or physical activity
When you take her outside, you want to wait at least 10 minutes to give her a chance to go to the toilet. You can even introduce a command, "Go Toilet," when you take her outside. Then when she does her business in the right place, say your marker word and give her a treat. The more you can do this and reinforce the good behavior, the faster she will learn to go outside on her own.
Know Your Pup's Routine
To get this right, it will help to pay attention to your dog's toileting routine. How long does it take after eating and drinking before she's ready to go to the toilet? Learn her body patterns and you'll be able to guess fairly accurately when she needs to go outside.
Next time: Rewarding and Punishment
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