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Yeah, You gotta go, too

One aspect of housebreaking that people often shirk on is going with your dog.  Not literally!   Why would your mind go there?  No, this is not that kind of blog!

But when you’re first housebreaking, you have to go outside with your dog.  Yes, even if you have a fence.  Yes, even if your other dog goes at the same time.   Yes, if you want the quickest and fastest way to housebreak, you go too.

You walk them to the same spot, take the same path and worry about the grass being trampled away later.  You have them on a leash and you stand there and wait.   I encourage them  ’hurry up!’  because, you know, its kinda boring. LALALALA  and you really can’t even bring your Kindle out with you because I always seem to end up housebreaking in the dead of winter with lovely sleet and snow accompaniment.


When they go, you reward them verbally and with a tiny treat that you have hidden in your pocket.   This reinforces,’ yeah, that’s what she wants and this is where she wants it!  How clever am I!’   Smart things our dogs.

Then, if you have that fenced yard, you can unleash them and let them run around and have fun and you can go back inside.  If not, you can take them for their walk or play with them or whatever you want.  You need to do something though, for at least another minute, or they will realize “As soon as I go, I go back in the house” when what you want them to think is, “I want to hurry up and do this so I can get a treat and have some fun!”   And sometimes they do go twice….

And sometimes we pretend we don't have to go at all!

And sometimes we pretend we don’t have to go at all!

Now, how long do you have to do this?   Beats me, its your dog.   Some (labs etc) you can do it a few days and they will mostly ‘have’ it.   Others (yorkies, maltese, etc) it might take, oh, lets say - longer.  No need to scare people.

Another reason you need to go out with your dog, is if you ‘send’ them out, alone, they might go, but what they learned was ‘I do this away from my folks and under the dining room table is a good away spot and much faster to get to than outside!’   Not my idea of a good time at supper.  Your milage may vary however.

It won’t last forever though – after all, while I promise you that someone did earlier in your life (go thank your mom) –  how long has it been since anyone accompanied you to the bathroom and danced and clapped and gave you treats?  See?  All things come to pass.  Really.

Check out the available puppies and dogs at www.longroadkennel.com




Saturday Quick Tip

How do you stop your dog from attacking the door and the visitors when the bell rings?  There are a couple long term solve it forever methods, but the quick tip is, tie a leash to a chair leg across the room, and when the bell rings, dog goes straight over to it and the leash is snapped on before anyone goes to the door.  The dog is then ignored, no matter what he does, till he’s calm and quiet.  Then visitor,  or you,  if visitor isn’t coming inside, goes to dog  with a treat and praise.   “Good puppy!”


I am a good puppy!

I am a good puppy!

That is a behavior to correct

I took a class a while back with a very successful dog trainer.  She’d been training all her life, has won countless awards and her dogs were marvelous.  She does rehab – she takes aggressive dogs and teaches them to be happy and calm.   Amazing.

Her main bit of training advice is, ‘if you don’t like it, it is a behavior to correct’.   Her methods were very different from what is now considered the ‘best’ way to train dogs, which is positive reinforcement method (prm).   With PRM, you decide the behavior you want, and you help the dog understand that every time it happens, good things happen.   You sit, you get a treat, you walk nicely beside me, you get a nice walk.   Etc.

This face? How could I be anything but an angel?

This face? How could I be anything but an angel?

Her method was more you behave in a way I don’t like and something you don’t like happens.  And, like I said, she has rehomed many dogs who would have been put down otherwise.   A good thing.

With so many trainers focusing solely on PRM, with clickers and treats, people forget they can say NO to their dog.   Yes, I want to tell my puppy he’s the cutest sweetest thing ever, I want to distract them from chewing on the electric cord with something more appropriate to chew on, I want to give him a treat when he comes to me.

But I also want to tell him No.  really badly sometimes!   And you know what?  Its okay!   I can do that, and so can you!    Its not against the law, I promise.   Don’t laugh!  Some people think it is!  “But I was told to focus on the good stuff….”  Sure!  Do that.   But also tell them when they are doing something you don’t like.   They can understand that, too.

And if No hurts your feelings, or sensibilities, use another word.  Whoops, Ack! Uh-Oh, all work just fine.

I'm smart!  I'll understand 'no!'

I’m smart! I’ll understand ‘no!’

But there is nothing wrong with telling your dog, “I don’t like that.  Stop it.”   It won’t hurt their little psyche one bit.  I promise.

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