Getting Ready For Puppy

BRINGING home a puppy is exciting, but that can soon turn sour when your new best friend uses the home as a big backyard.

The best strategy is to start toilet training from eight weeks of age with some simple tips:

* Limit access: A puppy can not understand that your entire home needs to be kept clean. While in the toilet training stage, you will need to restrict indoor access to certain areas of the home. Take the pup out to your chosen toilet area every 30 minutes at first. If they oblige, give them a special treat or game that is reserved for this behaviour.

* Reward, don’t reprimand: Your puppy is likely to have the occasional accident, but you must be careful not to reprimand or show disapproval. Reprimanding will cause confusion. Your puppy will not understand that it shouldn’t have gone to the toilet. It will simply think it should not in your presence.

* Watch for the obvious times: These include after feeding, after a big drink, during a walk and after a play session. Take the puppy to the spot at these times.

* Know your puppy’s body language: Most pups will start to sniff, circle or whine before they urinate of defecate. When you get the signal, scoop the dog up and take it to the toilet location.

* Thoroughly clean up mistakes: Place any solid waste in the toileting area (this further reinforces that this is where the dog needs to go). Clean up urine using an enzymatic cleaner. Never use ammonium or chlorine-based cleaners (such as bleach).

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