Oh Behave™ Dog Training Blog

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The Four P’s Of House Training

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Potty Time

On Leash Potty Breaks

That’s PROPERLY PLACED PEE AND POOP.  House training a puppy or even an adult dog can be errorless and speedy with consistency and structure.

There is a 2 part formula for efficiency and effectiveness:
*Preventing improperly placed pee and poop.
*Rewarding properly placed pee and poop.

Without prevention, accidents happen and owners become frustrated because they have fewer opportunities to encourage properly placed pee and poop.  Without rewards, accidents will occur when freedom is allowed.

Rewards: Imagine there was a magic patch of grass in your backyard.  Imagine that if you urinated on the magic patch of grass and hundred dollar bills immediately sprouted from the ground.  Hmmm…  If I had a magic patch of grass, I’m not sure that I’d ever use the toilet again.  Of course, dogs are not motivated by hundred dollar bills, so it’s up to the pet parents to find their dog’s “hundred dollar bill”.  If a dog successfully places pee or poop, there should be something extraordinary for the dog immediately following the “P” event.  It could be the freedom to run around the yard, maybe enhance the experience by chasing the dog; a game of tug; a tasty treat; a walk around the neighborhood.  You’ll have to do some proactive scheduling to be able to give timely rewards.

Prevention: The prevention piece of the solution involves tools like leashes, crates, gates limited freedom and vigilant supervision.  The limited freedom is temporary.  Freedom is allowed slowly as the dog learns about the rewards associated with properly placed pee and poop.  A properly sized crate is the only place where the dog should be placed unsupervised.  Puppies and adult dogs are unlikely to use the bathroom where they eat and sleep, so this is an ideal area to leave the dog when the owners need to live their lives.  Potty breaks at the designated potty area should be on leash so the dog does the business at hand rather than busying himself playing.

If you are house training an adult dog, your challenge will be undoing the habit of improperly placed pee and poop.  If you are house training a puppy, you will be challenged by the short holding times of a small bladder or bowels.

There are many more details and best practices to efficient and effective house training.  Consult a positive reinforcement, certified professional dog trainer for assistance.


One Response

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  1. Hey! This post could not be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my old room mate!
    He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this post to him.

    Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thank you
    for sharing!

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