Housebreaking is training the puppy to defecate in your desired spot/area. When a bitch gives birth to puppies, it cleans their urine and feces and digests it. As the puppies begin to grow old (at almost four to five weeks), they begin to go outside their sleeping area/den to defecate in an outside spot. This is a natural behavior of dogs. However, when you have a puppy at home, you need to make sure you handle its natural instincts in such a way that they meet your house rules.
Why is Housebreaking Important?
Many puppy owners feel that as their pup grows old, it’ll learn to defecate in an appropriate spot itself. The thing that we, as dog owners, need to realize is that a dog’s natural instinct contradicts with our rules. It is important for the dog to learn your rules, as you are the leader of the pack now. Without training housebreaking to your dog, you will be left with poo and urine all over your house.
Animal of the Den
Dogs are descendent from wolves and wolves live in dens. They use their den for sleeping and resting and when they need to relieve themselves, they go outside the den. The reason that dogs go outside for defecating purpose clearly shows that they do not like to make their sleeping or living place dirty. This is a great habit of dogs which gives dog owners a clue that they can easily use this tactic to house train their dogs.
Turning a Crate into a Den
Housebreaking should start when your dog is six weeks old. This is the best time to train the dog the way you want and make it follow the rules of the house. During this time, a crate is the most useful training tool that you should make use of for the puppy. When you start crate training your puppy at a very tender age of five or six weeks, it will begin to take the crate as its den.
Denning animals feel safe and secure in their dens. Therefore, crate training will make your Protection Dog feel the same way. However, you will need to make sure that the puppy is put inside a proper sized crate. Puppies are mischievous and full of energy. They want to play and socialize. Therefore, a big sized crate will only make your puppy destructive and give it a lot of room to move around and eliminate. The size of the crate should be big enough to let the puppy turn around and sit comfortably. When your puppy will be in the crate, it will avoid eliminating in it because it will make the place dirty.
A puppy will defecate in a crate if it is left confined for long hours. Putting your dog in a crate for little time will help make the housebreaking process easier. Once your puppy has learned its lesson and is comfortable staying in a crate, you can begin to open more space to it. Do not give the whole house to your little puppy, as it will eliminate in areas far from its room.
Feeding the Right Diet
A great part of a puppy’s housetraining depends on the type of diet it eats. Although there are many options in the market, you have to make sure you avoid feeding it dry or canned food. The discussion on dry and wet diet has been around for long. However, what dog owners fail to realize is that these foods can disturb the dog’s natural digestive process.
• Dry dog food or kibble can cause dehydration.
• Wet or canned food can cause diarrhea.
The key point that dog owners need to consider is that Mother Nature has created dogs for the wild where they hunt and eat raw meat. Therefore, feeding your dog anything other than what its digestive system is designed for will result in disturbance in the digestive system. This will cause housebreaking problems as the dog will not have a proper time to eliminate.
When you feed raw meat or home cooked meal to your dog, it will need to eliminate thirty minutes after consuming the food. This means that you will need to take your dog in the backyard after its meal time. When you put your dog on the leash and take it outdoors every time it eats food, this practice will register in its mind as a routine task. Therefore, after several days of training, your dog will learn to eliminate outside.
Another thing that you need to take care of while housetraining your protection dog is to never leave its food outside for the entire day. Puppies don’t need to eat a lot and if you leave the food outside at all times, it will adopt irregular eating habits, which will result in disturbed bathroom schedule. To avoid situations like these, make sure you designate a timeframe for your puppy’s meal time. Put your puppy’s food bowl in front of it for 20 minutes and pick it up when the time is up. This is a great way to make your puppy used to a fixed meal time, resulting in fixed bathroom time.
Recognizing Good Behavior
Housebreaking isn’t only about correcting your dog, but it is the way that you motivate and encourage the dog to adopt the right behavior as well. The best way to reinforce any behavior is to encourage the dog by giving it a bone to chew on or by simply showing affection. The dog will then begin to connect recognition with a certain behavior, which will make it repeat that behavior for getting love and affection from you.