How to house train a puppy? Why use a crate for house training?
The success of teaching your puppy to pee and poop on cue depends on you being able to predict exactly when your puppy wants to relive himself. Then training is as easy as 1-2-3-4.
Whenever you’re at home, keep your puppy closely confined to a dog crate, or on leash tied to your belt or an eye-hook in the baseboard. Make sure your puppy has a stuffed Kong in the crate, or within reach when on leash. Maybe tie the Kong to the dog’s end of the leash or to the eyehook, so that it doesn’t roll out of reach.
Most people simply do not understand the principle behind close confinement and think that a dog crate is a place to leave puppies for hours on end. Others think that a crate is a cruel prison. Confinement procedures are only temporary and need not be cruel at all. Once your puppy is housetrained, he may have full run of your house for life. On the other hand, if you give your puppy unsupervised freedom too early, he will likely make mistakes around the house and then you’ll likely confine him to a single room or outdoors, where he will add more bad habits to his behavior repertoire, such as barking and digging. Once the neighbors complain of the barking, you’ll maybe confine him to the garage or basement. His quality of life is going down the toilet and the next step is likely to be further confinement to a 10 x 10’ shelter cage.
Remember, first confinement and then freedom, not vice versa.
Get your puppy housetrained so that he may enjoy the comforts of your home. I mean, what’s the point of getting a dog for companionship and security, if he’s going to live in the basement?
Additionally the reasons for close confinement and long-term confinement are completely different. The purpose of long-term confinement (a larger area, say a pen with a toilet) is: 1. To prevent mistakes around the house when you are away from home for more than an hour or two and 2. To maximize the likelihood that your pup will naturally learn to use the temporary indoor toilet with the appropriate substrate. The purpose of short-term confinement, such as a crate, when you are home is: 1. To prevent mistakes around the house and 2. For you to be able to predict when your puppy needs to eliminate. If you confine your puppy for an hour or two at a time, he will want to eliminate upon release. Most pups urinate within just 10-20 seconds because while he’s been lying down and chewing, his bladder has been gradually filling with urine and hurrying him to the toilet jiggles everything around and increases the urge to go. And so, when you are at home, confine your puppy to a crate and every hour on the hour, take your puppy to his toilet area.
Open the crate door, snap on the puppy’s leash (so your pup doesn’t get distracted run off), quickly walk to the toilet area and then:
Now, go back indoors and have fun training and playing with your gloriously empty puppy for five ora ten minutes before putting him back in his crate with a stuffed Kong for 50 minutes. Then repeat the procedure every hour on the hour that you are home. If your puppy does not eliminate when you take him to the toilet, put him back in the crate with a stuffed Kong and try again every 30 minutes. In no time at all, your puppy will be peeing and pooping at the drop of a hat.
Dog door manners
Great doggie doorway manners start with your dog on leash beside you. The leash is not meant to be used to punish your dog, rather as a safety tool (to prevent potential pushing out the door) and to manage your dog to help set them up for success. As you walk towards the door with treats in your hand or in a treat pouch on your hip, get ready to mark the moment your dog stops at the door. A marker is a sound which signifies to your dog that what they did at the exact moment they heard the sound is what will get them a reward. By saying “yes” or using a clicker and pairing it 10-20 times with a treat (i.e. make the sound when the dog does something you like and then give the treat) your dog will start to understand the significance of this sound.
You may need to wait a moment or two for your dog to be still, so be patient and calm. Once your dog has stopped at the door you can choose to wait for an automatic sit at the door as well. Marking and rewarding this behavior too. Now is the time to begin the all important process of loads of repetitions to build your dog’s learning muscle for this behavior of waiting at the door. Walk away from the door and circle back to try again. With each repetition your dog is likely to more promptly and enthusiastically offer you the behavior you have previously reinforced (i.e. a stand or sit and wait).
miniature schnauzers love children when they are socialized with them, great family dogs!