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Monthly Archives: August 2011

Are you trying to house train a puppy or a newly adopted adult dog? Have you read up or researched house training methods?

Recently, I’ve had several calls from dog owners with house training issues.

ALL of them were using the same method: taking the dog over to the mess (minutes or hours after the dog has soiled), showed it to the dog/and or rubbed his nose in it, told him “NO!” in a very harsh voice, and put the dog outside.

Although many of us have probably watched our parents use this method when we were growing up and ended up with house trained dogs, the dogs became house trained DESPITE this technique. If you want to stop a dog from doing something, you have to CATCH THE DOG IN THE ACT. If you wait until the dog is even walking away from the soiled area, it’s too late. (FYI: This is also true with destructive behaviors such as chewing, digging holes, etc).

So, if you are using this method to house train your dog, please do yourself and your dog a favor, and STOP!

Your dog is only learning that you attack (and yes, that’s the way he perceives it) without warning, provocation, or reason. Your dog does not connect to this to the fact that he had an accident minutes or hours ago. This is true despite the “guilty” looks you may get when you come home or find a mess. Your dog is only “looking guilty” because of your offensively threatening body language, harsh voice, and/or hard stares.

Additionally, if you do this every time you come through the door, your dog will associate being attacked with your arrival home or your approach, which isn’t going to improve your relationship much. If you are house training, punishment should NEVER be used as a training method.

Please call for help if you are struggling with this common problem, or at least find a reputable source for information such as www.patriciamcconnell.com or www.helpingfido.com. On these sites, you can find access to books and DVDs to help you help your dog or puppy.