you need one. And no, it is not cruel. Doesn't mom keep baby in a crib or
playpen when he can't be supervised? Dogs are den animals. They will seek
out a den to feel protected when in the wild. It will be small and cozy. A
crate becomes your dogs portable den. Here is your first rule. When your
puppy or untrained dog is not supervised, he or she is in the crate. Teach
your dog to enter on command. Begin by saying "Kennel" or any
word you prefer. Place the dog in the crate, give a food reinforcement (a
treat) and lock it. Wait 15 seconds and then release the dog and praise
him. In this way the dog will associate the crate with the food and feel
it is a good thing. Work the dog up to an overnight stay. Keep the crate
in your bedroom next to the bed. If the dog is noisy, rap on the top and
say "Quiet". And never, ever let the dog out if he is noisy.
You'd be reinforcing his behavior. Variable reinforcements worked better
than fixed ones. When you go out, leave the radio or television on in
another room. Hearing voices will help your dog not to feel so
stores and pet catalogs sell sterilized bones that are hollow in the
middle. These bones make excellent devices for taking a dogs mind off of
his aloneness when stuffed with his favorite foods such as cheese, liver
treats, salami and alike. Many trainers say that a dog is most upset
during the first hour after an owner leaves. The bone stuffed with goodies
becomes the center of the dog's attention for an hour or so while he tries
his hardest to extract the food from the bone's hollow middle. This allows
the owner to slip out without a fuss. When you return home, remove the
bone from the dog's crate, let him out, put him into a sit position and
poke the remaining food out onto the floor for the dog's consumption with
a chopstick or other device. Jackpot! Now the bone gets put away until
next time. Believe me, after a few days of this the dog will not worry
about "Where's my owner going?" but instead will worry about
"Where's my bone?"
the Crate to Your Puppy
order that your puppy associate his/her kennel crate with comfort,
security and enjoyment, please follow these guidelines:
throughout the day, drop small pieces of dog biscuits in the crate.
While investigating his new crate, the pup will discover edible
treasures, thereby reinforcing his positive associations with the
crate. You may also feed him in the crate to create the same effect.
If the dog hesitates, it often works to feed him in front of the
crate, then right inside the doorway and then, finally, in the back of
the beginning, praise and pet your pup when he enters. Do not
try to push, pull or force the puppy into the crate. Overnight
exception: You may need to place your pup in his crate and shut the
door upon retiring. (In most cases, the crate should be placed next to
your bed overnight. If this is not possible, the crate can be placed
in the kitchen, bathroom or living room.)
may also play this enjoyable and educational game with your pup or
dog: without alerting your puppy, drop a small dog biscuit into the
crate. Then call your puppy and say to him, "Where's the biscuit?
It's in your room." Using only a friendly, encouraging voice,
direct your pup toward his crate. When the puppy discovers the treat,
give enthusiastic praise. The biscuit will automatically serve as a
primary reward. Your pup should be free to leave its crate at all
times during this game. Later on, your puppy's toy or ball can be
substituted for the treat.
is advisable first to crate your pup for short periods of time while
you are home with him. In fact, crate training is best
accomplished while you are in the room with your dog. Getting
him used to your absence from the room in which he is crated is a good
first step. This prevents an association being made with the crate and
your leaving him/her alone.
Always remove your puppy or dog's collar before confining in the
crate. Even flat buckle collars can occasionally get struck on the
bars or wire mesh of a crate. If you must leave a collar on the pup
when you crate him (e.g.: for his identification tag), use a safety
"break away" collar.
Do not crate a puppy or dog when temperatures reach an uncomfortable
level. Cold water should always be available, especially during
warm weather. [Never leave an unsupervised dog on a terrace, roof or
inside a car during warm weather. Also, keep outdoor exercise periods
brief until the hot weather subsides.]
certain that your puppy has fully eliminated shortly before being
crated. Be sure that the crate you are using is not too large to
discourage your pup from eliminating in it. Rarely does a pup or dog
eliminate in the crate if it is properly sized and the dog is an
appropriate age to be crated a given amount of time. If your pup/dog
continues to eliminate in the crate, the following may be the causes:
The pup is too young to have much control.
The pup has a poor or rich diet, or very large meals.
The pup did not eliminate prior to being confined.
The pup has worms.
The pup has gaseous or loose stools.
The pup drank large amounts of water prior to being crated.
The pup has been forced to eliminate in small confined areas prior
to crate training.
The pup/dog is suffering from a health condition or illness (i.e.,
bladder infection, prostate problem, etc.)
The puppy or dog is experiencing severe separation anxiety when
Puppies purchased in pet stores, or puppies which were kept solely in
small cages or other similar enclosures at a young age (between
approximately 7 and 16 weeks of age), may be considerably harder to
housebreak using the crate training method due to their having been
forced to eliminate in their sleeping area during this formative stage of
development. This is the time when most puppies are learning to eliminate
outside their sleeping area. Confining them with their waste
products retards the housebreaking process, and this problem can continue
throughout a dog's adult life.
Accidents In The Crate
your puppy messes in his crate while you are out, do not punish him upon
your return. Simply wash out the crate using a pet odor neutralizer (such
as Nature's Miracle, Nilodor, or Outright). Do not use ammonia-based
products, as their odor resembles urine and may draw your dog back to
urinate in the same spot again.
Except for overnight, neither puppies nor dogs should be crated for more
than 5 hours at a time. (6 hours maximum!)
The Crate As Punishment
the crate as a form of punishment or reprimand for your puppy or dog. This
simply causes the dog to fear and resent the crate. If correctly
introduced to his crate, your puppy should be happy to go into his crate
at any time. You may however use the crate as a brief time-out for your
puppy as a way of discouraging nipping or excessive rowdiness.
[NOTE: Sufficient daily exercise is important for healthy puppies and
dogs. Regular daily walks should be offered as soon as a puppy is fully
immunized. Backyard exercise is not enough!]
Children And The Crate
not allow children to play in your dog's crate or to handle your dog while
he/she is in the crate. The crate is your dog's private sanctuary. His/her
rights to privacy should always be respected.
Barking In The Crate
most cases a pup who cries incessantly in his crate has either been crated
too soon (without taking the proper steps as outlined above) or is
suffering from separation anxiety and is anxious about being left alone.
Some pups may simply be under exercised. Others may not have enough
attention paid them. Some breeds of dog may be particularly vocal (e.g.,
Miniature Pinchers, Mini Schnauzers, and other frisky terrier types).
These dogs may need the "Alternate Method of Confining Your
Dog", along with increasing the amount of exercise and play your dog
When Not To Use A Crate
not crate your puppy or dog if:
is too young to have sufficient bladder or sphincter control.
- s/he has diarrhea. Diarrhea can be caused by: worms, illness,
intestinal upsets such as colitis, too much and/or the wrong kinds of
food, quick changes in the dogs diet, or stress, fear or anxiety.
- s/he is vomiting.
- you must leave him/her crated for more than the Crating Duration
- s/he has not eliminated shortly before being placed inside the
(See Housetraining Guidelines for exceptions.)
- the temperature is excessively high.
- s/he has not had sufficient exercise, companionship and
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may prefer dry dog food mixed with warm water to form a gravy and fresh
water. Canned dog food is usually around 80% water and has one-third the
nutrient as dry food. Since most dry foods provide well-balanced diets,
table scraps are not recommended very often. Remember, chocolate and
raw onions can be toxic to a dog.
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you feed and water your dog on a schedule, your dog will eliminate on a
schedule. FREE FEEDING AND FREE WATERING YOUR DOG WILL MAKE THE JOB OF
HOUSE TRAINING MUCH MORE DIFFICULT...First, establish meal periods. Two to
three meal periods for very young puppies and two meal periods for adult
dogs (once a day is not recommended for giant breeds). The meal period
will last for 20 minutes. During that time give the required amount of
food and as much water as the dog wants. At the end of the meal period,
remove the food and water whether or not the dog has eaten unless
instructed otherwise by your veterinarian. If the dog plays and does
not eat, he will learn that the food will be taken away in time. This also
helps to discourage picky eating habits.
dog owners inadvertently teach their dogs to eliminate indoors. Each
time they take their dog outside they wait for him to eliminate. As soon
as he does, they bring him in. Most dogs, especially young ones,
like the sights and smells of the outdoors, so they quickly learn that as
soon as they eliminate, they are taken inside. They learn to hold it until
they come inside to prolong the experience.
makes better sense to train your dog to eliminate on command, especially
if you must leash walk him. Take your dog to "his spot" each
time. As your dog begins to urinate, choose a word and say it over and
over as the behavior is occurring (for instance say the work
"potty" or "park") Do this each time your dog
urinates. After several weeks of hearing "Park... Park... Park"
as he urinates, it will eventually act as a trigger of the behavior.
Use a different phrase ("Hurry Up") for defecating. Each time
your dog finishes, praise him while offering a food reinforcement (a
treat). A good treat is dried liver, available at most pet stores, because
you can leave it in your pocket without going bad. When he has eliminated,
take him for a walk as a reward! If your dog fails to eliminate in 5
minutes, take him inside and crate him for a half-hour or so and then try
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time you take your dog outside say, "Outside". Soon he will
learn what outside means Then, if the dog inappropriately urinates inside
in your presence, say "Outside" and take him to "his
spot". "Outside" becomes an instructive reprimand because
it is instructive (directs the dog to the appropriate elimination place)
and it is a reprimand because of the tone of voice you use as the behavior
is occurring thus acting as a negative reinforcement.
Access To Newspapers, Backyard, Or Taken For A Walk If Fully Immunized
need to urinate shortly after they eat, drink water, play, chew, or sleep.
For most puppies over 10 weeks of age, that means somewhere between 5 and
10 times a day! Adolescent dogs (from 6 to 11 months old) will need 4 to 6
walks a day. Adult dogs need 3 to 4 walks a day, and elderly dogs need at
least 3 to 4 walks daily (incontinent dogs will need more).
Not Return From A Walk Until Your Puppy Eliminates
If your puppy has been confined overnight to a crate, take him outside
first thing in the morning (before he's had a chance to soil indoors.)
Be prepared to stay outdoors with him until he eliminates. (This could
take from a few minutes to as much as several hours!) As soon as your
puppy eliminates outdoors, offer him lavish praise and a treat. If you
take your puppy back inside the house before he's fully eliminated, he
will surely have a house-soiling accident indoors!
[Note: If you absolutely have to return home before your puppy does his
"business", crate him, then try taking him outside again every
15-30 minutes until he "goes".]
Interactive Socialization With People Is Important
Early and ongoing interactive socialization with lots of friendly new
people (including calm friendly children) is very important. If your puppy
is not immunized sufficiently to take for a walk, make sure to have lots
of new people visit your puppy in your home. You can also carry your puppy
outdoors to public places to properly acclimate him to the sights, sounds
and activities of the outdoors (especially crowds of people and traffic
noises) soon after he has received at least two series of shots, provided
he is not placed on the sidewalk or streets, and he is not brought near
other dogs (or anywhere other dogs might have been).
& Reward Your Puppy For "Going" Outdoors
Lavish praise, a trigger word (ie: "potty", "park",
"hurry up", "get busy", "business",
"bombs away", etc.) and a treat reward immediately following his
eliminating in the right place (newspapers, backyard, or outdoors) will
help you to communicate to your puppy that you are pleased with his
behavior. Delayed praise is not effective, so witnessing him going in the
right spot is important.
Access To Inappropriate Areas To Eliminate
Many puppies and dogs prefer certain areas or surfaces to eliminate on,
such as rugs, carpeting, etc. Keep your puppy away from risky areas or
surfaces whenever possible. If your puppy suddenly runs out of sight (ie;
out of the room), he may be looking for a secret spot to eliminate, so
close doors to rooms where he may sneak a quick pee or poop.
Urine Odors With Enzyme-Based Deodorizer
Should your puppy have a few house-soiling accidents despite your best
efforts to prevent them, neutralize any soiled areas (carpet or floor
surface) with a pet odor neutralizer such as Nature's Miracle, Nilodor,
Fresh 'n' Clean, or Outright Pet Odor Eliminator. Avoid using
ammonia-based cleaners to clean up after your puppy's urine, as ammonia
breaks down to urea, which is a component of urine.
Water After 9PM
Generally speaking, it is advisable to take up your puppy's water bowl
after 9 PM, unless he seems very thirsty or weather conditions are
exceedingly hot. (But a couple of ice cubes are OK)
Worms and Parasites
Contact your veterinarian if you suspect that your puppy has worms,
coccidia, fleas, ticks, or other internal or external parasites.
Will Prevent Housetraining Success
Your puppy or dog cannot be expected to be reliable if he has diarrhea.
Loose, liquidy or mucousy stools will hinder any housetraining
Discipline Does NOT Work!
Never, ever discipline (verbally or otherwise) your puppy or dog
after-the-fact for house-soiling accidents that you did not actually
witness. (Even if you should see your puppy eliminate on the floor or
carpet, harsh physical punishment is never recommended or acceptable.)
Discipline A Dog For Submissive Urination!
Submissive and excitement urination are completely involuntary, so never
discipline your puppy for this. Eye contact, verbal scoldings, hovering
over, reaching out to pet your puppy's head, animated movements, talking
in an exciting or loud voice, as well as strangers or visitors approaching
your puppy, may all potentially trigger your puppy to piddle. Disciplining
your puppy for involuntary piddling must be avoided or the problem will
simply get worse.
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a variety of several toys for your puppy.
-Teach your puppy to play with these toys.
-Praise puppy every time you see him chewing or playing with his toys on
-Any area that the pup has access to must be kept clear and clean. Put out
of puppy's reach anything you don't want him to chew or destroy, such as
trash, shoes, hazards, etc. Your dog does not know what is valuable or
dangerous and what is not.
-If you find your puppy with your best shoe in mouth, distract him away
from it and replace the shoe with one of his toys. Praise him for chewing
his toy. Do not reprimand him for chewing your shoe. Reprimand yourself
for leaving it out where he could find it.
-Booby traps items and articles to show your puppy that these things are
no fun to chew, in fact, they are an annoyance even to touch.
not allow unsupervised access to 'unchewables'.
-Do not chase the puppy in an attempt to take something away.
-Do not reprimand excessively. A verbal warning should be enough. A loud
startling noise is even better. It gets the puppy's attention without the
puppy associating it with you. As soon as the puppy is distracted, show
him what to chew and praise him for chewing it.
-Do not let the puppy chew an old shoe. A puppy does not know the
difference between an old shoe and your brand new ones.
dog loves to dig, provide him with his own digging pit just as parents
would provide their child with a sand box. Take into consideration your
dog's needs and prepare an area that is neither directly in the summer sun
nor unprotected against the winter winds. A 3 x 6 foot area about 2 feet
deep is sufficient. Dig it up to loosen the dirt and mix in a little sand
to help it drain in the rainy season. Let your dog watch the preparations
and if he joins in to help, lavish him with praise. Once the pit is ready,
it is easy to get your dog to dig in it. Take some of his favorite toys
and treats and let him watch you make a fuss over burying them. Call your
dog over and help him dig things up. Once he gets the idea and is digging
without your help, enthusiastically praise him and repeat, 'Dig in your
pit, dig in your pit.' When he digs up a treat, he is immediately rewarded
by getting to eat it. If it's a ball or toy you've buried then you can
immediately play a short game of fetch, then bury it again. Repeat this
over and over, always repeating the command, 'Dig in your pit.' Your dog
will quickly learn what the command means. You can test this by putting
your dog inside the house, burying a dozen or so treats and exciting chew
toys, and then letting him out. Say 'Dig in your pit' and praise him
if he goes to the pit. This training can usually be accomplished in one
your dog has learned to dig in his pit, you must still verbally encourage
and praise him whenever he shows any interest in the pit and especially if
he digs there without any encouragement from you. Now, every morning
before you leave for work, you can hide all kinds of things in the pit,
which will keep your dog busy for hours. Even if he has found all the
goodies, he will keep digging and looking to see if anything else is
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whine for a reason. If the problem is not resolved immediately, whining
can become an ingrained habit that is intensely irritating and annoying.
Many dogs use whining, howling, and barking as a means of vocal blackmail
in order to control their owners.
confined to a crate or small room or pen, always give your puppy the
benefit of the doubt. When she begins whining, immediately take her to her
-Teach your dog to accept isolation and privacy. Accustom your puppy to
being left by herself, even if you are home.
-Make sure your puppy is comfortable. Is your puppy hungry, thirsty, too
hot, too cold, uncomfortable, sick, or has lost her toy under the
-When you know that all your puppy's physical needs are met and you have
taken the time to accustom her to isolation, then teach her that whining
not give in and reward your puppy for whining.
-Do not hesitate to appropriately reprimand unnecessary whining.
-Do not let your dog feel abandoned.
-Do not let your dog soil her crate.
for more information on whining,
Do's and Don'ts
is the most important and critical time for your dog. What you do and do
not do right now will affect your dog's behavior forever.
properly socialized dog is well adjusted and makes a good companion. It is
neither frightened by nor aggressive towards anyone or anything it would
normally meet in day to day living. An unsocialized dog is untrustworthy
and an unwanted liability. They often become fear-biters. They are
difficult to train and are generally unpleasant to be around. Unsocialized
dogs cannot adapt to new situations and a simple routine visit to the vet
is a nightmare not only for the dog itself, but for everyone involved.
Don't let this happen to you and your dog. Start socializing your new
sure that each of the following events are pleasant and non-threatening.
If your puppy's first experience with something is painful and
frightening, you will be defeating your purpose. In fact, you will be
creating a phobia that will often last a lifetime. It's better to go too
slow and assure your puppy is not frightened or injured than to rush and
force your pup to meet new things and people.
friends over to meet your pup. Include men, women, youngsters, oldsters,
different ethnic origins, etc.
-Invite friendly, healthy, vaccinated dogs, puppies and even cats to your
home to meet and play with your new puppy. Take your puppy to the homes of
these pets. This usually is preferable with dog-friendly cats.
-Carry your pup to shopping centers, parks, school playgrounds, etc;
places where there are crowds of people and plenty of activity.
-Take your puppy for short, frequent rides in the car. Stop the car and
let your puppy watch the world go by through the window.
-Introduce your puppy to umbrellas, bags, boxes, the vacuum cleaner, etc.
Encourage your puppy to explore and investigate his environment.
-Get your puppy accustomed to seeing different and unfamiliar objects by
creating your own. Set a chair upside down. Lay the trash can (empty) on
its side, set up the ironing board right-side up one day and upside down
the next day.
-Introduce your puppy to new and various sounds. Loud, obnoxious sounds
should be introduced from a distance and gradually brought closer.
-Accustom your puppy to being brushed, bathed, inspected, having its nails
clipped, teeth and ears cleaned and all the routines of grooming and
-Introduce your puppy to stairs, his own collar and leash. Introduce
anything and everything you want your puppy to be comfortable with and
not put your puppy on the ground where unknown animals have access. This
is where your puppy can pick up diseases. Wait until your puppy's shots
are completed. Do not let your pup socialize with dogs that you don't
know, that may not be vaccinated or who appear sick.
-Do not reward fearful behavior. In a well meaning attempt to sooth,
encourage or calm the puppy when it appears frightened, we often
unintentionally reward the behavior. It's normal for the puppy to show
some signs of apprehension when confronting anything new and different.
-Do not allow the experience to be harmful, painful or excessively
frightening. This can cause lifetime phobias in your dog.
-Do not force or rush your puppy. Let your puppy take things at his own
pace. Your job is to provide the opportunity.
-Do not do too much at one time. Young puppies need allot of sleep and
tire quickly. It is much more productive to have frequent and very brief
exposures than occasional prolonged exposures.
NOT WAIT!! Every day that goes by is an opportunity of a lifetime that is
lost forever. You can never get these days back. If socialization does not
happen now, it never will.
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Pulling On Leash
habit is difficult to break in adolescent and adult dogs. Train your puppy
now while you still have a considerable strength advantage over him and
before he learns to pull.
a collar and teach your puppy to accept it.
-Use lures and praise to keep her at your side.
-Keep the leash loose at all times. If you see your puppy starting to
forge ahead, give a sharp tug on the leash with lightening speed to bring
the pup back to your side. Don't wait until the puppy is clear at the
other end of the leash, pulling ahead before you take action. The leash
should always remain loose except for that one split second it takes to
bring the dog back into place. Do not drag your puppy back to your side.
Use a quick tug, then immediately release so the leash is slack again. If
it doesn't all happen in 3/10ths of a second, it's taking too long and
your puppy will not learn to walk nicely on leash. Put another way:
Instead of correcting your dog after he is already pulling, do not give
him the opportunity to pull. If he never pulls, he will never learn to
pull. You must correct him BEFORE he pulls!
-Practice now before your pup learns to pull. Since your pup is unable to
walk the streets yet, begin teaching him to walk around your house and
yard. He should be taught not to pull before hitting the streets.
not let your puppy pull you around.
-If you cannot correct the puppy in time, do not reward his pulling by
letting him continue on his way. Just turn around and go the other way, or
stop in your tracks and say, "We are not going one inch further until
you stop pulling." Then wait, it may take 30 seconds; it may take 20
minutes. Do not move until your puppy is under control. Now you can start
over and give the correction before he starts pulling again. If again you
are too late in your correction, start again.
-Do not yank and pull on your puppy's throat and neck. Use a soft,
adjustable, non- restrictive harness. As soon as your pup learns leash
manners, you can switch to a regular collar for walking. Do not leave the
harness on your dog unattended. Use it only while you are practicing.
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What is Training?
can make this fun! Just show excitement in your actions and in your
voice when going to "school".
Mouthing, Jumping, Barking, Chewing, Housetraining, Whining, Getting into
the trash, Stealing food and clothing, running amok, etc. You know, all
those things that young pups love to do.
your puppy to enjoy being groomed, touched, handled by the vet, having
their nails clipped, tail tugged, ears cleaned and so on. Child proofing.
sure your dog doesn't grow up to be fearful or aggressive.
basics of coming when called, sit, down, stand and stay with both verbal
commands and hand signals. Also teach leash manners, tricks and more.
are multiple meanings to the term "training." It's important to
understand that when deciding what you need to do with your dog. Ask your
veterinarian or local Newfoundland Club for recommendations on
there is "behavior training." This is the kind of training in
which a dog is taught to be a "good citizen." Typically this
includes housetraining, good behavior around other people and dogs,
reasonable leash manners and other small things that make a dog a much
more pleasant companion. A well behaved dog attracts no special notice
from the public (aside from amazing some with their good manners).
is "obedience training," which is generally teaching the dog how
to perform specific activities. This can include traditional
"obedience" exercises such as heeling. The emphasis here is on
prompt and precise performance. While there can be many overall benefits
to such training, the training is usually for the training's sake and not
necessarily to improve the dog's behavior. Dogs that have been obedience
trained will perform specific tasks when their owners ask them to do so.
(And as a matter of fact, some obedience trained dogs may well behave
poorly; an excellent herding dog that nonetheless barks quite a bit for no
apparent reason would be an example.)
training" refers to training for specific activities -- this includes
hunting, herding, Search and Rescue, lure coursing -- any of a myriad
number of activities designed to showcase the abilities of the dog and his
handler, particularly in activities for which the dog has been bred to do.
These days, such activity also includes "sports" such as frisbee,
flyball, agility and so on.
*Some areas contain copyrighted
material (1995 Bohnenkamp, Perfect
Paws, Inc.) permission granted.
*Some areas contain copyrighted material
Sminkey) permission granted.