The Star-Herald

So … you have a new puppy

You’ve brought a new puppy into your home — congratulations.  Now comes your first dog training challenge: house training.

House training is not an exact science. There’s no formula or timetable that will work for every dog.  The important thing is to make it a positive, not a stressful, experience.  Being attentive, patient and consistent are the keys to success, along with the following do’s and don’ts:

Courtesy of Metro Creative Graphics

Do:  Closely supervise your dog.  Limit the dog’s run of the house to the one or two rooms where you are able to see him/her at all times.  Dogs usually show “pre-pottying” behavior such as sniffing, circling and walking with stiff back legs; all signs that you should get him/her to the potty area ASAP.  As the training begins to take hold, you can slowly enlarge your dog’s territory as he/she learns where the potty area is.  Taking the dog out often is also a good idea.

Don’t:  Yell at or spank a dog for a mess he/she made earlier.  If you catch your pet in the act, its okay to startle him/her by clapping or making a noise (hopefully this will stop the dog long enough to take it outside).  A dog will not learn anything by being scolded for a past accident, even one a few minutes old.  

Do:  Offer big, enthusiastic praise when your pooch gets it right.  Whether your goal is for your dog to eliminate on pee pads indoors or to do it outside, you have to really throw a party for your pet when he/she succeeds.  Lavish with praise, affection and some yummy treats.

Don’t:  Rub your pet’s face in it — ever.  In addition to this action making your dog fear you, he/she is incapable of making the connection that it’s the act of soiling indoors you object to. To your pet, you just really hate pee and poop.  If he/she thinks that the waste itself is what you dislike, your pet will only get sneakier about hiding it from you.

So, to all my pals who have just gotten new puppies – patience, patience, patience.  

This information was taken from the ASPCA website.  There is a wealth of information at your fingertips if you have questions about raising your puppies.

Please consider making room in your heart and home for one of the animals available at the Central Aroostook Humane Society’s animal shelter.  We have many cats and dogs that need loving homes. Visit us at 26 Cross Street in Presque Isle to adopt the forever pet that is right for you.  

The hours of operation are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, closed for lunch from 12 to 12:30 p.m.  Please be responsible … spay and neuter your pets.

“Animals are reliable, many full of love, true in their affections, predictable in their actions, grateful and loyal. Difficult standards for people to live up to” (Alfred A. Montapert).

Nancy G. Nichols is a member of the Board of Directors of the Central Aroostook Humane Society.

Get the Rest of the Story

Thank you for reading your 4 free articles this month. To continue reading, and support local, rural journalism, please subscribe.