When a puppy moves in, the joy is usually great. Small, clumsy and full of sweetness – nothing can go wrong with it! Or yet?
At the latest after a few days you will realize: After the little four-legged friend has moved in, your entire life will be upside down. Because puppies, like small children, still have a lot to learn: what can be chewed on, what can be eaten, where to do their business and where not to do it ..
A sweet challenge
All beginnings are difficult. But how do you explain to your sweet puppy that he should not do his business at home?? Scolding, shouting or even hitting with the newspaper are an absolute "no-go" and educational methods from the last century. Your puppy will not understand and will only stare at you with wide eyes fearfully. If your puppy has done his business on the floor, you have no choice but to take a rag and clean it all up. And so that it does not come best at all to it, you should pursue from now on an endurance sport – and that together with the puppy. Especially if you live at the top of an apartment building without an elevator, the challenge becomes big. Here’s what happened with my neighbor Lars and his French Bulldog Lotte.
Lotte becomes housebroken
Lotte was only 12 weeks old when she moved in with Lars and his girlfriend. Since the bladder in puppies is very small, the little ones can not stop for long. For Lars this meant: after sleeping (Lotte’s nap – not his), after feeding and every other hour leave everything, hang dog leash around his neck, put apartment key in jacket pocket and run downstairs as fast as possible. Of course Lotte should not be forgotten – because she was the reason why Lars stood on the lawn in front of the house in all weathers and repeated like a parrot: "Here Lotte! Come on! Take a pee!". As soon as Lotte finally remembers that she has to (because puppies love to forget that!) and did her business, Lars was visibly more relieved than Lotte. Lotte could feel like a superstar instead – so much praise and attention for a matter of course! And also we neighbors had something to laugh about.
Dogs learn more effectively through positive reinforcement
Gradually, every dog understands that he is rewarded for doing business outside. The reward can be verbal, as well as by treats or by a common play round. In psychology this is called "positive reinforcement". A punishment would be exactly the opposite. But this "education method" should be a thing of the past anyway. Because punishment only triggers anxiety in your puppy and makes it feel insecure. If there is a mishap at home in the form of a puddle or a poop, the most you can do is to tell your puppy "no"!" or "Fie!" reprimand. Take him outside right away and show him where he can do his business. However, this only makes sense if it happens immediately after the mishap. A short time later, reprimanding and scolding is pointless – because the puppy has long forgotten and will not understand what he did wrong.
Tips and tricks if it doesn’t work out with housetraining right away:
– Be patient: Every dog learns at a different rate.
– Consistent education is "A" and "O." Maybe Lotte just wanted to spare her master the way downstairs and therefore made a puddle in the middle of the room every now and then. Maybe Lars was not consistent enough and missed the times when he had to go out with Lotte.
– Watch the puppy: With time Lars noticed that Lotte turns in circles and gets restless as soon as she has to. This was the signal for him to drop everything and run outside with Lotte.
– So that it does not come to the stress: Lars did not take the collar off his puppy at all in the first time – so Lotte could get used to the collar and, if she had to go outside urgently, it was even faster and stress-free.
– Choose your puppy’s first equipment carefully: At the beginning Lars deliberately did without the dog bed. As sleeping place for Lotte served instead a dog box, with an easy-care dog blanket in it. Especially in the office this was very handy. While Lars was working, Lotte could play and sleep comfortably in the box. As soon as she had to, she made it clear with loud whining.
After some time it was natural for Lotte to go outside with Lars in time. However, Lotte is still surprised that Lars always picks up her poop. Well, we all have our own habits.