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Basic home training for your dog

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Housebreaking a dog is no serious problem if you keep in mind that a dog is a naturally clean animal. He does not want to soil the place where he sleeps and plays. The most important factor in housebreaking is confinement.

If you give a puppy free rein and allow him to run all over the house, you are in for trouble. As soon as you bring the puppy into your home, barricade a quiet, draft-free corner and keep him there for several weeks. First thing in the morning, after every meal, or after any active play, and last thing at night, take him outdoors, or stand him on pile of newspapers if you are trying to paper train him.

When he does his "business" in the desired place, praise him. When he makes a mistake, let him know that you are displeased with him. Many young puppies manage all right during the day, but get into trouble at night. You can help by cutting down on the liquid content of the day's last meal. Also, try tying the puppy on a short leash near his bed, long enough so that he can move around, but not long enough so that he can get out of his bed.

When he wants "out," he'll whine or bark and ask to be taken out. This may be a little hard on the human members of the family, but if a few of them take turns it isn't too bad, and it is good training for the puppy. After a few weeks, the puppy should be able to control himself during the night.

Use some one short word that the young dog learns to associate with relieving himself. Use this word when you are urging him to "go." This will help him learn which areas are permissible and which are forbidden. Also, train the dog to use different types of places. A dog that has learned to go on the grass can be uncomfortable and his training may be set back when you have him on a city street. If you have a city dwelling dog, teach him that the gutter is the proper place.

Be firm with your puppy when it comes to house cleanliness, but don't try to rush him. Until he is about four or five months old, he just hasn't the muscular control, and even a well-meaning dog may occasionally make mistakes. Many of the smaller, more excitable breeds may "dribble" from excitement when some person they recognize comes into the room.

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