I was doing puppy training with a Westport, MA dog owner when I thought of one of my favorite movies. One of my favorite quotes from the movie, “Ron Burgundy Anchorman.” Ron is talking to his friend about a cologne that will make him irresistible to the ladies.
“Banned in nine countries for its sexual potency, Sex Panther cologne is known to make you an irresistible object of interest to the ladies. Made with bits of real panther. They’ve done studies, you know. 60 percent of the time, it works every time.”
Stupid, but as they say here in Westport, Massachusetts:
The quote reminds me of housetraining. I asked the dog owner if their puppy is house trained. The answer, “Yes,” and then added, “Well, for the most part my puppy is housebroken. He will pee outside most of the time but still has accidents.”
It’s kind of like saying, “60% of the time, it works every time.”
A dog that is housetrained will only have an accident when they are sick. If you dog still has accidents, then your dog has a problem but here’s the rub:
A dog that pees and poops in the house does NOT have a behavior problem.
You read that correctly. Your dog leaving a big steaming pile of feces or a huge puddle of urine on your carpet does NOT have a behavior problem.
Your dog is suffering from a LOCATION problem. Peeing and pooping is a very natural, normal function and your dog just has to learn the right location. This is accomplished by managing, observing, interrupting and rewarding.
You manage by using a crate when you can’t observe your dog. When you are observing you quickly interrupt your dog in mid-stream or squat and quickly bring to the right location to finish. Once your dog is finished you reward.
Did you notice there is no punishment in the steps I just outlined for you. Never use punishment during the housetraining process.
You can disagree with me but I should warn you. Studies show, 60% of the time, I am right everytime.
Anyway, puppy training is one of the best things you can do. You can prevent so many behavior problems and properly socialize your pup in a good puppy class. It's the most fun you and your pup will have all year!
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