It's around week two of coexisting with a 5 month old puppy named Samson, who follows us around like a shadow; however, he’s quickly approaching month 6 and I have a feeling as soon as we notice our “shadow” is gone, we’ll find him chewing on a favorite pair of sheep skin slippers.
Listed below are 5 (obvious to me now) tips that will prevent you from thinking, “what the heck did I get myself into?”
1. Get a crate if you want to make house training easier. If you’re against dog crates, you should know that they were designed to resemble doghouses; contrary to popular belief they are not cages! Before dogs ever worried about being house trained, they would dig shallow holes in the ground away from any possible threats. These makeshift dog dens were dark, small, and just big enough for them to turn around and lie down in. Knowing this, we threw a towel over young Samson’s crate, but found out later he preferred to have the towel inside rather than outside.
2. Pick a designated potty spot. If you don’t like watching out for dog landmines while in your yard, pick one area and take ole’ scruffy directly there when it’s potty time. Or you can go ahead and teach your puppy this useful trick.
3. Expose your pup to the novel things that they may become fearful of later in life. People in funny hats. Remote control cars. Kids playing. Vacuums. Bicycles. UPS trucks. Hair Dryers. Agility equipment. Balloons. Cats. Car rides. You sweating to the oldies with Richard Simmons and Jane Fonda’s 1980’s workout tapes.
4. Don’t use ammonia-based cleaners. The smell will actually encourage your pup to pee there again because it is similar to urine. Instead use an enzymatic cleaner like Simple Solutions or Nature’s Miracle.
5. Routine is everything. If your puppy knows what to expect day to day, housetraining will go by a lot smoother.