Housebreaking 101

CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) – Bringing your new puppy or dog home is a big deal. The first week you and your dog spend together is exciting, but it can also be overwhelming. Jim Helems, Owner of Jim Helems Dog Pals, shared tips on what to expect the first time you bring home a new dog, from crate training to leaving your dog home alone.

Supplies You’ll Need for Your New Dog
Food and water bowls
Food and maybe some treats for training.
Collar and leash
Toys, especially chew toys
Stain- and odor-removing cleaners

Prepare your house – Create a temporary, gated-off living space for your dog or pup – where she can’t damage your belongings or eat something that will make her sick
Pick a room that’s a center of activity in your household – so your dog won’t feel isolated, and be sure it’s one with easy-to-clean floors.
Puppy-proof – to make sure anything that could hurt your dog–medicines, chemicals, certain plants–is out of reach.

Once your dog is home
Introduce your dog to his crate
Start your training
Set up a routine
Get your dog license
Find a vet

Getting your Dog Accustomed to Being Alone
Be home. It is important that the dog does not immediately associate his crate with being alone or abandoned.
Slowly build up time in crate. When your dog will sit calmly and happily in his crate for the 10 minutes after he eats, you can move on to longer periods of time.
Repeat the previous step several times a day. Slowly increase the amount of time you are away over the course of several days or weeks.

Leaving your Dog Alone
When your dog feels comfortable being alone in the crate for 30 minutes, you can start leaving him there while you leave the house for short periods of time
Vary when you put your dog in the crate.
Don’t make a big deal about coming home or back into the room.
Immediately take the dog outside.

Preparing the Crate
Figure out what kind of crate you want.
Make the crate comfortable.
Provide water.
Make the crate appealing.

Introducing Your Dog to the Crate
Keep the crate in a high-traffic area.
Use positive reinforcement.
Feed your dog in the crate.

Using Crates for Housebreaking
Start as soon as possible.
Confine the puppy to the crate when you are home.
Keep a puppy journal.
Put the puppy in his crate an hour before he will need to go to the bathroom.
Continue praise.
Slowly reduce the amount of time your puppy stays in the crate.
Clean up mistakes.

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