HOUSETRAINING YOUR PUPPY . . .

Assuming that you have purchased your puppy from a responsible breeder who has raised the litter in a clean environment, housetraining should be a painless process, especially if you use a crate. Crates provide the puppy with a small, safe area that they should want to keep clean. Not only are crates the optimum housetraining tool, but they protect your puppy from getting into things he shouldn't when you aren't around to supervise.

A puppy will learn to walk into a crate easily if you give him a treat once he's inside. To keep a puppy happy while he is in a crate, you can pack dog food, dog biscuits, cottage cheese or canned dog food inside the hollow of a steamed bone or Kong toy. Working to get the food out can keep a dog of any age happy for hours. Do not let the puppy out of the crate if he is barking. Wait for him to be quiet, count to ten, and then open the door.

The other requirement for successful housetraining is consistency. You need to maintain a regular schedule because the puppy is relying on you to be a good leader. By twelve weeks old, a puppy should be able to hold himself overnight but he won't yet have the bladder control of an adult. He will want to eliminate after he eats, after naps, and after play periods. Scheduling trips outdoors around these activities will make the housetraining chore easier.

1.The first thing you should do when you bring a new puppy home is take him to an elimination spot that you have picked out for him in the yard. Praise the puppy for sniffing at the spot and give a favorite food reward if he eliminates there.

2. Begin a regular schedule where the puppy is given supervised freedom in the house for 20 minutes before either taking him back outside to his spot or putting him into the crate for a nap. As the puppy becomes more reliable, you will be able to leave him loose for progressively longer periods of time. Supervision needs to remain constant for quite a while, however.

3. If the puppy has an accident, do not ever punish the puppy. If he begins to go while you are watching, take him outdoors to his spot immediately. Then praise him for sniffing and give a treat for any further elimination in the correct place. If you find an accident, do not scold the puppy after the fact; he won't understand why he is being punished. Always clean up accidents without the puppy watching and take the puppy outside immediately if you even see him sniffing at a previous accident site.

4. If an older puppy or an adult dog begins to have accidents, you can prevent him from sneaking off by putting him on his leash and attaching the leash to your waist. It is a great bonding exercise as well as being an aid in housebreaking.

5. Putting diapers on an older puppy or adult is another technique for preventing accidents indoors. Your Lhasa will not like the feeling of dampness if he soils the diaper and so he will tend to stay clean until you remove the diaper and take him outside. Don't forget to cut a hole for the tail!

With some persistence and consistency on your part, a Lhasa puppy should learn housetraining basics by about five months old. However, you may see a regression as the dog goes through adolescence; that is your cue to tighten up the schedule and increase supervision for a while.

If you follow all these steps and the puppy's elimination habits do not improve in two or three weeks, you should consult with your veterinarian to rule out a physical problem.

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