Housebreaking 101

Housebreaking your puppy should start right away.

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Your dog must be housebroken, and this job should begin as soon as you bring him home. Diligence during the first two or three weeks will surely pay off. Housebreaking a PRT should be a relatively easy task since the breed is so smart. Of course, crates are a major help in housebreaking, and most breeders wouldn't dream of  housebreaking their PRTs without using crates. Crate training revolves around the principle that canines do not like to soil their dens (in this case, their crates). Thus a puppy in his crate will naturally try to keep his crate clean.

You must do your part in the crate-training process. You cannot expect a puppy to hold it for very long. Like toddlers, puppies have little control over their bladder and muscles, so be ready! Every time your puppy wakes up from a nap, he should be quickly put outside. Watch him and praise him with Good boy! when he urinates or defecates. Give him a pat on the head and take him inside. He may have a few accidents, but with the appropriate No from you, he will quickly learn that it is better to go outside and do his duty than to do it on the kitchen floor and be scolded.

You will soon learn the habits of your dog and you will recognize his body-language signals that indicate his need to go. However, at the following times it is essential to take your dog out: when he gets up in the morning, after he eats, before he goes to bed, after long naps and anytime he's been released from his crate. As an adult, your PRT likely will only have to go out three or four times a day.

Some dogs will go to the door and bark when they want to be let out and others will nervously circle around. Watch and learn from his signs. Be patient with the housebreaking process, as this can sometimes be a trying time. You must stick with it, as it is simply essential to have a clean house dog. Life will be much easier for all of younot to mention better for the carpeting!

Next Step: Puppy's First Time in the Car

Reprinted from Breeder's Best: Parson Russell Terrier © 2004 Permission granted by Kennel Club Books, an imprint of BowTie Press.

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