Being a parent of puppies

The Verde Valley Humane Society Pet of the Week is “Nina” a beautiful lab mix that has been with us since early November. She is very playful and comes complete with manners. Nina is very friendly and would love a yard to play in. She’s also love to take a walk with you and rest by your feet a night. Nina’s adoption fee has been discounted by $20 thanks to generous donors.

The Verde Valley Humane Society Pet of the Week is “Nina” a beautiful lab mix that has been with us since early November. She is very playful and comes complete with manners. Nina is very friendly and would love a yard to play in. She’s also love to take a walk with you and rest by your feet a night. Nina’s adoption fee has been discounted by $20 thanks to generous donors.

Many of us have adopted a new puppy over the winter months. I’m just wondering how things are going at your house?

Do you ever feel as if you are in the world alone and no one can possibly be going through what you are with your new furry friend?

Are you standing outside in your pajamas freezing to death at 5:30 a.m. waiting for your new arrival to just do “something” somewhere?

Or are you watching your other dogs doing their business and your new puppy just watching what they are doing while jumping around playing?

I’m rethinking the entire situation myself. What in the world would make me think that we needed a new puppy in our family?

Oh yes, two potential adopters changed their minds, the puppy was just the most beautiful ball of fur I had ever seen and she looked at me between her messy strands of hair with those black starry eyes just looking pitiful.

Not only that she was the last one in the litter of seven and l felt horrible that she was left alone without all of her brothers and sisters.

It actually took me two weeks to name the little girl that stole my heart. Each day when we went to work the staff would call her what I had named her the day before. When I heard them call her I’d let them know her new name for the day.

After many days of knowing that she had to have the most beautiful name in the world to match her and her personality she became Tianna Elise Castillo.

Of course I heard tons of moans, but most people now agree that I picked a name perfect for my perfect (?) little girl.

She snagged me, hook, line and sinker. I had to be her new mom. I thought the entire process was going to be so unproblematic because we had other dogs at home and they could teach our new puppy how things went.

Did you assume the same thing? Are you wondering what went wrong? I have to laugh as I look back; we are the ones that have being doing things incorrectly, not Tianna.

Housebreaking is normally one of the things that people have the most problems with. At our house it’s going to be our most difficult accomplishment.

Thinking that Tianna’s older siblings were going to teach her how to do things was our biggest mistake.

Some dogs learn from other dogs in the house and we have found out that some don’t. Our foster pups have always caught on rapidly, but not our little Tianna.

As I researched I found that our thinking was the same as many other people’s thinking. Many times what works for one puppy doesn’t work for another.

Often that method fails so if you were thinking like we were, don’t beat yourself up it’s a normal assumption.

Let’s talk about the normal housebreaking routine. Before I begin you will need to remember that a puppy isn’t born knowing that it isn’t acceptable to pee or poop in the house.

You will need patience and perseverance teaching your new puppy the routine. It’s up to you to educate him as to what is right or wrong.

Before you begin make sure your new addition has been given a clean bill by your vet. Health issues can cause the housebreaking procedure to fail.

First of all confine your puppy in a small area that can be cleaned easily. Place newspapers or puppy pads over the floor where he stays and also a path going outside.

As you give your puppy more freedom you can use less papers and just keep moving them closer and closer to the door you want him to go out.

At our house I guess we did overdo it a bit. You basically had to walk on a path of potty pads to get through the house.

Still our little stinker would lie on the pads and piddle on the floor. Throw rugs were an exceptional place to eliminate.

Just think, rugs are all soft and warm after having to keep your little feet outside on cold rock and ground. Needless to say our throw rugs are gone for a while longer.

Remember puppies need to eliminate after sleeping, playing, eating, drink or eat, sleep and after chewing on toys. In other words it can be 10-15 times a day. Sure seems like more at our house.

After your puppy does one of the above events take him outside immediately to an area that will be his potty zone.

Use a phrase that you are comfortable with letting him know what you are expecting. Such as “go potty.”

It’s important to stand still and let him think you are ignoring him as you really watch him with a careful eye. No playing or anything but getting down to business.

After being outside for 10-15 minutes with no results, pick your friend up or take him with a leash back into the house.

No potty means no playing, no fun, nothing but back in the house under your watchful eye.

Next watch him for any signs of needing to go outside. In ten minutes try another trip back outside and go through the entire process.

If you see him ready to have an accident just startle him with something like “no-outside” and take him to the yard.

If he happens to eliminate lavishly praise him for a job well done. A small treat in your pocket can be given with the praise.

If you delay with the praise and wait to give the treat when you are back indoors it is not effective praising and he won’t grasp the concept.

Some people crate their puppies as they work on the potty training. Don’t leave your puppy in a crate for long periods of time; a confined area is considered a better choice.

Many puppies will not want to eliminate in their crates and others simply don’t care. Tianna just seemed to be one that didn’t care no matter how late at night you took her outside.

The good news is that often ones that don’t care just all of a sudden stop. Surprisingly we got up one morning and Tianna had a clean bed. She has never soiled her crate again.

Whatever method you choose to housebreak your puppy, never rub his nose in his mess. If you catch him in the act you can get him outside.

If you find a little “present” after the fact it becomes your fault for not watching him.

If your puppy alerts you that he has to go out in the night, do the entire process very quietly.

Nothing worse than getting him all excited and wanting to play at 2:00 a.m. when all you want is to go back to bed. Still praise him and give him a treat and then back to bed.

If you crate your puppy at night it’s a great idea to keep the crate close to your bed in order to hear him when he gives you a signal.

Whatever method you choose to housebreak your puppy, never rub his nose in his mess. If you catch him in the act you can get him outside.

If you find a little “present” after the fact it becomes your fault for not watching him. Scolding him after the accident does absolutely no good.

There are many fantastic articles on housebreaking your puppy.

You have do chose which one you are comfortable using.

Today’s article just touched on the subject but I wanted to let everyone know that you are not alone.

Are you wondering what we did wrong? First of all we gave Tianna full run of the potty pad lined house except for the carpeted bedrooms.

Next we let her go out with the other dogs never really knowing if she did her job for sure. We did make everyone go out more than any dog should ever have to go.

We did not observe the entire process. We did see her run and play and watch the other kids and now and then we even saw her do her business. Maybe a time or two that is.

We expected her to behave like the other adult dogs in our home, in other words we assumed. Sometimes a puppy will catch on from an older sibling and sometimes they don’t.

In the case of Tianna, she needs the extreme one-on-one potty training. Outside time is not for playing right now. It’s the time to do your business.

As I researched the different ways to potty train I read some humor that I’d like to share with you.

If your puppy has an accident, roll up a newspaper go to the site of elimination and hit yourself in the head with the paper because YOU didn’t do your job properly.

Hang in there as you shake your head in bewilderment. It does get better and better every single day for us.

It will for you too as long as you do your job accurately.

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