STEP THREE: the crate training philosophy

Downtown Pets adopts the philosophy that your dog must earn it’s freedom when being house trained. That sounds harsher than the reality. What we’re saying is that your dog must relieve itself outside to be left out of the crate freely.

* how often should I walk my dog?

A puppy needs to relieve itself in a frequency equal to it’s age – so a 4 month old puppy will usually need to go every 3 1/2 to 4 hours, etc.. An adult dog can go around 5 hours.

* how long can I leave my dog in a crate at one time?

Never more than 5-6 hours (again base it on their age) and I wouldn’t push it. I’ve heard people say my dog can hold it 8 hours or even longer. Your dog might be able to hold it but that doesn’t mean it should and doing so repeatedly can lead to health problems.

* if my dog goes #1 and / or #2 outside, how long can I leave them out of the crate?

It’s partly based on how old your dog is but I would just start slowly. Let your dog prove it can be out of the crate for 1 or 2 hours without making a mistake. If you have no problems for a week or two increase that time.

* when my dog is out of the crate can it be alone?

Not at first – some people even keep their dogs leashed at first so they are always by their side. Why? Because dogs tend to run into closets or corners when they go to the bathroom in the house and you might never know they went at all.

* what if I catch my dog in the act of going in the house?

Run over, pick them up, tell them something like “not in house” and take them outside BUT do not yell at them or scare them in any way. You will scare them from ever going to the bathroom in front of you again and when they make a mistake in front of you it’s a great time to correct them.

* how should I include wee-wee pads into the house training schedule?

YOU SHOULDN’T. If your dog has all their shots and is old enough to go outside, wee-wee pads should not be used at all when you are house training a dog. Your dog, plain and simple, can not go to the bathroom in the house and dogs can not differentiate between the wee-wee pad on your living room floor and the floor of a store, or hotel or your friends house. If you used wee-wee pads you can not consider your dog fully house trained. I would completely stop using them if you want to house train your dog.

STEP ONE: buying a crate and checking with your vet

STEP TWO: introducing your dog to the crate

STEP THREE: the crate training philosophy

STEP FOUR: example schedule for a dog being house trained

STEP FIVE: problems you might run into house training your dog

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