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Bergamot and Emrys' House Training Tips

The Schedule

Puppies have to go to the bathroom after every nap, after they eat, after they drink, after a play session. Take your puppy to his spot after these events and you will set yourself up for a successful elimination in the spot you want him to go.
The Bridge

Choose a word you (and the whole family) would like to use to communicate to your pup that he just did right. By teaching your puppy a bridge word like "good" or "yes" you can communicate to your pup more precisely what you are asking him to do. Teaching a bridge word works like the clicker does in clicker training. It marks the split second between your command ("Go Potty") and the dog's action (Potty) before you can give the treat. As soon as your pup begins to potty give him an enthusiastic "YES!" then give him the treat when he is done.

A great way to teach the bridge word is simply say your pup's name and when he looks at you and gives you his attention say "YES!" and give him a treat. Eventually he will learn that the bridge word means there is a treat on they way. (It will also teach him to be very attentive to you.)

This training works best with a combination of crate training and having the puppy stay in one room with you at all times. If the pup can't be supervised he/she should be crated. This article has great information on crate training.

House Training Bergamot & Emrys Style:
  • Choose a designated potty spot in the yard where you want him to go. (Advantage: if you are really vigilant about using the same area you will have less poop-scooping to do.)
  • Have the leash and collar easily accessible by the door for speed. Use the leash even if you have a fenced yard. You want to be right there to give the bridge word.
  • Choose a word/command to mean "potty". The WHOLE family needs to use the same word to avoid confusing the pup.
  • Get a really great treat (like freeze dried liver) and only give this treat to the pup when he goes in his designated potty spot.
  • When you are pretty sure the pup has to go, put his leash on and take him to the spot and repeat your command until he goes. (You may sound like a parrot, but you want him to connect your command with his action) As soon as he goes, immediately say "YES!" and praise him wildly. Give him the great treat.
  • Follow the above steps every time you take him out. Soon your pup will learn the command for potty, and that if he goes in his designated spot he gets the great treat.
  • While you are house training the puppy he is not allowed out of your sight while in the house. This means he is gated into the same room as you are or on a leash attached to your belt, or in a crate. This way he can't have any accidents and undo all your hard work in the yard.
  • Good Luck! My trainer made it very clear to us that if the puppy makes a mistake in the house, it was on us for not giving proper supervision. If you find an accident in the house don't be discouraged, just resolve to keep the puppy under closer supervision. It will all pay off.



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