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Raising a Puppy

Housebreaking your puppy

As soon as you arrive home with your new puppy, you have to give him a chance to get to know his new environment.  Introduce it to its own secure “den” – a dog crate lined with soft bedding is ideal. Make the crate inviting by placing food treats or toys inside, and leave the door open.

The first night that your puppy is away from his littermates and in new surroundings is always the most difficult. Provide it with a chewable toy for comfort. Do not respond to plaintive cries, however, or you will unwittingly train your puppy to whine for attention. With a little perseverance, your puppy will learn to settle down and sleep.

Since the puppy already had a chance to eliminate outside, it should be a very easy to get him housebroken in no time. Start taking him outdoors as soon as possible.  The pup usually has to eliminate after waking up, also a short time after eating and after a play session.  The three months old puppy needs to empty his bladder about every three hours. Then add an hour for each month  as the puppy gets older. Do not let the puppy make a mistake by eliminating in the house, if he gets away with it, he will quickly learn that is ok to do so.  So you have to make sure, that he does not get this chance.  The best thing is to use the crate. Dogs are inherently clean animals. They will avoid fouling their own den. When I take the puppy out of the crate I pick him up right away and carry him outside to eliminate. When the pup does eliminate than I praise enthusiastically. Never punish the puppy for having an accident in the house.

Early training

After your puppy has settled in to its new home, begin gentle training for obedience and hygiene. Always reward good behavior with praise, stroking, or food treats.

Teaching a puppy to sit. Get your puppy's attention by holding a treat in front of his nose, slowly move it up upwards and back over his head. As he reaches for the treat he will bend his back legs into a sit. Praise as this happens and reward with a treat. Once you have lured your puppy in a sit several times, you can begin adding the cue SIT, before you begin the lure process.

Lay down. If you want to teach your puppy to lay down, ask a puppy to sit, draw a lure slowly down in front of his chest and then slowly away from him in “L” shape –drawing him closer to the floor. As he follows the treat, he should lie down. 

Come. In my opinion it’s the most important command. For safety and responsible control, your puppy must learn always to come to you no matter what is happening around him. To achieve this, be sure everybody has treats to use as rewards. Have someone stand at the other end of a room or hallway in your home and call your puppy back and forth.  Remember to say the pup’s name first, to get his attention and then give the command, “Come”. Give him praise and a reward for every successful trip. Once the puppy completed this exercise 15-20 times in the house, move to fenced yard, or a quiet area outside with a long leash on your puppy. Practice in gradually more distracting environments.


Always be patient with your puppy. Training your puppy is not only fun, but it is necessary as well. A well-trained dog will be a welcome guest, a treasured family member, and your best friend.


Jana Gabrysch, 8200 Crouse Willison Road, Johnstown, Ohio 43031. © 2020 Haus-Neufus. All Rights Reserved.