PUPPY LOVE: Volunteer puppy raiser offers tips on housebreaking Fido

Published: Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 02:15 PM.

"The best way to housebreak a puppy is to use the crate method," Birdsell said. "A lot of people who are not acquainted with the crate training methods think it is inhumane and cruel, but it is anything but that."

Purchase a kennel big enough to accommodate the dog when he reaches full size and divide it into a smaller unit so it serves the puppy. As the puppy grows, move the divider and enlarge the space, she said.

"You want to provide the puppy a secure space and you want the space big enough so the puppy can stand up, sit, curl up (and) turn around; but not so big that he can scooch into one corner to sleep but then scooch into the other corner to do his business," Birdsell said.

The crate method

"The point that many people have a problem with is they think you just throw the puppy into a crate and leave it to its own devices. An 8-week-old puppy is going to have to be let outdoors every hour," Bidsell said. "When the puppy is tired, you put the puppy in his crate and he takes a nap. As soon as he wakes up, you need to be available to scoop him out, put a little leash on him and take him outside."

Leashing him early in his life prepares the puppy to be tethered when you walk him outside, Birdsell said. He will also associate the leash with going on an outing and having fun companionship with his owner.

"Praise the puppy when he does his business properly," Birdsell said. "Choose a praise word and repeat it. Have a little of his kibble (dry dog food) as a reward, so he associates that with the place where he eliminates. Play with him a little bit, (and) then when he gets tired, put him back in the crate. You also want to reward every time the puppy goes in the crate."

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