PUPPY LOVE: Volunteer puppy raiser offers tips on housebreaking Fido

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

A crate will serve the dog well in his puppy years, but it will become his private home throughout his life, the trainer said.

"Crate training provides a place where the dog can go to have peace and quiet," she said. "You teach the dog that it is OK to be in the crate and behave appropriately. You are setting up several behaviors that will be positive behaviors as they grow older."

Observe the puppy's behavior

Getting to know your puppy's behavior is important, Birdsell said.

An attentive owner will soon recognize the signals a puppy gives when he needs to have a bowel movement. She then can intervene to ensure the dog poops where he should.

"Minimize the opportunity he has to make mistakes," Birdsell said. "There will be times when he is out of the crate. They will play and play and play, (and) then all of a sudden they will drop and have to go. You need to know his behavior so you know when to scoop him up and take him outside.

"But there will always be a few accidents. Don't make a big deal out of it."

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