PUPPY LOVE: Volunteer puppy raiser offers tips on housebreaking Fido

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

Stay positive

Puppies, like children, have short attention spans. Positively reinforcing correct behaviors works well with both groups, Birdsell said.

"Feed puppies by hand," she said. "Between the morning meal and afternoon meal, I have his breakfast kibble in my pocket. We work on (the commands) sit and stay and lay down. Every time we do it, he gets a kibble.

"Don't work a puppy more than a minute or two at a time, but do multiple training throughout the day. We'll work on each command about 10 times. Give him a reward each time he does it right.

"Training should be very upbeat and positive. It boosts the puppy's confidence and strengthens the bond between you and the puppy.

"Puppies are very much like children: they will graduate toward the behaviors that get the positive reward. That behavior is most likely to be repeated."

Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Brian Hughes at 850-682-6524 or brianh@crestviewbulletin.com. Follow him on Twitter @cnbBrian.

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