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The Pros and Cons of Paper Training

Aug 17, 2007
As kids, we were taught that paper training a puppy is the best way to go about house breaking your dog. Simply lay out a layer of newspaper on the kitchen floor and hope for the best, right?

Not necessarily.

Paper training your pup has long been considered the very first lesson in doggie education, but you shouldn't take it for granted that it's the best track to take with your pooch. It's not necessarily a bad thing, but you need to take two ideas into consideration before you decide paper training is the way to go: your schedule and way of life, and the personalities of yourself and your pet.

If your pup will have to spend long days alone in your home while you work, that may be an argument for paper training. It isn't the ideal situation to put your puppy in. It would be better to hire someone to take her out once or twice a day, or to enroll her in a doggie daycare, but those may not be options for you. They may be beyond your budget or simply not available where you live. In that case, you and your pooch will have to go it alone.

Your tiny pup may be destined to grow into a much larger dog, however, and you will have to decide whether you want a 50-pound pooch to use paper in your home or if you will eventually be forced to deal with the work-day bathroom question in a different way at that time.

On the surface, paper training looks to be the simplest solution for both puppy and owner. And in some respects it is. The theory itself is simple enough. Try taking that a step further, though. Consider the papers as an emergency backup for the pup. Take them on regular walks and show them that going outside is the preferred method. Of course, puppies, like small children, can't always wait and when they need to go now, they need to go now! For those times they have the paper instead of that nice white carpet in the dining room.

Simply make regular bathroom walks a part of your day from the beginning. Put her on a leash and take her outside. If nothing happens after five or 10 minutes, bring her back in. If she uses the bathroom, treat it as though she has just done the most amazing thing in the world. Tell her what a good girl and a genius dog she is. Pet her for it and give her plenty of affection over it. There is nothing like lavish praise to get a dog's attention.

On the other hand, should your pup have an accident in the house and you're fortunate enough to catch her at the first sign of a squat, scoop her up and take her out into the yard. If she continues to urinate in the yard be sure to give her lots of praise. She might look at you like you're insane, but after a few attempts of this she will begin to get the picture.
About the Author
Jeff Clare runs Dog Training News where you can read many more articles on training your dog . For more general advice on dog health go to Dogs And Dog News.
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