HOUSE TRAINING YOUR MASTIFF PUPPY
House training a puppy can be easy . How rapidly you get your puppy trained depends on its living quarters, the type
of food it eats and the amount of time you devote to actual training.
IF YOU ARE HOME ALL DAY.
Preventing your puppy from having accidents in the house is the most important thing you can do. The first few days you
take your puppy home are very critical. If you allow your puppy to eliminate on the carpet or in the wrong places , it will
often want to return to this "favorite spot". If your puppy does go in potty in the house, it is very important to immediately
clean the area with an odor eliminating product such as "Nature's Miracle". This will help assure your puppy won't be attracted
back to the area when it smells the urine or feces odor. The training method that will achieve the most rapid results utilizes
CRATE or CAGE training. I prefer the plastic "airline type" crates because they are easy to clean, light to move around and
are very durable. You can also use a very small room to confine the dog , such as a small bathroom. We will use the terms
CRATE or CAGE to refer to any of these types or enclosures.
It is very important to remember, that when training young puppies, crates are to be used for "short-term" confinement.
This means you should not leave your puppy in the cage for longer that four hours at a time, especially during the day. Night-time
is a different matter. Many puppies enjoy sleeping in a crate all night .
You must first get you puppy used to the crate. The first day you should open the cage door and place a dog treat or bone
inside. Next, put the puppies food dish directly in side the open door. After a short time, move the dish to the back of the
cage. Once inside and eating, close the door and talk to the puppy saying "good puppy". When it is finished eating, let it
out but don't praise it. It gets praised for being in the cage and not fussing. Never praise or let the pup out of the cage
if it is crying, because that just reinforces its crying behavior and you are rewarding it for crying. Wait until it has stopped
crying, then let it out.
The frequency of feeding, as well as the type of food fed and how much it drinks will influence when the puppy has to eliminate.
When a puppy eats, there is a "gastro-colic" reflex that takes place. When food enters the stomach, it sends a signal to the
large intestine saying. "Get ready to empty out, there is more on the way down". This means that your puppy will usually have
to have a bowel movement anywhere from 15 to 60 minutes after eating. This varies with age , younger pups seen to have bowel
movements sooner after they eat and the time between eating and bowel movements will get longer as they age.
I suggest feeding young puppies three times a day. The first feeding, just after being taken outside to eliminate in the
morning, the second mid afternoon and the third at 6or 7 P.M. If you keep a written schedule of feeding times and when the
pup eliminates, you should be able to predict when your puppy will have to go.
Because mornings are usually a very busy time, with people getting ready for work and kids getting ready for school, puppies
are often left unsupervised. This leads to accidents, because nobody is paying attention to the puppy's signal that it has
to go. It then wanders off into the living room to go. For this reason, I prefer to put the pup in the cage during busy time
and allow it to eat. It's best if the cage is near the kitchen or the central activity area, so you can hear the cry when
it has to go outside. The pup will eat and usually within 30 minutes, will tell you it has to eliminate. Dogs do not like
to soil their living quarters. If you cannot watch your pup, it's better to have it confined out in the fenced yard rather
then having it sneaking off to find a spot in the house to eliminate.
When the pup is in its cage and you hear it cry, open the door, say "outside" and take the pup to the area you want to
designate as the "official toilet area". Stand back and wait. Usually the puppy will urinate first then defecate a few minutes
later. When the puppy goes, you should drop to the ground as if the puppy just laid a golden egg! Don't hold back! Lavish
it with praise give it a very small doggy treat.! Once it has gone, your puppy has earned some freedom to play outside for
awhile. It has also earned the right to be loose in the house, with some supervision, for 45 to 60 minutes.
If the puppy doesn't go when you take it outside, bring it back inside and put it in the cage for another 30 minutes. Then
take it back outside and try again.
After being loose in the house for a short time, put the pup back in its cage for some "nap-time" or "time-out". For the
most rapid results, you should take your puppy outside every hour and repeat the praise then let the puppy loose as a reward
once it eliminates outdoors.
If you go out for dinner or must leave the house for short periods, such as 3 to 4 hours, you can leave the puppy in the
cage. This is considered "short-term confinement".
I am a firm believer that one of the best rewards you can give your puppy for eliminating, is a nice walk or play-time,
in a fenced area. Some puppies realize that if they go to the bathroom, they have to return inside and do not get a chance
to stay outside and play. Going outside for a puppy is like a child getting recess at school. Once a puppy learns this, it
will hold it as long as possible, so it won't have to return inside. You soon get tired of waiting for your pup to go and
you bring it back inside where it promptly slips away and goes on the floor.
It is important to start watching for those little signals your puppy will be giving you, just before it has to eliminate.
They may be as simple as wobbling around just after waking up, looking for a more suitable place to urinate, or frantically
spinning in circles and sniffing the floor for a spot to defecate or the way it holds it‘s tail or sitting in front
of the door.
You can hang a bell from the door handle or a hook, just within reach of the puppy. Every time you go outside take the
puppies paw and hit the bell and then quickly open the door. Many puppies will learn to ring the bell when they have to go
out. This prevents the dog from developing the bad habit of scratching at the door to go outside. When the pup rings the bell,
praise it, then take it outside.
At night time I suggest feeding around 7 o'clock and allow at least one hour after feeding to take the puppy outside to
Puppies under 3 months of age will often have to be taken out mid-morning, at least until they get better control of their
bladder and bowels. If it does soil its cage for 2 or 3 nights in a row, even though you took it outside, you may have to
take it out of the crate at night and use long term confinement, at least until it gets better control.
Some people prefer to keep the cage in their bedroom at night, next to the bed. This way you can reach out and touch your
frightened puppy that is spending its first night away from its mother and litter mates. Once it accepts the fact it must
sleep alone, you can gradually move the crate away from the bed, a little bit each night. Eventually you can move the cage
to its final destination. Good luck with your new baby.