Housebreaking Your Lhasa apso
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Crate Training & Tips
Owning a pet that is not housebroken is one of the greatest inconveniences of all problems pet owners can experience. The Lhasa apso is a relatively easy breed to housebreak if the crate training method and dedication to consistency are used.
Before your new friend actually arrives, your training crate should be purchased and set up in its permanent place in your home. The appropriate size of your crate can be a debatable subject. I am a firm believer in choosing a crate that is just large enough to provide your pup with room to turn around and lay down comfortably. Many individuals feel cruel providing such a small place, but the purpose of the crate is to provide the puppy with a place that is relatively uncomfortable to relieve themselves. When puppy has been completely house broken, a larger cage may be used for times when crating is necessary. No dog likes to relieve themselves in a place that is too confined to get away from their own mess. This is the reason a smaller, more confined crate will provide faster results.
Crate training also provides puppy with a safe place to go when he/she feels frightened or tired. To puppy the crate will represent a secure place that will be appreciated during these stressful times. The crate will also provide a safe traveling environment particularly for a nervous pet.
Place the crate in a busy room (a linoleum or tile floor is best) and preferably one that has a door leading to an acceptable place for puppy to relieve itself. Lhasa apsos are social animals, and will enjoy the activity around them. When puppy is taken out of the crate to relieve itself it will be easier to guide puppy out a nearby door. Puppy will be less likely to cry out of loneliness too!
The crate should never be used to discipline your puppy and must always remain a safe haven. The crate offers a loving solution, helping to avoid potential problems like chewing, being stepped on, becoming over excited or when protecting puppy from a small child or visiting pet is required.
Crate training should begin the day your bring your puppy home. Crating puppy should follow a period of one on one attention, exercise, and an outdoor potty break. When possible meet all three needs outdoors, providing puppy a better chance at accidentally relieving itself in the right place.
This will also allow you to make a huge fuss over puppy's accidental accomplishment. Puppies tire easily and are usually ready to take a nap at this point. Put the puppy in its crate with a safe chew toy. Your puppy may whine a bit. This is normal. It is extremely important that you do not remove the puppy from its crate when it is whining. This will teach the puppy to whine and bark to get out of its crate rather than teaching it that quiet behavior brings you back. If puppy continues whining you can try a gentle scolding, (remain out-of-sight so that the puppy does not learn to associate the discipline with your presence), however; sometimes even scolding can be enough attention to encourage continued whining, so you will have to use your own discretion. Usually, ignoring the whining is the most successful method. A spray water bottle or water gun is an excellent training device. Some people use a shaker can (a metal can filled with beads or coins) to provide a loud noise. Both are sometimes effective in interrupting barking. Again, it is best that you are distanced from the puppy so you are not identified with the disciplinary action. I am partial to the water bottle method as you can deliver the painless yet startling correction from a considerable distance.
Puppy should be taken directly out the door when removed from the crate. In the beginning this is most easily accomplished by carrying the pup out the door as soon as the puppy comes out of the crate. When puppy is a little bigger and will walk on a leash or follow you, it is best to allow the pup to take itself to and out of the door. I find that making the trip very exciting (talking in a higher pitched voice, scuffing feet to keep attention on you, calling puppy by name, or even dragging a stuffed toy to and then out the door) will help train the puppy to cooperatively go outside. Initially, it is critical not to allow the puppy even a second to stop on his way or oops, the squat and piddle will follow without fail. Once puppy has gotten the hang of the race out the door it will begin to do it instinctively.
Kimberly Logue/The Lhasa Lady
607-652-4083 or 607-435-1634