Puppy Housebreaking

Housebreaking your new puppy can be as easy or as difficult as you want to make it. Housesoiling is a terminal illness for almost all dogs if not corrected. By that we mean the dog that does not learn the rules of the house will be gotten rid of one way or another. Remember – the younger your puppy, the shorter the period of time that he can physically hold it. Also, very few puppies are 100% trustworthy until at least 6 months.

1. CONFINE YOUR PUPPY He must always be in sight of you when loose in the house. A room with a linoleum floor or other easily cleaned floor will be the easiest for you. If you are busy and cannot watch him, confine him to a crate. This is not punishment, but his own special place. In the wild this would be his den. If you will not use a crate, confine him to a small area of the kitchen where you can clean up the accidents he will have.

2. FEED ON SCHEDULE If you establish a routine in feeding, it will be easier to °know when to take the pup out to eliminate. Most dogs need to get outside shortly after eating and after they wake up from a nap. Take all food and water away from the dog at 6:00 pm. Take him outside several times after this time so that he may eliminate before going to his bed for the night. Do not give him treats all evening no matter how cute he is or how much he begs, puppies get diarrhea quickly and no dog can control himself when that happens. Never punish a dog for housesoiling if he has diarrhea. Think about how you feel – can you control yourself? Neither can your dog!

3. CATCHING THE DOG IN THE ACT If you see the pup starting to relieve himself in the house, get his attention and get him outside. Most dogs will stop if you distract them by calling their name. Do not punish the dog if he has an accident, it was your fault not watching closely enough. Punishing the dog often causes the dog to wait to eliminate in front of you. If an accident happens, put the dog outside, clean up, and watch him closer next time. NEVER rub the pup’s nose in the mess.

4. SPECIAL WORDS FOR ELIMINATION Each time you take your dog outside to go, take him to the same area and praise profusely when he eliminates. It will help the dog learn if you say a word or phrase that he can learn. We use
“Do your duty” or “Go potty”. At the early stages of housebreaking, you should go out with the dog each time so that you can praise and control where he eliminates. When he is older and knows the rules, in a month or two, he will only need a reminder once in a while.

5. ODOR PREVENTION Keeping the odor down is as important outside as it is inside. Most dogs will not return to an area littered with stools. They are basically clean animals and while they do sniff the area, they are just checking to see if a stranger has been there, not just enjoying the smells. In the house, accidents must be cleaned totally or the dog will keep returning to that spot. A product that works exceptionally well is “OUTRIGHT” or “SIMPLE SOLUTION”. You can purchase it at most pet stores. It is an enzymeactivated product that removes the odor rather than just covering it up.


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How to Handle Puppy Chewing

To say that an eight-week old puppy is chewing destructively is really a misnomer. A puppy that age does not intentionally do destructive things. About eight-weeks of age, his little pin like teeth are coming in, and, like his human teething counterpart, the puppy needs to chew. A mother will purchase a teething ring for a new baby. Good pet supply shelves are loaded with puppy teething rings. Hard rubber chew toys, milk bone type biscuits, and rawhide chews make excellent teethers for the puppy. The point is: if you don’t provide your puppy with the necessary thing – chew toys – your puppy will provide his own. These will usually be
in the form of an Italian shoe, a sofa cushion, or the legs of your favorite cocktail table.

Occasionally, even when adequate chew-toys have been provided, the curious puppy will eat something that seems just a bit better. . . like your purse sitting in the chair. Even if you feel that your puppy can’t do much damage to whatever it is he is chewing, it doesn’t belong to him, remove the item – or remove the puppy from the item. Immediately replace that item with a chew toy that belongs to the puppy. His eight-week old teeth may not do much damage to your slippers, but his sixmonth old canine choppers will make short work of them later. It’s better to prevent bad habits from developing than to try to rectify those bad habits later.

Because a puppy’s mind at an early age is like a blank chalkboard, it’s simple to write on that chalkboard and make it stick. Take the shoe, purse, or other item from the puppy’s mouth, accompanied with a firm “NO”! Replace the item with one of his toys followed by a bit of praise. Don’t take something away from the puppy without replacing it with something of his. To snatch something from your puppy, followed by a scolding, simply confuses his mind. To your puppy you’d be “just a big old meany!” No learning whatsoever would take place. Substituting an item of his own will cause learning to take place in just a short period of time. The puppy will view his own toys as chewable items.

Supervision is just as important in puppy chewing as it is in proper housetraining. You must remember that a puppy’s approach to the world outside the box he was born in is really quite simply: eat it! It’s up to you to show your puppy the forbidden fruits.

If you take the time to show your puppy right from wrong, teach him what is his and what is not, and shower him with attention and affection (sprinkled with gentle discipline), you will have succeeded in building a foundation based upon respect: that is, your puppy’s respect for you. From that respect will come love, and,
eventually, as your puppy grows bigger, a desire to please. That desire to please you is the vehic le that will make your puppy’s obedience training a complete success.


Please view this article in PDF format: How to Handle Puppy Chewing

For the Love of Airedales

The Bulletin and The Progress Enterprise
Wednesday, August 18, 1999
Article by Susan Corkum-Greek
Lighthouse Staff

For the Love of Airedales

SECOND PENINSULA – Joan Clarke wasn’t searching for a show dog when she acquired her first Airedale Terrier in 1987. But the Halifax native, who now divides her time between homes in Texas and Second Peninsula, was intent on having that breed.

“I’d always wanted an Airedale,” Mrs. Clarke says from a seat in the spacious living area of the family’s eight-acre estate. “I liked their stoic presence.” However, it had always been her children, now grown, and husband who had made the choice of family pets. And they always chose Gordon Setters.

When the family’s third setter, Duncan, was tragically killed in an accident and the children asked for another dog, Mrs. Clarke announced it was her turn to pick. But finding an Airedale turned out to be no easy task. She ended up contacting the national Airedale Club, which put her in touch with a breeder near her home in Fort Worth.

“He had a litter but didn’t know if he had a pet,” recalls Mrs. Clarke, who, to that point, had never taken much interest in the difference. Still, she persisted until he gave in.

It turned out that first Airedale, Tex, was “just a pet,” not a show dog, and Mrs. Clarke realized she was disappointed. She then acquired Sadie, a second dog to keep Tex company, and decided to breed her with the then-top dog in the United States. The result was Annie, Mrs. Clarke’s first champion.

And so began a hobby, slash obsession, that continues to this day. Annie, now retired was not able to breed, so Mrs. Clarke got Kristina, who gave birth to Dallas Star. Named almost prophetically for the now Stanley Cup champion hockey team, Dallas is Mrs. Clarke’s current champion. But she’s also watching eight-month-old Naomi for the signs she could compete.

You see, you can’t make a show dog, explains Mrs. Clarke. Training and grooming are all for naught if a dog does not have the basic physical attributes or temperament. For Airedales, this includes a strong stance, good movement, inquisitiveness, alertness and expression – qualities that are apparently observable as early as eight weeks.

“That’s when they start to come together,” says Mrs. Clarke, whose kennel name, Penaire, is a combination of the breed and her maiden name, Penny. “You can tell by their movement, their attitude, their top lines and tail sets.” Shortly after that, the dogs tend to enter an awkward stage – call it the adolescent phase of doggydom – where they grow but not always together. “You just close your eyes for a while,” she jokes, “In order to get a really good one, you have to hold on for a year.”

Once a dog is seen to have show potential, the real work begins. There’s obedience training, grooming, exercise. “It keeps me very busy,” says Mrs. Clarke, who will spend at least an hour and a half a day on a dog she’s currently showing. During the week leading up to a show, she follows a strict grooming regime, beginning with the hind quarters and moving forward. “You don’t groom at the show,” she says. “The coat must grow in to a certain point. It has to be just right.”

While many dogs owners hire professionals to do this grooming, for Mrs. Clarke it’s all part of the challenge. “Sometimes I mess up,” she says, but her husband Bill says she’s also received many compliments from top groomers. This summer, she’s taken on a local assistant, whom she’s currently training.

On show days, Mrs. Clarke is often up at 5 a.m. She likes to be a the show place at least two hours before showing and the dog needs to be washed, exercised and pottied. “I’m never relaxed because you always go out to win,” she says.

And she’s never over-confident, “because you never know what the judge will like.”

Mrs. Clarke and her dogs have competed in shows all over North America, from the local South Shore Kennel Club event in Lunenburg to the giant Westminster show held in New York’s Madison Square Gardens.

“On the final night there are 15,000 people there and the seats cost $35,” says her husband. “It’s big business agrees Mrs. Clarke. The largest shows often involve up to 3,000 dogs, most of which have three people caring for them. There’s hotels, food, exhibitors, clubs . . . a whole industry surrounding it.”

With so much riding on these competitions, the Clarkes have witnessed some of the compulsive, win-at-any-cost behavior that’s given human, particularly children’s, beauty contests a bad name in recent years. But not so much. “The principle is to show the best dog for the future breeding of the breed,” she says, “and that’s different than Miss America.”

As to her own reasons for competing, Mrs. Clarke says it’s a combination of her desire to stay busy and the pride she can take in her dogs. A winning dog “just doesn’t happen.” “You have to work on it,” she says. “It takes a special person to make this kind of commitment,” adds Mr. Clarke.

Therapy Pooches

In addition to showing her Airedales, Mrs. Clarke is also a member of Paws Across America, an organization that screens, trains and certifies registered therapy dogs for “visitations” with seniors, special education students, chronic care and psychiatric patients.

“My dogs never did tricks so they’re not very exciting to children,” she explains. “But they’re popular with the elderly.” She also remembers one psychiatric patient who liked to brush her dogs’ teeth. “He had lost all his self-confidence and I would encourage him and tell him what a good job he was doing,” she recalls. Other people simply enjoy petting the animals or sharing stories about their own former pets.

Mrs. Clarke admits she must treat her show dogs differently than she does her dogs that are pets, and she does have both. For instance, “a show dog can’t be spoiled,” she says. “If you let them come in (to the house) and get comfy, it’s no treat to go to a show.” Still, they receive lots of attention, walks and love.

“A show dog is like a Miss America,” she concludes. “It has to have all the qualities. You may have one daughter who’s very attractive and can go in a beauty contest and another who’s lovely but can’t. There’s nothing wrong with her, it’s just something she can’t do.”

Joan and Bill at show with “Dallas”