House Training Your Pup

Step by Step Instructions for Success

So many times, a family brings their new member home with great hopes, only to be disappointed by the problems that can occur from improper house training. How many times have you seen a family with a new pet, and a few months down the road you hear they are looking to “re-home” Buster because they “can’t be trained”? The hard truth of the matter is that the owners were the ones who were not properly trained! We do not want this to happen to any of our precious pups, or to the family’s who receive them! We want you to be successful in training your boxer, and it is really quite simple, but it requires consistency, and commitment! Here are the steps you need to follow, please remember you must follow them all of the time, until your pup is completely trained (this usually takes a few months):

  1. Consistency- For this reason you must be sure that all family members know the rules and follow accordingly. Puppies need consistency, that’s means morning as well as night! You must show your puppy what to do each time you go out.
  2. Action confirmation- this simply means confirming with your pup that he is doing the right thing. Dogs do best with trigger words or commands (notice how Fido’s ears perk up when you mention the word “out”?) So come up with your trigger command and make sure everyone uses it (Go, Bathroom, Potty, etc.). First when you are approaching the door to take them out- “Go potty?” Then, when she is actually doing what you have commanded, you confirm it “Good girl! You are going potty!”
  3. Praise- This goes right along with step two. The final time you use the trigger word is when you are back inside. Give your puppy a small treat for their efforts and praise them using the trigger word again. “Good girl! You went potty!” Be sure this final praise is enthusiastic and performed immediately after you have brought them in from doing the deed. Dogs have short attention spans, and you need to be sure they understand why they are receiving the treat. You can also choose to take the treat out with you to give to them immediately after they go. Once they are completely trained the treats will not be a necessity.

Now those are the three steps, which are fairly easy. But it can go downhill quickly if you fail to remember these tips:

  1. Always supervise your dog- when you simply let him out the door you don’t really know if he is doing what he should, nor do you know what he is getting into.
  2. Choose one area for bathroom duty- this will not only help you when it comes time to clean up, it also brings in the consistency aspect, if she knows what is expected of her every time she is brought to that area it enforces your training.
  3. Let your boxer choose the perfect spot- allowing them enough leash to roam around a bit and find exactly where she wants to eliminate.
  4. Be patient- This is probably the hardest part for us to adhere to. We live in a society where we want everything to happen at a rapid pace. Some dogs need up to 20 minutes to get the job done! So if you find that your pup keeps “messing on the floor” even when you just brought him in, chances are it is because you didn’t allow enough time for him to relax and let things happen.
  5. Increasing time- the time that a puppy can hold his bladder/bowels will increase as he grows. A good rule of thumb is an hour per month beginning with 2 months=2 hours and going all the way up to 8 months=8 hours.
  6. Do not limit water- most people mistakenly think that if they withhold water it will keep their pup form urinating. This is not accurate and actually can be detrimental to your dog’s health. However, we do recommend making the evening mealtime about 2 hours prior to bed and allow your pup to go out and eliminate once or twice more before bedtime.
  7. Don’t make walk time into potty time- this is one of the biggest mistakes pet owners make. If you allow your pup to go to the bathroom during your walk time, then your pup will be confused as to when and where he is to go.

Rule of thumb for bathroom breaks- always take your boxer pup to the designated area at these times; right after waking up, right after being let out of his pen, right before bed, 15-20 minutes after eating, right before (or after) walks.