You will soon learn the potty habits of your dog. However, take your dog out when he gets up in the morning, after he eats, before he needs to go to bed and after long naps. Puppies will require more frequent trips, but most adult dogs will only have to go out three or four times a day. Some dogs will go to the door and bark when they want to be let out, and others will nervously circle around. Watch and learn from your dog’s signs.
Of course, crates are a major help in house-training, as most dogs will not want to dirty their living quarters. Introduce the crate as soon as he comes home so he learns that this is his own special bedroom. This is best accomplished with some tasty treats. For the first day or two, toss a tiny treat into the crate to entice him to go in. Pick a crate command, such as “kennel,” “inside” or “crate,” and use it every time he enters.
Your puppy should sleep in his crate from his very first nightdo not allow the puppy to sleep in your bed with you. One of your reasons for buying a dog should not be to have a warm furry body to sleep next to. To a dog, on the bed means equal, which is not a good idea this early on as you are trying to establish your leadership. Don’t spoil your Boston. Even if he whines at first and objects to the confinement, be firm and stay the course. If you release him when he cries, you provide his first life lessonif I cry, I get to go to bed with mommy (heres a lesson in parenting, too).
A better scheme is to place the crate next to your bed at night for the first few weeks. Your presence will comfort him, and you’ll also know if he needs a midnight potty trip. Make a practice of placing your puppy in his crate for naps, at nighttime and whenever you are unable to watch him closely. Not to worry—he will let you know when he wakes up and needs a potty trip.
Despite its many benefits, crate use can be abused. The crate is not a prison. You cannot use it to punish the puppy one minute and then cheerfully announce “crate time!” and expect the puppy to willingly run over to the Puppy Penitentiary. Keep the association with the crate happy, positive and fun. Also, do not overuse the crate. Puppies under 12 weeks of age should never be confined for more than two hours at a time, unless, of course, they are sleeping. A general rule of thumb is three hours maximum for a 3-month old pup, four to five hours for a 4- to 5-month-old, and no more than six hours for dogs over 6 months of age. If you’re unable to be home to release the dog, arrange for a relative, neighbor or dog-sitter to let him out to exercise and potty.
Some Boston owners prefer to papertrain their dogs, even though crates are still used to a lesser extent. If you prefer to papertrain your Boston puppy, the routine is basically the same. Assign an out-of-the-way elimination place and cover it with newspaper. Take your puppy to the designated papered area on schedule. Use the specified potty word, and praise when he does his business. Do not use the area for any other purpose except potty breaks. Keep the area clean. You can place a small piece of soiled paper on the clean paper to remind puppy why he’s there. His nose will tell him what to do.
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