Chocolate Labrador Retrievers- Stargate Kennels
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The crate can also be a tremendous help in housebreaking your puppy. Dogs do not like to soil their sleeping area. Even most young puppies show this behaviour. In my puppy pen, they all choose a corner for the "toilet" and use it, keeping the rest of the puppy pen reasonable clean. To use the crate as a potty training tool, whenever you let your puppy out of his crate after an extended period (2 hours or more), take him immediately out to where you want him to "go" and wait with him for results. Reward results with a "good boy", scratch the tummy, play a little and convey to him your pleasure. He will usually get the idea fairly quickly, and will start to give you little signals when he needs to go. You need to be paying attention when he does signal you, and take him out to his spot. The signal may be standing by the door, it may be turning around, nose to the ground several times and looking at you, it may be a whine or a bark. If you are paying attention and everything works right, you are home free!

For puppies from my kennel, another idea that may help is to put pine wood shavings in a cat litter box next to his crate, or maybe for hard cases, inside his crate. My puppies are accustomed to using shavings as their toilet area. I have had new owners report to me that they put the box with shavings down and puppy hopped right in and did his thing! In fact, it is a common behaviour here in my kennel that as soon as the pen is cleaned and new shavings put down, puppies immediately use them. If your puppy does indeed use them, then after a couple of days move the box next to the door. When he's used to using the box there, move it outside the door, and then pay close attention to him so you notice when he is looking for the box and can let him out. A dog door may be helpful at this stage as well. When he is used to going outside, put the shavings down on the ground in the area you want him to use, and it is likely you will have trained him to use a certain spot in the yard for his business. That means you will only have to pooper scooper one area!

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