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Housetraining and Crating

Published on Sunday, January 3, 2010 by admin

When people hear the term “house training,” they automatically assume potty training is being discussed. House training is actually training for the behaviors you find acceptable in your house and includes potty training. Ten rules of potty training are found in the next several pages.

The first step in house training a dog is to determine what is acceptable in your house and what isn’t. You need to develop one set of rules for the household and everyone must stick to them–dogs are not adept at discriminating between the rules of one person and another. Among the many questions that need answering are:

  • Is it okay for the dog to sleep on the furniture? Dogs with dominance problems have no business in prime sleeping spots but other dogs are fine with this arrangement.
  • Is it okay for the dog to be in the same room in which meals are being eaten?
  • Is there any room in the house that is off limits to the dog?
  • Will the dog be allowed messy chew toys in the house? On the carpet?
  • Is it okay for the dog to roughhouse in the house?

Discuss these questions with family members BEFORE you bring the dog home and enforce your rules from the instant your dog walks through the door. Because dogs live in a hierarchy, they are fine with different sets of rules for different dogs. You just need to be consistent and spend the time needed to make them clear.

The single most useful tool in the house training (and potty training) of your Rottweiler is a crate. The crate serves as the dog’s own quiet room, a place where your dog can go to get away from the hubbub of daily life. Children must be taught not to disturb a dog in its crate. Some dogs become possessive of their crates so have a crate for each dog and don’t expect them to share.

Crating a dog is not cruel or unjust, and is not a punishment to the dog. The crate is a safe haven for a dog because crates appeal to a dog’s its most basic denning instinct. Dogs den in close quarters to provide themselves with ability to meet a challenge from a single direction and to conserve heat (Meyer, 1986). Chose a crate in which your dog can stand comfortably without lowering his or her head. Your dog should also be able to turn around without bumping its nose or butt on the sides and should be able to lie full out without being cramped.

The crate provides you with a safe place to confine your dog when you can’t supervise properly. It gives you peace of mind to leave your dog at home while you shop or work because your crated dog will not injure him or herself or destroy your possessions. It gives you peace of mind during potty training since dogs rarely soil its den. Remember to potty a dog immediately after uncrating. Carry puppies directly to the potty area.

Put a blanket in your dog’s crate for comfort and put the crate in a quiet area in the busiest room in the house. Dogs do not want to feel isolated from their families even when they want quiet time for themselves. Crating will help your new dog adjust more quickly to your household. Any initial complaining on the part of your new dog doesn’t not likely result from the crate but of the actual adjustment. Don’t let a complaining dog out of a crate. Wait until the dog settles before releasing him or her. Rottweilers are so smart they’ll quickly learn that if they complain loudly and long enough you’ll relent and let it out. Don’t use the crate as punishment. Never put your dog in the crate when you are angry or directly after a scolding. Ask the dog to do something you know it can do, (e.g. sit) praise him for doing it and then crate the dog after the praising (even if you are angry).

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