Posts Tagged ‘training’


Dog Bite Facts:

  • Each year, more than 4.5 million people in the U.S. are bitten by dogs.
  • Almost 1 in 5 people bitten by dogs require medical attention. 
  • Every year, more than 800,000 Americans receive medical attention for dog bites; at least half of them are children.
  • Children are, by far, the most common victims of dog bites and are far more likely to be severely injured.
  • Most dog bites affecting young children occur during everyday activities and while interacting with familiar dogs.
  • Senior citizens are the second most common dog bite victims.

There are many things you can do to avoid dog bites, ranging from properly training and socializing your pet to educating your children on how – or if – they should approach a dog. Information and education are the best solutions for this public health crisis.

Dog bite facts provided by the American Veterinary Medical Association

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Are you expecting to get a new puppy for the holidays? Next to properly socializing your pup with other dogs and people, the most important thing you’ll do for your pet is housetraining it.

circus dogs vintage image graphicsfairy008b

Before you get started, consider the following:

  • Eight is the magic number: puppies should begin housetraining at 8 weeks of age.
  • Most puppies are unable to control elimination before they’re 8 weeks old. Their brains need time to develop the proper wiring and muscular control necessary to make housetraining a success.
  • At 8.5 weeks, puppies can mentally connect the potty location with the act of urinating or defecating, so this is the time to choose a location, be it lawn or pavement.
  • Since puppies develop a preference for their potty spot, teaching it first to go on newspaper may make it more difficult to get the puppy to go potty outdoors later.
  • Choose a location in the yard that will not be used for gardening, composting, or playing. This is especially important if the pup is still carrying worms or if its status has not been checked. 
  • You’ll need to clean up fecal matter immediately after the pup goes, to protect your family from puppy worms.


Housetraining a pet takes time; accidents will happen. Patience and persistence are key elements of training.

Don’t punish! Punishing a puppy that has an accident in the house will cause it to associate punishment with the act of elimination. This means it will be fearful to “do its business” whether indoors or out. Skip the punishment and instead focus on positive reinforcement.

Leaks happen, especially when the pup has been “holding it” for a long time. Don’t punish for leaks, since the pup has no control over this.  Pick the pup up and calmly bring it to its potty spot. Remember to praise it afterwards for a job well-done.

And did you know…

Puppies produce a lot of urine in a short amount of time, and they have small bladders – so they can’t hold urine for very long. A Yorkie’s bladder may be the size of a large grape! At this young age, pups should be taken out every one or two hours to eliminate.

Sniffing is part of the process, so let your pup sniff and explore its environment.

Coming up next:  Housetraining Your Puppy – Part 2
Resource:  “Canine Housetraining,” by Karen Overall MA, VMD, PhD, Dipl. ACVB, CAAB, in DVM Newsmagazine, November 2011 edition.

This article was originally posted on Nov. 21, 2011.

Image found at The Graphics Fairy.


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