Taking care of a new puppy is not as simple as you might think, and buying a dog without proper research beforehand can bite back at you quickly. Everyone knows you have to feed your puppy and you have to play with him. You wouldn’t think more of it.
What most people fail to see is how important vaccines are, and how costly they can be. Sure, you finish them in a few months but it means a lot of trips to the vet. As a bonus for you, you also have to socialize him early on, otherwise he will develop character deficits. Socializing a puppy can be a daunting task, especially if he hasn’t had his vaccines yet, and many people make mistakes in this department.
Even if you have made a few mistakes you can still bounce back with the proper conduit. Most of what your Labrador Retriever gets to be is what you teach him early on. But, by far the most important element in ensuring your success is housebreaking your dog.
How to housebreak your dog
If you don’t teach your new best friend not to pee in your house he won’t be your friend for long. The good news is it’s not so hard to do. The bad news it will probably take some time, and some patience.
The simple concept behind it is you prevent your dog from going to the bathroom inside the house and you reward him for going outside. For your dog, finding the bathroom is easy business, you just follow your nose. And when you follow your nose it’s hard to resist a place that screams “bathroom”.
So make sure you clean up any accidents to avoid repeat performances. As far as cleaning goes, don’t forget that ammonia and vinegar have very similar scents to urine, so it’s no surprise your Labrador Retriever will do it again, use baking soda instead.
To housetrain your puppy take him out every hour (if he’s very young even more often), before bedtime and first thing in the morning. Just reward him and praise him for going outside.
Useful facts you should consider
Dogs are reluctant to go potty where the pack lives (you). Marking your house is a passive deterrent for your Labrador Retriever. Marking the territory is easy, just play with your dog in each room for a few minutes a day. It may not completely stop accidents but it will make your Labrador Retriever a lot more reluctant to go inside.
On the same note, your Labrador Retriever likes to sleep in a clean area, so if you confine him to his sleeping quarters he will hold it as long as possible because he doesn’t want to stay in a soiled bed. If you don’t pay attention, eventually you know what happens.
Punishment after the deed is a very bad habit. You won’t solve anything with it. Dogs don’t make connections like people do. Punishing him after the fact is working against you. You’re not punishing him for his past mistake, you’re punishing him for whatever he was doing at the moment. This kind of unpredictable behavior will make him very fearful of you.
Housebreaking your dog is not a difficult concept. Yet there are many mistakes people do and that makes the process that much lenghtier. The important thing is to be patient and persevere, it will happen sooner or later.