SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – House training your puppy, that’s the latest topic on Animal Update with Dr. Jack Aldridge, Director of Veterinary Services at the San Francisco SPCA.

Plenty of people adopted puppies over the holidays, and many need hints about house training the newest members of the family.

“House training is probably the number one concern of new dog owners. Now, some adult dogs will need a refresher house breaking course when they’re adopted into a new home, but with a puppy, you’re starting from scratch,” said Aldridge.

KCBS’ Jeff Bell Reports:

What’s the best way to go about it?

“Well, you should stick to a strict schedule for eating and going outside. And go to the same spot every time so they’ll learn to recognize the bathroom area,” advised Aldridge. “Give them a consistent command like potty or hurry up, every time your puppy eliminates outside, lavish him with praise and give him a treat. And if your puppy doesn’t go when you take him out, simply bring your puppy back inside and place him in a confined carrier or crate and wait 3 – 5 minutes and then take your puppy back outside to try again.”

Accidents may very well happen.

“Well, learn to recognize the signs that he needs to go outside. Circling, restlessness, sniffing. Interrupt mistakes immediately with a sharp sound or fast verbal command, catch him as he starts to go, not afterwords and hustle him outside and wait for at least 5 minutes, praising him for just being outside.”

“You should never punish your dog for a house training mistake,” stressed Aldridge. “Whether he made the mistake an hour ago or ten seconds ago, it’s too late to correct it. He won’t understand why you’re angry and punishing him could make him scared of you or even become aggressive. Just clean up the spot and apply an odor neutralizer and remember, to be patient. Most puppies have accidents during house training. But practice makes perfect.”

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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