What are other options of discipline then yelling and smacking?

by Andrea
(Springfield, MO)

I have 2-9 week old beagle pups. Im trying to housebreak them and I know yelling and smacking are not positive ways of discipline. What are other options?

Our Response

Hi Andrea – sorry for the late reply – I have been snowed under with questions! Yes yelling, shouting and smacking your puppy is never appropriate when puppy and dog obedience training. Ok so lets get started and give you some basic tricks and tips to help you in your puppy training routine.

Beagles are fantastic dog’s but they can sometimes be a little stubborn when housetraining – (housebreaking). However, follow the steps below and you should be fine.

1. Start straight away with basic dog training commands – such as ‘Sit’ ‘Stay’, etc as this will help you bond and strenghthen your relationship.

2. Using a leash, treat (reward based training methods or positive reinforcement are much more successful), and crate are the best tools that you can use when housetraining a new puppy.

3. Start by establishing a routine – feed your puppy at the same time every-day and learn to anticipate when he or she wants a poop or pee i.e when your puppy first wakes up, after play-time, after eating, before bed and first thing in the morning.

4. Use the crate as a training tool and not as a punishment. The crate should be big enough for your puppy/dog to stand up and turn around in. Not so big that he or she can go to one end of the crate and poop their and still keep clean. Dogs and puppies naturally want to keep there sleeping area clean as it’s in their instinct to keep their bedding area clean – they were trained this by thier mum.

5. Keep your puppy in the crate when you are unavailable to supervise him or her. Supervision is very important as you need to keep an eagle eye on your puppies as soon as they look like they are about to have an accident take them outside.

6. Remember that puppies don’t realise that they are supposed to potty outside – they are not vindictive they don’t realize that your new carpet is ‘new’ and not to be messed on. YOU need to show your puppy where they are supposed to potty.

7. Start by attaching a leash to your puppy (put the other puppy in the crate). Put a cue on the exercise – ‘Potty Time’ or something – and use this same comamnd every-time. Take your puppy outside and give your pooch an allotted amount of time. When your puppy is about to potty – say ‘Go Poop’. Again – use the same cue every-time – this will keep your dog or puppy focused and not confused with different cues.

8. As soon as your puppy has pooped make a really big deal of it and give him a treat. Now have some play-time and take your puppy back inside. If your puppy doesn’t go in the allotted time – take him inside and place him in the crate and wait fifteen minutes before trying again. Remember, by establishing a routine, supervising your puppy and knowing when your puppy is more likely to potty (based on your feeding routing and other previously mentioned factors), you will always be one step a head. Remember, though your puppy will still have accidents so expect this. Make sure that you clean the area thoroughly so that the smell doesn’t trigger your puppy to potty in the same place.

9. Patience, consistency, fairness and reward based training methods will make sure that your training program is successful.