A friend of mine recently got herself an 8 week old English Bulldog puppy.
He is a beautiful dog and will grow-up to be a fantastic family pet.
However, after a few days my friend called me up and said she had a problem.
Firstly, she lives in an apartment and was not sure how to toilet the English Bulldog.
Secondly, should she train him, and how would she do that? What else should she do?
The first thing I told my friend that she needs to start doing as soon as possible is to start training her English Bulldog.
I recommended that she start crate training him from the beginning. The dog should sleep in the crate every night.
This will get him used to the idea of sleeping in the crate,and reduce the effect of separation anxiety.
As the English Bulldog gets older he may continue to sleep in the crate ( obviously my friend would buy a bigger one).
Seperation anxiety isn’t just suffered by the dog.
After putting the puppy in it to sleep, she felt bad and took him out to sleep with her. This is NOT a good idea.
You must be clear in your actions, once you do something with a dog that involves training.
Dogs like this. You MUST follow through, no matter how bad you feel.
To help with the toilet issue a good idea is to take him for a walk to toilet before bed, and first thing in the morning.
If you can’t talk him for a walk, then take him outside for toilet instead.
This is a form of enforcement which is very effective. Of course, little puppies need to go toilet quite often, so it is a good idea to buy a large absorbent mat, or mats, that you can put in certain corners of the house or apartment.
It’s dedication on your part to train your dog to use those mats.
You need to watch his behavior and when he is acting like he needs to go, pick him up and put him on the mat.
The following is a list of five things that I suggested that my friend do to help her:
The work that goes into owning a puppy can be very stressful. The results from good training cannot be underestimated.
1) Exercise you dog everyday – Puppies have a lot of energy. Regular exercise does two things.
Firstly it establishes a routine – so make sure it is always about the same time. Secondly this helps get a lot of their energy out and it really does reduce their need to cause trouble at home (i.e. chew stuff).
2) Once he gets a little older, start bringing him to dog parks so that he will become very dog friendly right from the start.
The more contact dogs have with other dogs and people the better trained he will be, and there will be less issues when friends come to visit your apartment.
There is nothing worse than a dog that barks at EVERYTHING
3) Bring small children around him ASAP. This will help him get used to children’s smaller stature, as well as them tugging on his ears/tail, loud sudden noises that children make, etc.
It’s good to get your dogs exposes to all these things early on – before they become an 80lb solid mass of muscle with gigantic sharp teeth!
4) Start touching and petting his food while he is eating it.
Over time, your English Bulldog will allow you to take the food bowl away and pet him while he is eating without any resistance.
5) Correct your puppy only at the exact moment he’s done something wrong, not an hour later.
That way he will know what to expect from you the next time you correct him when he has done something wrong.
As I mentioned earlier, dogs like boundaries and dont respond well to confusion.
There is no point shouting at him about toileting on the carpet 1 hour after it has happened.
As soon as he starts to smell around and look for a place to toilet, put him on a leash and take him outside so that he can relieve himself.
If my friend follows these simple ideas, her English Bulldog will become a well-trained, extremely sociable dog that will love to be around other dogs, people and small children.
David Crocombe is a dog trainer and owner of a 6 month old puppy. To find out more details about Dog Training, head over to my Dog Training Secrets website and see a comparison of 3 different Dog Training packages.
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