Your dog's training should also include certain hygiene habits that will help prevent behavioral problems and the proliferation of pathogens in the home. Here's a 3 steps guide to help you train your dog in good hygiene habits.
3 basic steps for teaching good hygiene habits to your dog
Ideally, you should start teaching these hygiene habits to your dog when he's still a puppy. But if you've decided to adopt an adult dog, it's also possible to educate and socialize it with patience and affection.
In both cases, remember to use positive reinforcement to stimulate their learning, and start educating them from the moment they arrive home.
Step 1: Define Allowed and Prohibited Home Spaces
By the time your dog arrives home, it will be critical to determine what your dog's permitted and prohibited locations will be. We're not just talking about where your dog will or won't be able to take care of his needs, but also about the regions of the home that he will be able to frequent freely.
Of course, the rules of each house are determined by those who live in it. In other words, it is your choice to define what the rules will be when they are presented to your best friend. The important thing is to transmit these rules clearly and objectively, so that your dog understands how he should behave in his new home.
An example to consider: will your dog be able to get on the couch or on the bed? If the answer is no, then remember to teach him that these places are not allowed, and which regions of the home he can freely frequent.
Step 2: Determine your meal times
This is one of the most important aspects when teaching hygiene habits to a dog. Your pet needs to understand what his meal times are and when he should respect our feeding times. It is also essential to teach your pet not to look for food in the trash.
Although a dog may seem tender asking for food at the foot of the table, it is not advisable to reinforce this behavior; it is necessary to avoid bad habits from the beginning.
Nor should we offer food or rewards to our dog to stop him from engaging in unwanted behavior, such as excessive barking. Almost always, this leads to unconscious training, as the animal assimilates that it is rewarded for misconduct.
Ideally, divide the total amount of food your dog eats per day into two or three feedings. In this way, we prevent your friend from going many hours without eating and being tempted to rummage through garbage or closets.
Step 3: Train Your Dog to Poop in a Designated Area
One of the most important hygiene habits is to teach your dog to poop in the right place. To do this, we first have to define whether we want the dog to poop in the street or in a certain space of the home.
We advise you to train your dog to do his needs in the street. This allows you to maintain better hygiene at home and is also an excellent exercise for your friend's mind.
How to train a dog to poop and pee in the street?
Before you start teaching your dog to do his needs on the street, it will be essential to complete his first cycle of vaccinations. This usually happens when the dog completes its first three or four months of life.
During this period, we can take advantage to get our dog used to walking with his harness or collar. In our own house we will make some small walks, and we will teach the dog not to pull the leash and walk in a balanced and calm way.
When the time comes, we start by setting the times of the walks to the street. Remember that it is essential to establish a routine for your dog to assimilate and understand that these are the times to do their needs.
During walks, we should always let the dog sniff freely, express itself and interact with other dogs. Every time the dog urinates or defecates in the street, we offer a reward to reinforce this behavior.
Even if your dog has already learnt to do his business on the street, we advise you to leave a 'park' or 'bathroom' at his disposal at home. This is especially true if the animal has to stay at home alone for more than four or five hours.
Excessive retention of urine can lead to urinary tract problems, as well as being very uncomfortable. Therefore, it is best to leave an absorbent towel or newspaper where the dog can take care of himself.