Training Your Minpin
Your new Minpin puppy may have already had some basic housebreaking training before you bring him home. If not, keep in mind that a puppy will need to relieve himself at least a half a dozen times a day. It up to you to determine when and where this should occur. Housebreaking is the first step to training your new Minpin and it begins as soon as you get him home. There are several different ways you can continue the housebreaking training.
- On command: For starters, your new puppy should be taken outside to relieve himself as soon after eating as possible. When their belly is full, it exerts pressure on the bladder and colon. This makes it the ideal time to take him out since he will be ready to relieve himself. You can also try to condition him to relieve him self on your command. By watching your puppy's behavior immediately before he urinates or defecates, you can train him to your command. Pick a word that would not be used in normal circumstances. When the puppy is just about to urinate, or when you see the sphincter about to open, say the command. In time, you'll be able to make him relieve himself on your command. Make sure that you praise him often when he does it right.
- Crating or Boxing: A dog's natural instinct is to not relieve himself in the same are that he sleeps in. You can use this instinct to your advantage. Locate a suitable sized box or crate (a large pet carrier also works very well) and for the first month or two that you have your new friend keep him in the box except for when you take him outside to relieve himself. If you take him out to play (which you will do) keep a close eye on him and be ready to take him outside at the first hint of him looking for a place to go to the bathroom. By doing this, he'll quickly learn to do his business outside.
Regardless of the method you use, remember to be patient and tolerant of mistakes. As with a human baby, don't be too harsh or mean when he does have an accident. Never rub his nose in it or spank him with a newspaper. You wouldn't spank a baby for going to the bathroom in his diaper would you?
Teaching your Minpin good manners takes a lot of patience on your part, and his. You can't expect him to become the perfect pet overnight. Like housebreaking, obedience training should begin as soon as the puppy is in his new home. Training sessions should be short but frequent - usually ten to fifteen minutes, three or four times a day. It's also better to have these sessions before the puppy eats. Nobody feels like exerting themselves after eating.
- Collar and Leash: Your new Minpin puppy needs to get used to a collar and leash as soon as possible. If he's very young, a thin choke-chain collar should be used. When he gets older, a larger, heavier collar should be used for training purposes. It's also a good idea to have a tag with his name and your phone number on it, just in case. At first, he'll probably try to get it off, but in a short period of time, he will become accustomed to it. Once he is comfortable with the collar, you can begin attaching the leash and trying to get him to walk with you. He will probably try to back away from you or simply sit down and refuse to budge. If a couple of sharp tugs on the leash doesn't get him to move, take the leash off and wait until the next session. In time, he will learn that you expect him to follow you. Keep in mind that a puppy has a short attention span and that patience on your part is the key in getting him to do what you want him to do.
- Giving Commands: Once you start giving your Minpin puppy commands, make sure you use short commands and make sure that you use the same command with the same meaning at all times. You also want to precede each command with his name. The key to command trainig is consistency. If you're not consistant, your puppy will become confused. If you say 'come' one time, and 'come here' the next, it will take much longer to train him. Keep in mind that patience is the key, no matter how many times it takes. A good way to teach him to come to you is by calling his name and saying come whenever you put his food dish down for a meal. Remember to reward him with praise anytime he does what you tell him.
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