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Peeing in Crate

I have a seven week old Vizsla male pup. I got him when he was only six weeks and am attempting to get him to love his Kennel (pet carrier). I sleep him in it at night hoping that he will get comfordable with being confined in it so that in the future it (the kennel) can be used for convenience. i.e. Sleeping in hotel rooms, cars rides, etc... He has urinated in the kennel every night and deficated in it last night. The first three nights I slept out in the car with the dog next to me in his kennel, he yelped loudly about an hour several times throughout each of the nights. During the day when he is tired and falls asleep I put him in the kennel, leaving the door open in hopes that it will further he liking to it. However, I am cautious to not associate displeasure in him through the kennel I want him to love. He does not seem to like it too much and I have to force him into it. Should I be handling this differently? Are my concerns valid and should I be concerned about anything else?

I am also concerned about what I should repriman him on at his age. When he bites the furniture or peoples hands I firmly yet humbly tell him "No." Is this O.K. or is he going to have negative vibes toward me for doing this? I cannot have him biting either people or the furniture. I am also aware that he is biting because his teeth hurt and he is curious and wants to play, so when he is biting I give him a sock or braided rope to chew on instead. What is going on in his mind at his age and what should I be cautious of? My greatest fear is that I will screw up part of his training and he will learn bad habbits. I will be hunting him and also want him to see me as his buddy as well as his boss. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, thank you for your time and consideration.

Justin, Santa Barbara Ca.

How do I potty train?

At night or when we cannot supervise the indoor house pup, we put young pup in a kennel that is not too large of a kennel as they will potty in one end and lay in the other.

As they get older, we move them up to a larger kennel. (A portable kennel/crate. Brands available are Vari-kennel, Pet Porter, etc.). A small crate only costs around 15 dollars.

It is important that you do not put anything absorbent into the crate so that if they do have an accident, they are uncomfortable until you can get it cleaned up. Move up in size with crates as the pup grows for more stubborn trainees. Most will learn with the first small crate that you train with.

Place chew hooves/chew toys in the kennel with pup for boredom purposes. The best chews we've found that last are chew hooves and chew knuckles.

Try not to let pup stay in the kennel more than a couple of hours without taking him out in the beginning phases of training. We always take pup out to potty just before lights out. That way he can go to sleep. When sleeping, he doesn't think about pottying. If pup starts to become restless bark, whine, or paw in the night, get up and take him outside and watch pup potty before bringing pup back inside. Be consistent. Once a pup learns to lie in its own waste, it's even harder to house train. If you get up in the middle of the night and he wakes up, go ahead and take pup out to potty. Teach everyone in the house what to do.

When supervising pup you need to identify his signs for wanting to go out or give him one.

How to give him a sign? We learned this trick from another Brittany owner and it works! Get a small bell and attach it to an eyehook at the door he uses to go out and potty (about 6 inches off the floor and backed with a protective piece of wood to prevent damage to the door trim/wall). Every time you start to put pup out, first take pups front paw and lightly ring the bell which is by the door. Be consistent. If pup is playing and accidentally bumps into the bell, stop what you are doing and take him out. This is sort of like what you learned in college about training mice to flip a switch for a reward. I've had Brittanys learn in as little as three days, but the average is about a couple of weeks. No matter how the bell gets rung, take him out. This is a good project on a Friday evening after work. That way, by Sunday, you've had two good full days of training. Again, teach everyone in the house what to do and be consistent.

Puppy Biting

This is a common question with multiple remedies. We pop him on the nose with our finger and say NO! He may think it's play and respond with more aggressiveness. Respond in kind.

Another way is to use a rolled up newspaper and smack his bottom and say NO! Yet another way is to spray a mist of clean water in his face and say NO! You get the idea. If you've tried the less aggressive methods (redirection of chewing and so forth) you must step up the punishment one notch, but not too harsh as he is just a puppy. MOST of all, be consistent.

Always redirect his biting to his favorite chew toy such as rawhides/knuckle bones/hooves, etc. Nip this unwanted behavior in the bud now or it will worsen.

He is teething so the chews are important, 24 hours a day.

Best regards,

Dave Jones
Chief's Brittanys
Guided Upland Bird Hunts, Gundog Training, Brittany puppies on occasion

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