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Housebreaking is the one part of puppy rearing that can - and will - make or break your relationship with your dog. When new puppy owners become disillusioned with their dogs, it typically is because of difficulties in housebreaking. Frustrations in housebreaking often lead to puppy spending more time outside and correspondingly less time inside. When outside, puppy becomes more independent, less a part of the human pack. This, in turn, makes the puppy - soon to become a dog - less responsive to human direction. And before you know it, the new puppy owner has an unruly 60 pound 6 month old dog that could care less what the owner thinks about anything. These dogs grow up to be abandoned, either literally when their owners drop them off at the park to manage their way through a very brief life on their own - or figuratively, living life in the backyard, digging holes, barking at every thing that moves, without ever becoming a true member of their human family. I am not sure which is worse.

I also believe that in the process of housebreaking, puppy learns whether you are trustworthy. That is, you as the leader of the pack, must first teach puppy what you want. Once that is accomplished - and only after that is accomplished - can you discipline puppy for misconduct. If you follow this guideline in housebreaking and in all other tasks, puppy will discover that you are consistent and fair in your discipline. This encourages learning and establishes the foundation for all that we are trying to accomplish with puppy.
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