House training is probably the least enjoyable part of bringing a new puppy into your household

House training is probably the least enjoyable part of bringing a new puppy into your household. You need to get this first part right from day one as you establish your relationship with your dog.

You will need to make sure that the pup understands from day one that it is not acceptable to make a mess indoors. Agree the basic set of commands with your family that will be used for your new springer. This will avoid confusion in the pup and make training easier and quicker. The first words (besides his name) you will be using when you bring him home will probably be along the lines of “Good Boy”, “No” and “Bad Boy”.

Obviously, younger puppies take time to develop control and the pup will tend relieve itself often and anywhere in the first few days as it gets used to a new environment, new people and lack of a mother. Tell-tale signs of an oncoming splurge are sniffing and circling.

As soon as you see these signs then straight away take the dog gently outside to an area you have set aside for him to mess. Once his job is over, praise him well. You will get annoyed from time to time when you get caught unawares by him, but try not to show it; things will get better in a couple of weeks.

If he does get caught out indoors and you only see it later, then it’s too late to scold him as he will not be able to link the earlier splurge with your current anger. Some owners put their dog’s nose in the splurge as a reminder, but I don’t believe in this approach.

In winter, you will not want the pup to get chilled. Just a quick out and in again and don’t forget the praise. Always reinforce good behaviour with praise.

You, too, need to get into a routine, so take the pup out to his place in the yard:

* When he wakes in the morning

* After he has slept

* After meals

* Any time you see him circling and sniffing in readiness

In the early days he will not get through the whole night without needing to go. Put some old newspapers around his basket. You can gradually move the papers so that he starts to head for the door when the urge comes on. Then, he will learn to associate the door with going outside to do his work.

Springer spaniels are really smart and he will soon learn to use the same place outside if you consistently lead him to his spot.

Get the children involved in cleaning up too, as they will learn to share responsibility for the pup and the importance of hygiene.

Check with your local pet store about getting a dedicated bin for pup waste disposal – most good pet stores sell them.

As the days and weeks pass, it will get easier as he begins to understand you and what is required, then you should be able to stop carrying him outside and just let him follow you.

Springers are intelligent, and don’t like to be in their own mess; your patience and persistence with him will pay dividends as he learns.

Before too long he will get used to the routine and save it up for his walk. Then, you will have to go prepared with plastic bags which you just slip over your hand and close over the droppings, a double knot and into the disposal. Easy, clean and your pup is housetrained!

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