Tips for Keeping your Golden Retriever Out of the Trash

Last Updated: May 30, 2017 | Posted In: Training

Golden retriever puppy run from front viewEveryone knows that dogs love to eat and the Golden Retriever is no exception. There is a difference between a dog scarfing down his dinner, however, and digging through the trash can for scraps. Not only is this behavior undesirable, but it could also be dangerous for your dog if he eats something that is toxic to dogs. Keep reading to learn more about why dogs dig through the trash and how you can stop your Golden Retriever from doing it.

Why Do Dogs Eat Out of the Trash?

There are a number of theories regarding the reason that dogs have a tendency to eat out of the trash and one of these theories is linked to the history of dogs and their domestication by humans. Most experts agree that dogs were domesticated several thousand years ago from wild wolves. Before wolves became fully domesticated into the modern dog, they would live close to human villages in hopes of scavenging food. To these wolves, the things that were regarded as trash and unfit to eat, were simply food. These instincts may still be present in the modern dog.

There is also the idea that digging in the trash is like a game for a dog – he may be following an interesting scent or looking for something to chew on. Digging in the trash can also be an attention-seeking behavior for dogs if they learn that getting into the garbage means that their owner will drop what he is doing and pay attention to him – maybe even trying to take the item away (your dog might think of this as a game of keep away). By chasing your dog around the house, you are actually reinforcing this type of behavior and giving him exactly what he wants.

Teaching Your Golden to Stay Out of the Garbage

When it comes to keeping your Golden Retriever out of the trash, there are several simple things you can do. The most obvious solution is to keep your trash can in a cupboard or pantry where your dog cannot get into it – putting a tight-fitting lid on the trash can may also do the trick. In case your dog knocks the trashcan over, the lid should remain in place so the trash doesn’t spill out. Avoid trash cans that have swinging lids because your dog can simply reach his head through the opening and he might get stuck. Smart dogs like the Golden Retriever have also been known to learn how to use the step pedal on certain types of trash cans.

In addition to taking physical steps to keep your dog out of the trash, you should also do a little bit of extra training to further curb your Golden’s trash-seeking behavior. The best way to do this is to teach your dog a “Leave It” command. Start by holding a treat in one hand and show it to your dog. When he notices it say, “Leave It,” then close your fist and turn it upside down. Your dog may try to get at the treat but wait for him to look at you or to look away – as soon as he does, say “Good” and give him the treat. Repeat this sequence until your dog consistently looks at you or away from your hand when you say “Leave it”. Once he learns this command you can work with him so he learns to follow the command in other situations such as when he starts getting into the trash.

It is important to realize that keeping your Golden Retriever out of the trash is not just a matter of curbing negative behavior – it is also about keeping your dog away from potentially dangerous foods. It may take some time to completely curb this behavior but the more you work with your dog, the more progress he will make.

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The Basics of Hunt and Field for Golden Retrievers

Last Updated: April 11, 2017 | Posted In: Training

Golden Retrievers-huntingGolden Retrievers make wonderful family pets because they are a very friendly, gentle, and loving breed. What you may not realize, however, is that the Golden Retriever is also a very talented hunting breed – this breed was developed as a gundog and retriever. If you want to teach your dog how to use his innate hunting skills, consider training him for hunt and field.

Training Tips for the First Year

Although Golden Retrievers are talented hunting dogs, it takes time to train them properly for hunt and field. Before you even think about starting your dog with hunt and field training, however, you need to do a lot of work during the first year to prepare him for this type of training. General obedience training and socialization are both incredibly important – they set the foundation for the hunt and field training that will come later on down the line. Your Golden Retriever needs to trust and respect you, so you should take your time in teaching him basic obedience (things like Sit, Stay, and Come). You should also teach your Golden Retriever to give you his attention when you call his name. Although being an effective water retriever requires some degree of independence, you still need your dog to look to you for direction, both during training and in the field.

Basic Hunt and Field Training Tips

Once your Golden Retriever has some basic obedience under his belt (he should be properly socialized as well), you can start thinking about taking your hunt and field training to the next level. For the Golden Retriever, one of the most important skills your dog needs to have is being able to come on command. This is an important aspect of basic obedience training but you will need to take things to the next level by teaching your dog to come when you call even in the face of distraction. Out in the field, your dog will need to respond to commands even when shotguns are going off and birds are falling from the sky. Not only is it a matter of obedience in this case, but also a matter of keeping your dog safe.

In addition to teaching your Golden Retriever when to stay by your side, you also need to teach him when and how to actually do the retrieving. You will need to work with your dog to teach him not only how to fetch, but how to bring back the bird and to drop it when you tell him to. For many dogs like the Golden Retriever, teaching your dog to chase and pick up the object is the easy part – the hard part is getting your dog to bring the item to you instead of running off with it and, when he does, to drop it. It will take a good bit of time and training for your Golden Retriever to learn and master these commands so be patient and consistent. The more often you train and the more consistently you reward your dog for doing what you want him to do, the faster he will learn.

Training your Golden Retriever for hunt and field is not something you can do over the weekend or even over the summer – it takes years for dogs to become master hunters. The key is to start early and to make sure your dog has a firm foundation of obedience training before you begin. Then, just make the training sessions fun and keep the rewards coming!

Photo credits: Franco Vannini/Flickr

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Tether Training Tips for Your Golden Retriever

Last Updated: March 3, 2017 | Posted In: Training

Golden Retriever tetherThe Golden Retriever is a gentle and mild-mannered dog but, like all dogs, they can be a little mischievous while they are puppies. You never know what your puppy might get into if you don’t keep an eye on him which is why many Golden Retriever owners utilize tether training. Placing your dog on a tether will help to keep him out of trouble without you having to confine him to his crate.

What is Tether Training for Dogs?

When you start housetraining your Golden Retriever puppy, you probably make use of a crate in order to keep him from having an accident in the house when you cannot supervise him closely. As your dog gets older, however, he will gain more control over his bladder and bowels so he may not need to be confined to the crate. It is still a good idea, however, to keep him in one particular area so he doesn’t wander around the house getting into trouble – that is where tether training comes in. By attaching your Golden’s collar to a tether you can limit his range without fully confining him.

The term “tether training” means different things to different people. One interpretation involves limiting the dog’s ability to roam, as described previously, but there is another meaning for the term “tether training”. The second interpretation for this type of training involves teaching your dog to walk or run on a leash (or tether) without having to hold the leash yourself. Instead, the tether wraps around your waist, leaving your hands free. Some dog owners even keep their dogs tethered to their bodies in the house to keep their dogs out of trouble.

Simple Tips for Tether Training Your Dog

If you want to tether train your Golden Retriever, your best bet is to start while your puppy is young. Puppies are highly impressionable during the first few months of life so this is the best time to teach them new things – it is just part of socializing your puppy. If you don’t start tether training early, your adult dog could be confused by the tether or he might become anxious about being restrained. The key to success with tether training is to start early and to get your dog used to the tether before you actually start using it for whatever your intended purpose may be.

To get your dog acquainted with the tether, simply attach the tether to your Golden Retriever’s collar then praise and reward him. Start off by standing right next to him and then, after a few repetitions, take a step back. Keep working with your dog until he remains calm while you move as far away as the length of the tether will allow. Once your Golden gets used to being on the tether you can start using it for walks and you can use it in the house to keep your dog in a certain area while you cannot physically supervise him. You can even keep your dog tethered to your body when you are at home, if you choose to. Just remember to keep praising and rewarding your dog for good behavior on the tether.

When your Golden Retriever puppy is still young you may find that he has a tendency to get into anything and everything. One way to keep your puppy out of trouble is to keep him tethered when you cannot watch him yourself. Tether training can also be a great way to teach your puppy how to walk or run on the leash without you having to hold it.

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Getting Your Golden Retriever into Tracking/Scent Training

Last Updated: January 26, 2017 | Posted In: Training

Golden Retriever into TrackingThough many people consider the Golden Retriever to be the ultimate family pet, these dogs were actually developed for retrieving waterfowl. The Golden Retriever breed is also highly talented as a tracking breed with proper training. If you are looking for a fun way to build a stronger bond with your dog, or if you are looking for something to give him a little extra exercise, consider tracking or scent training for your Golden Retriever.

What is Tracking or Scent Training?

Tracking or scent training is exactly what it sounds like – it involves teaching your Golden Retriever to follow a scent trail. A dog’s nose is up to 10,000 times stronger than the human nose, depending on the breed, which makes your dog’s nose one of his strongest tools. Because your Golden Retriever already has the tools he needs to follow a scent trail, tracking or scent training really just involves teaching your dog how to utilize those tools effectively in a competition setting. When it comes to tracking and scent training, there are different skills which come into play. You can teach your Golden Retriever to follow a track or a trail on the ground, to follow a scent on the air, or to identify objects that have been scented. Each of these skills takes time and training to develop, but the Golden Retriever is a very smart and trainable breed which is why they make such good tracking dogs.

Tips for Getting Started with Tracking/Scent Training

There are a number of different ways to go about getting your Golden Retriever started with tracking and scent training. To teach your dog to follow a scent trail on the ground, use the following training sequence:

  1. Cut up a couple of hot dogs into 1-inch pieces and place a few of them on the ground in your backyard.
  2. Use your foot to step on the pieces, mashing them into the grass.
  3. With the hotdog scent on your shoe, walk in a straight line away from your Golden Retriever.
  4. Drop a piece of hotdog every couple of feet, moving a total of 20 feet away.
  5. At the end of the trail, drop one of your dog’s favorite toys so he has something to work toward.
  6. Place a piece of hotdog on top of the toy then go back to where your dog is.
  7. Encourage your Golden Retriever to sniff the area where the trail starts and praise him when he stars to follow it.
  8. Follow your dog as he follows the scent trail but don’t lead him – let him follow the trail with his nose until he reaches the end.

By using this type of training sequence you can quickly teach your Golden Retriever to follow a scent trail using food rewards. As your dog gets used to tracking you can start making the trail a little more difficult by adding corners, going over obstacles, and dropping objects along the way.

Training your Golden Retriever for tracking can be a fun and exciting challenge for the both of you. Not only will your dog be learning a new skill, but the two of you will be spending time together developing your bond or friendship. The better your dog gets at tracking, the more difficult you can make the trail – your dog may even get good enough to compete in tracking competitions!

Photo credit: Franco Vannini/Flickr

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Teaching Your Golden Retriever to Leave It

Last Updated: November 23, 2016 | Posted In: Training

Teaching Your Golden Retriever to Leave ItAs mild-mannered and gentle as the Golden Retriever is, all dogs have a bit of a mischievous side at times. If your Golden Retriever sees something he wants, he won’t hesitate to do what is necessary to get it. Sometimes that means digging through the trash, jumping up on the kitchen table, or taking a toy away from your child. The most effective way to deal with these behaviors is to teach your Golden to follow a “Leave It” command.

Why is the “Leave It” Command Useful?

The way dogs explore their world and learn about new things is by using their mouths – this is why puppies have a tendency to chew on anything and everything. Though this behavior is most common in puppies, older dogs do it as well and it can lead to some unpleasant situations if your dog gets something nasty in his mouth and you have to try to take it away. Whether your dog is chewing on something he shouldn’t have or eating something he shouldn’t be, getting the item away from him can be tricky – especially if your dog thinks he is playing a game of keep away. The easiest way to get something away from your dog without having to chase him all over the house is to teach him the “Leave It” command. This command can work to stop your dog from chewing on something that isn’t a toy, to keep him from eating something potentially harmful, or even to stop him from exhibiting an undesired behavior. It is all just a matter of training.

Teaching Your Dog to Leave It

There are a number of different ways you can go about teaching your Golden Retriever a “Leave It” command but the ultimate goal is to have your dog transfer his attention from the object of his desire to you when you issue the command. To do so, start by holding a treat in one hand with your palm up and hold it in front of your dog until he notices it. When he does, immediately say “Leave It” and close your fist then turn it upside down. Your dog will probably nudge at your hand and try to get at the treat – let him do this for as long as it takes for him to get bored. As soon as he turns his attention away from the treat (ideally wait until he makes eye contact with you), tell him “Good dog” and give him the treat as a reward.

Repeat this training sequence in this order until he consistently responds to the “Leave It” command by turning his attention away from the treat. The next step is to repeat the sequence without closing your fist so your dog can see the treat. After your dog masters this phase you can start putting the treat on the ground in front of you, moving it closer to or further away from your dog to reinforce his obedience to the command. Eventually you may even be able to place the treat on your dog’s nose and have him wait for you to say “okay” until he eats it.

Once your dog masters the “Leave It” command you can use it in a variety of different situations to redirect your dog’s attention from something he shouldn’t be eating or doing. You can also use the “Leave It” command to stop your dog if he is exhibiting an undesired behavior like playing too rough. Use the command in a variety of different situations so your dog learns to give you his attention each and every time you use it.

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Tips for Overly Friendly Golden Retrievers

Last Updated: October 26, 2016 | Posted In: Training

Overly Friendly Golden Retrievers

The Golden Retriever is consistently ranked as the second most popular breed in the country according to American Kennel Club (AKC) registration statistics. Part of what makes this breed so popular is its friendly nature. Golden Retrievers love people and they make fast friends with strangers. While this can sometimes be a good thing, it could also put your dog into a potentially dangerous situation if the stranger he makes friends with means him harm. Keep reading to learn how to protect your Golden Retriever from this kind of situation.

The Downside of Your Golden’s Friendly Personality

The Golden Retriever is naturally a people-oriented breed and they have the ability to get along with anyone and everyone they meet. Usually this is a good thing but it could also get your dog into trouble one day if you are not careful. There are people in the world who steal dogs and sell them for a profit – many of these dogs are never reunited with their owners and many of them end up as bait for dog fighting rings or as test subjects in research facilities. If your Golden has an overly trusting nature, there is nothing to stop him from walking right up to a thief and being taken away.

Your Golden Retriever’s trusting nature could also get him into trouble even when you are around. Goldens have a tendency to become overly excited when they meet new people or other dogs and that excitement could keep them from noticing a potentially dangerous situation. For example, if your Golden sees another dog across the street that he wants to greet, he could run right out into traffic without even realizing the danger. There is also the risk that your dog might follow the commands of someone else over your commands and that should never be the case.

Tips for Training Your Dog to Only Listen to You

Many Golden Retriever owners express concern about their dogs being overly friendly around strangers, worrying that it might get them into a dangerous situation. It is a fine line to walk, however, between being friendly and being too friendly. The last thing you want is for your dog to spike toward the opposite end of the spectrum, learning to fear strangers. Instead of trying to teach your dog to be warier around strangers, focus instead on reinforcing his training so that he listens and responds to your commands over the commands of anyone else. Teaching your Golden Retriever basic obedience is one of your most important tasks as a dog owner but you should seriously consider taking your training a few steps further than just the basics.

The first step is, of course, to train your Golden to respond to the Sit, Down, Come, and Stay commands – work with your dog in all kinds of environments to reinforce his mastery of these commands so he responds appropriately each and every time. One thing you might try is teaching your dog to Sit when he is approached by someone other than you. Training your dog to sit and then wait for you to release him means that even if he is approached by a stranger, he will still look to you to tell him what to do. Teaching your dog to do this is actually fairly simple, you just have to be consistent about commanding your dog to Sit when someone approaches him and reward him for doing so. Wait for a few seconds then tell the dog “Okay” and let the person pet him at that point.

You cannot change your Golden Retriever’s friendly nature, but you can do some extra training keep him from becoming too friendly with strangers. The more you work with your dog, the stronger your bond will become and the more likely he will be to listen to your commands anyway – just be sure to reward him for doing so!

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Tips for Correcting Your Excited Golden Retriever’s Greeting Habits

Last Updated: September 21, 2016 | Posted In: General, Training

Greeting HabitsThe Golden Retriever is a breed that is naturally friendly and full of life. Unfortunately, this often correlates with over-excitement, especially when new people come to the door. If your Golden Retriever has developed a bad habit of jumping up or barking at new people, you may need to work with him a little bit to reduce these behaviors.

Why Do Dogs Jump Up on People?

If you have ever visited the home of a fellow dog owner, there is a good chance that you were greeted by their dog in a very enthusiastic and energetic way. Even if your friend tries to hold the dog back, he may have just been too excited to contain himself and that excitement frequently manifests in the form of jumping, licking, and barking. Seeing this kind of behavior in someone else’s dog may make you realize that your own dog has the same issue. What you may not realize, however, is that you probably played a role in reinforcing that behavior. Think back to when your Golden Retriever was a puppy – how did you react when he got excited to see you? You probably returned that excitement by speaking to him in a positive tone, petting him, or even picking him up. In doing so, you reinforced his over-excited behavior and taught him that jumping up and barking at people gets him the attention he craves. To curb this behavior, you will have to work with him to teach him that this behavior won’t get him what he wants.

Teaching Your Dog Not to Jump Up

The key to curbing undesired behavior in dogs like the Golden Retriever is to stop rewarding the dog for exhibiting that behavior and, if applicable, to teach him that said behavior does not get him what he wants. To teach your dog not to jump up on people when they enter the house, you may need to enlist the help of a friend and work through a training sequence to teach your dog that he will only receive attention when he is calm. Start by asking your friend to step outside then stand with your dog on the other side of the door. Have your friend ring the doorbell and as soon as he starts to get excited, tell him to Sit. If he complies, praise him and reward him with a treat. If he doesn’t, repeat the sequence until he gets the hang of it.

Once your dog has learned to sit when the doorbell rings you can actually have your friend enter the house and start working on your dog’s overly excited greeting behavior. Have your friend step into the room – your dog will probably make a beeline for him and start jumping up. Instruct your friend to freeze as soon as the dog starts jumping up and to turn around, ignoring the dog. Your friend should avoid engaging with the dog in any way until he calms down, at which point your friend can turn back around and pet him calmly as a reward. Repeat this training sequence until your dog learns that jumping and barking will not get him the attention he craves – he will only get that attention when he remains calm.

Curbing your dog’s overly excited greeting habits may take some time, but if you are consistent with it you will be successful. You can also adapt this training sequence for other situations, making sure to only reward your Golden Retriever for the behaviors you desire and to stop reinforcing bad behaviors by giving your dog what he wants.

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Exercise Ideas for Retrievers

Last Updated: August 26, 2015 | Posted In: Training

Exercise Ideas for RetrieversRetrievers have an abundance of energy and they require daily exercise in order to live a well-balanced and healthy life. Dog owners may wonder what types of exercises are best suited for their Retriever. Before you introduce any new activity to your dog, make sure he or she is healthy and able to participate in physical activity. A quick visit to the veterinarian may be necessary if your dog has not received a check up recently. Once you have the veterinarian’s approval to introduce exercise into your dog’s lifestyle, try the ideas listed below.

  • Walking, Running – Walking and running is always the most convenient for of exercise. You can choose to go outdoors to walk around your neighborhood and allow your Retriever to be entertained by all of the other dogs you come in contact with. Or, you can train your dog to walk on a treadmill indoors. This option is helpful for those who live in areas that are affected by harsh winter or summer weather and is unsafe for your dog to be exposed to the elements.
  • Swimming – Retrievers enjoy swimming. While most Retrievers are strong swimmers, others may need a little bit of help from a life vest. This will allow them to float along and swim when they feel like it. Make this activity a family event and invite your dog to join you in the pool, lake or ocean as you all splash around and swim.
  • Play Fetch – Retrievers love to fetch items and return to their owners. Use this natural ability to your advantage and create a fun game out of it. Your Retriever will enjoy spending time with you as well as benefit from the exercise. Choose a favorite toy, Frisbee, stick or ball for your dog to fetch. Once your Retriever looks tired, it is best to stop, otherwise he or she can become over heated.
  • Agility Training – This is an excellent source of exercise and also allows you to bond with your dog. You don’t have to enter your dog into agility course competitions to enjoy this exercise. You can either purchase agility equipment or use safe items that you have around your home and yard. Create your own agility course in your own backyard and train your dog to go through the course. Always reward your Retriever with a healthy treat at the end of the course for a job well done.
  • Play Dates – Set up a play date with another dog owner and allow your dog’s to play together. Meet at a park or fun location so your Retriever can run, jump, play and interact with other dogs. The exercise he or she receives is fun, plus it allows you to relax while both of the dogs play.

Retrievers are generally ready to participate in any activity. Remember to keep the exercise routine fun, exciting and interesting. This will not only benefit your Retriever, but you also since you have to be the one to provide the exercise opportunities. Enjoy these exercise ideas with your Retriever today and encourage a healthy lifestyle for your dog.

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Introducing The Gun: Hunting With Your Retriever

Last Updated: November 14, 2014 | Posted In: Training

If you intend to hunt with your retriever, then there is going to be some shooting. Gun shyness is a problem that can stop you and your dog from spending years of fun out in the field. It is almost always a man-made problem. One the most important things you can do to avoid creating a gun shy dog is to introduce the gun properly.

Start by observing your retriever around the house and when out for a walk or run. Do loud noises startle him or does he just take them in his stride? If they do startle him, how quickly does he recover? Some dogs are more sensitive to loud noises than others. Most dogs will notice a loud noise but unless something dramatic happens, they will continue on with what they were doing within a few seconds or more closer to investigate.

Sound Sensitive Dogs

If your dog does get thrown off his game by loud noises, you can start with some in home exercises to build up his confidence. Wait for a time when he is doing something he really enjoys such as eating or playing fetch. Drop an item that will make a clatter. Watch his reaction. Does he stop what he’s doing completely, pause and then continue what he was doing, or simply continue his activity without worry? The last reaction is the goal. If he gets upset over the noise and stops what he was doing, repeat the exercise with something that makes a softer noise. If he pauses, repeat the exercise with the same item randomly over the next few days until he ceases worrying about the noise at all.

Moving It Out to the Field

Ideally you have two people, one that is at least 75 yards away with either a starter’s pistol or a .22 crimp shell. Meanwhile, go plant a few birds out in the field. Choose something that will fly like pigeons or chukar. Bring your dog out and let him chase bump and chase the birds. Once he is happily chasing a bird in a direction that is not towards your friend with the gun, signal your friend to fire his pistol. Watch your dog’s reaction. Ideally, he is busy having fun with the birds that he doesn’t even notice the gun fire. If he reacts poorly, let him keep playing. Wait at least a week and try it again but this time have your friend even further away from the action.

If he isn’t worried about the shot, you can try it again with your friend slightly closer, maybe 10 – 15 yards closer. Continue moving your friend closer until he can stand reasonably close and fire it off without upsetting your pup. Once you reach that stage, send your friend back out in the field with a .22 blank. Repeat the whole exercise with the .22 blank and then move on to your quietest shotgun. Gradually increase the strength of the sound until you can fire a 12 gauge with no reaction.

If you’ve done it correctly, you have not only created a dog that is not gun shy but you have also created one that associates the sound of the gun with birds.

Yes, introducing the gun to your dog is a long process but it’s worth it not to rush it. Too many people bring their retriever out to the field and shoot a gun over his head with no preparation and scare the hell out of him. Fixing a gun shy dog takes a whole lot longer than using patience to introduce the gun properly. You want to be able to spend years in the field with your dog. It’s worth the time and effort to get off on the right foot.

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Housebreaking Tips for Your New Retriever

Last Updated: October 6, 2014 | Posted In: Training

Getting your new Retriever puppy potty trained is always one of the first goals of any new owner. Most puppies learn the basics fairly quickly but there are some things you can do to make the process go faster.

1)      Start potty training your puppy from the day he comes home, regardless of the weather. Nothing for of natural disaster or extreme weather should prevent you from starting him outdoors. Having him go in the house and then moving him outdoors just confuses him. He will quickly figure out that he is rewarded for going outdoors and not for when he goes in the house.

2)      Be consistent and watchful. Do not let your puppy roam free in the house when you are not keeping a close eye on him. It is your job to hustle him outdoors when he looks like he may need to go to the bathroom. Common signs include turning in circles, squatting, and sniffing around for a spot to go. If you find a small puddle or pile of poop, roll up a newspaper and smack yourself on the head, saying “I should have been watching the puppy.” Accidents are your fault, not his.

3)      If you do catch your puppy in the midst of an accident, scoop him up and bring him outdoors to where he is supposed to go. Praise him when he goes outdoors. Do not scold him when he goes indoors. He has no idea why you are upset. At best, you confuse him. At worst, he draws a completely incorrect conclusion as to what you are upset about.

4)      Choose a place in your yard that you wish your dog to potty. Whenever you take him out to do his business, bring him on leash and place him there. Try to link a phrase with him pottying, something simple like “get busy”. Praise him as soon as he goes to the bathroom. The phrase can be used when traveling to let him know that it is okay to do his business in a strange place. Some dogs can be very reluctant to potty away from home and will hold it until they can no longer hold it and have an accident. Once he has pottied, you can let him off leash to play while you clean the mess up. No playing until he potties though.

5)      Hang some bells from the door leading out to your yard. Each time you take him out, gently nudge the bells with his nose or paw so that they ring. You are building an association between the bells ringing and the door opening. This way when he needs to go outside, he will ring the bell so that the door opens. It helps him let you know he needs out when he is outside your vision.

6)      Crate train your puppy. It not only makes housebreaking easier and faster, it is also safer for your retriever. When you aren’t there to supervise him, he should be safely tucked in his kennel. This way he is not causing trouble by chewing on things and he is safe from household hazards like chemicals and electrical wires. The crate should be big enough for him to sleep along with a dish and a few toys. It shouldn’t be any bigger. Dogs are naturally clean and reluctant to eliminate where they sleep. If the kennel is too big, your retriever will sleep in one corner and potty in the other.

There are many benefits to training your retriever. Puppies are smart and learn what is desired fairly quickly. It is important to remember that a young dog does not have complete control of his bladder and bowels until he is about six months old. So, even the best train puppy may still have the occasional accident. The rule of thumb is that he can hold it for his age in months plus 1 in hours. So a four month old puppy, should be let out every five hours. In practise, it isn’t that precise. Like people, different dogs have different physiology and may need out at different times. Many sleep through the night long before they are seven months old. If you remain consistent and work with your puppy, he will be house trained in no time.

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