House Training the Dog: Why Paper Training Is Not Preferable

I do not suggest paper training. It prolongs the training process and it can be a source of problems and confusion for the pup. This is counter to the suggestions given in many dog training books. There are two major reasons for not paper training:

  • keeping it simple for pup
  • making you consistent to pup

If paper training is used, pup essentially learns that there is a location/locations in the house where it is permissible to eliminate. Then, for some reason, you change the rules and say that it somehow became wrong to eliminate in the house. To pup’s perception, you are not consistent. What was correct somehow became wrong.

Dogs like things to be clearly defined. Something is either right or wrong. Dogs do not handle ambiguity well. – It would seem that the ultimate goal is to have pup eliminate outside. Why introduce an intermediary step in the process? Then, pup will have to ‘unlearn’ that it is permissible to soil inside the house. It adds to the time required to reach your ultimate goal of having pup use the outdoors.

One further reason to eliminate this paper step with pup is to protect your role as the pack leader. You want to appear consistent and fair – always. You do not want to appear to be changing the rules – especially on such a major issue as to what areas pup can use. If it is always ‘outside’, then there is no confusion for pup. The rule then becomes ‘it is never allowed to soil inside the house’. It is absolutely clear to pup. Pup can learn that easily; and you appear to be a fair and consistent pack leader. The rule never changes. You never want pup to doubt you. You want to protect pup’s trust in you. And you always want to make learning as easy as possible for pup. Always.

Catherine Forsythe
Director of Operations

[tag]dogs, house training, paper training, consistency, pack leadership, teaching, trust[/tag]