414 of 419 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2000
This approach worked for our puppy (a Lab) as well. It's based on a few simple ideas, one of which is the puppy's idea of its "den", which it will scrupulously avoid soiling. It's you, the owner, who needs to understand what constitutes the puppy's notion of its den and use that to your advantage.
Dogs, like most people, are creatures of habit, so that can be used too. Set up a watering schedule that will contribute to success. Also don't try to housebreak a puppy before it's old enough to have adequate bladder control. Still, you can make it to that point without too many accidents. The book details all this.
Finally, remember Pavlov's dog. Dogs respond directly - they don't understand abstract thoughts. Start by repeating a word like "potty" over and over quietly while your puppy is relieving herself, then praise her. This will associate the word with the feeling of relief. DON'T USE THE WORD ABSTRACTLY like asking "do you want to go out and potty?" when you're in the house! (You can say "do you want to go outside?"). After "programming" your puppy about 100 times, she will pee on command when she hears the word. This will really pay off later when you're travelling, etc. The important thing is to understand that dogs take everything literally and directly and really only understand a few key words, your tone of voice, and your body language.
Try to think like a dog - it will change your whole view of the world!
266 of 276 people found the following review helpful
on August 31, 2000
If you can make it through the first 24 hours, freedom from an unhousetrained dog will be yours! It REALLY DOES WORK! I had a dog that was a 1.5 year old, I mistakingly paper trained her first and she never stopped doing what she was taught- going inside on the paper! NOT A GOOD IDEA! A family friend recommended this book and within about twenty four hours she was house trained!!! Most people would have said that I would always have a problem with her, NO way! Two years later, she's remains PERFECTLY HOUSETRAINED! In addition to this amaziing success story, I recently loaned the book to someone who was having trouble house training her new puppy; within a few days- no problem at all! Buy it, it really is well worth the money!
93 of 100 people found the following review helpful
on April 18, 2006
I purchased this book (and three others) to prepare myself and my fiance' for the arrival of our new puppy. This is the only book of the four I purchased that actually directly addressed how you are supposed to housetrain a puppy when you work and are not home with the dog all day. All the other books assumed you would be available every two to three hours to take the dog outside, which is, in my opinoin, very unrealistic for most people who work 8 hour or more days and can't hire a pet sitter to stay home with the puppy in their absence. This book provides detailed schedules for people who are able to be home all day as well as people who can't be with the puppy all day long, allowing you to develop a consistent, realistic program for your puppy regardless of your schedule. The book was a very quick read (I read it cover to cover in less than a hour), straight-forward, simple to read, and very understandable. The concepts and principles in this book seem as if they will be easy to implement. This book made me feel more confident that we will be able to work the puppy into our lifestyle (with a few minor changes) instead of having to overhaul our entire lives to be slaves to the puppy's bowel and bladder. I strongly recommend this book to other first-time puppy owners who, like us, want to "do it right" and are looking for strategies and solutions they can implement to raise their puppy to be a well-mannered, obedient, and loving dog.
145 of 159 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 1999
This book offers concise, yet thorough instruction and information on the best method to housebreak your pooch. Kalstone even includes information on paper-training, though she makes it clear that this is not the best method, and should not be considered as an intermediate step if one expects a dog to use the bathroom exclusively outside at any point in its life.
The thing I like most about the little book, aside from the completely reasonable price (truly one of the best deals for your dollar in the world of dog-training books), is that she includes several sample feeding/exercise/elimination schedules that a person can tailor to one's own schedule. She also strongly advises and gives solid training information about crate-training, which when done properly, is one of the most humane and best gifts a human could possibly bestow upon a canine companion.
If you're having a problem with "accidents" in the house, *this* is the book you've been looking for! And what a bargain! :)
79 of 87 people found the following review helpful
on September 7, 2005
First of all I have to respond to an earlier reviewer who says that Shirlee Kalstone doesn't know anything about dogs and suggests that people should instead read a book by someone who does -- namely, Stanley Coren. I'm still laughing over that. Stanley Coren!? It's widely known in dog circles that Coren gets almost everything about dogs exactly backwards (read my review of THE INTELLIGENCE OF DOGS for further elucidation)! It seems to me, from reading this person's review, that she somehow misunderstood the simple information in Kalstone's book and instead of admitting her own inability to follow instructions, she blames the author.
Okay, now to my review of this very useful housebreaking guide, one that I recommend to all my clients with new puppies. I have to say that except for Kalstone's occasional forays into punishment, via the alpha theory (which we now know is totally false), this book gives you almost everything you need to know about housetraining. The fact that she's broken-down the various schedules any dog owner might need, allowing for various work schedules and life-styles, makes this book a must-have for every owner of a new puppy. (It's why I recommend it to all my clients -- it saves them and me the time of sitting down and writing up a schedule of their own.)
She also gives good advice on how to acquaint any puppy with a crate, and gives the info (that most other books don't) that a puppy's emotional and physical development prevent him (or her) from really learning this stuff before about 3 1/2 to 4 months of age. Just please, please, ignore everything she says about being the pack leader, being alpha, etc., and you and your puppy will do just fine.
By the way, most of the information in this book (and a little more) is also contained in Kevin Behan's NATURAL DOG TRAINING, with just one omission: Kevin doesn't include the actual training schedules that you can rip out of the Kalstone book and paste on to your refrigerator door!
I rarely give ANY training book 4 stars. Yay, Shirlee Kalstone!
51 of 56 people found the following review helpful
on May 4, 1999
This book describes why most known methods of housebreaking are ineffective and unnecessary. It describes the psychology behind the method. I trained my dog by this method and must say it worked almost too well. My dog is now 8 years old and has had an "accident" in the house only once in that time due to an illness. I attribute this success to the method discussed in this book as well as to the intelligence of my dog :) . I will say that the first two days are difficult, but after that the dog will understand the 'pen". Try it, it is far less cruel than other methods.
45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on April 17, 2004
I recommend this book to everyone who gets a new puppy. Or even an older, non-housebroken dog. Neither my husband or I had ever housebroken a dog before. In my case, my family had only owned one, and she came to us trained. In his case, their family dogs just never got trained. So we were novices when we brought home our Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. I bought this book and read it before we got the dog, so we were ready to go. We got a late start in training, because we had to deal with an illness (in the dog) first. Even with waiting nearly two months to train her, I'd say we had her fairly reliable in a couple of months and completely accident free by one year, which is about right for a CKCS. She's now four and hasn't had an accident in three years. We can take her to visit friends, family and stay in hotels and not worry about a mess. The book is easy to read and offers advice for all types of situations: house dog, apartment dog, young puppy, older dog.
37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on January 29, 1999
I have read other books regarding housebreaking and this is by far the best I've read. What I love most is that she describes different scenerios for the stay-at-home and working dog owners. I started seeing results after the third day! Truly an exellent book for anyone who has a puppy or an older dog having accidents in the home.
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on March 25, 2002
This book gives you a seven day schedule to housebreak your dog. There are several schedules; some for people that work all day, some for people who are home all day. A very good book. Easy to read and to the point. 7 days is worth a lifetime with a housebroken dog.
29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on June 21, 2004
This book provides a script and scenarios for housebreaking your puppy or adult dog. What I appreciated from this book was an equal amount of devotion to owner's who will paper train or train for the outdoors. It also takes into consideration owners who must leave dogs alone for long periods as well as owners who have access to their dog all day. I suggest purchasing a specialized breed book as well, such as a Complete Idiot's Guide..., for additional information about housebreaking your breed.