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Adult House Training

Expect confusion and mistakes in the first few days, even in a trained dog. It is vital to use a crate and/or a confinement area so as to not allow opportunities for accidents in the first week or two - this also helps chew-training efforts.

Set your dog up to succeed. If using a crate (highly recommended) it should be just large enough for dog to turn around in and stretch out. If using a confinement area, confine to one uncarpeted room with petproof gates. You can always relax the regime later, but it is very tough to start relaxed and then try to tighten up if there's a problem.

Provide extra opportunities to eliminate outside: First thing in the morning, after eating, every 2 - 3 hours, and last thing before bed.

If your dog doesn't eliminate on any particular outing, try again an hour later. Accompany your dog to eliminate - go with him rather than sending him so that you know whether he's gone or not. You can reward at the right instant - give praise and small food treat as he finishes. Go to the same spot to make it easier, or at least the same kind of surface. Praise and reward all outdoor elimination for the first few days - later you can slack off (it's okay to continue praising.)

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House Training Puppies

You will need:

  • A crate - Only large enough for your puppy to stand up and turn around comfortably in.
  • A schedule - For going outside. (Have treats and lead ready at the door!)
  • Treats - For whenever you go outside with your puppy.
  • Good Observation - To prevent accidents.
  • Patience.

1. Crate

Train your puppy to love his crate by throwing treats in his crate for a few days so that he has to go in. After a few goes, close the door for 1 minute, then open and let out. Practise a few more goes of the puppy going in and out freely. (This can be over a day or a few days.) Every few goes, practise closing the door, increasing the amount of time the pup must stay inside, by a few minutes.

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Back Yard Blues

Many people think of a dog being loose in a garden as a cure-all. In reality, the garden can be a cause-all, leading to all sorts of behaviour problems. How many of you think you can't get a dog because you don't have a garden? Do you know that often, a dog will be given to someone without a garden, rather than someone with one?

People sometimes mistakenly believe that a dog, like livestock, will be happier with fresh air, grass and more room to "run around." But when did you last see a happy, relaxed backyard dog "running around" his yard? Such dogs are inevitably sad, bored and lonely, wanting only to be able to spend time with their families in the house. When they manage to get human contact, they are desperately over-excited from deprivation and are likely to misbehave. Because they behave like crazy animals, they are sent back to the yard. It's a vicious circle.

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First Aid

  • Car Accident: Move dog from roadway with blanket; seek veterinary aid.
  • Shock: Calm the dog; keep him warm; seek immediate veterinary aid.
  • Nosebleed: Apply cold compress to the nose: apply pressure to any visible abrasion.
  • Bleeding: Apply pressure above the area; treat wound by applying cotton pack.
  • Heat Stroke: Submerge dog in cold bath; cool down with fresh air, water. See a vet.
  • Frostbite / Hypothermia: Warm the dog in warm bath, hot water bottle or electric blankets.
  • Abrasions: Clean wound, wash out thoroughly with fresh water; apply antiseptic.
  • Burns: Place the affected area under cool water; use ice if only a small area is burnt.
  • Bee Stings / Insect Bites: Apply ice to relieve swelling; antihistamine dosed properly.
  • Animal Bites: Clean any bleeding area; Apply pressure until bleeding subsides. Go to vet.
  • Antifreeze Poisoning: Immediately induce vomiting by using hydrogen peroxide.
  • Fish Hooks: Removal best handled by vet; Hook must be cut to remove.

Remember - an injured dog may attempt to bite a helping hand from fear and pain. Always muzzle the dog before trying to offer assistance.


  • When you arrive at home, take your dog out for a walk or bathroom break.
  • Introduce him on lead to his new home, including his confinement area.
  • Give your dog a chew bone or a stuffed Kong and leave him alone in the confinement area for approximately 5 minutes.
  • If your dog begins to howl, whine, or bark, wait until he has been quiet for at least ten seconds before you respond. Otherwise, your dog will learn that whining or barking makes you appear or gets him out of the confinement area, and he'll bark or cry for longer periods of time.

You must get your dog used to short absences starting within the first few hours of his arrival. This is extremely important. You'll want to spend every minute with your dog when he first comes home, but you should prepare him right away for a normal routine. He must learn to be relaxed, calm and settled when he's alone. Alone-time training is necessary because dogs are highly social animals and being alone doesn't come naturally to them. Leave your dog alone in his confinement area while you go out or spend time in another part of the house. Vary the length of your absences, from 30 seconds to 20 minutes, and repeat them throughout the day. If your dog seems comfortable, you can increase the amount of time he's left alone. Remember, it may take several days or weeks for your dog to make the transition to his new home.


  • Training Tips

    General care and training tips: What every dog owner should know.

  • Adopted Dogs

    Starting Out Right: We have outlined various methods to ease your new dog's transition into becoming part of your family.

Mission Statement

MADRA is a Connemara based dog rescue & re-homing facility whose ultimate and overall aim is to ensure that all dogs have permanent, loving homes. MADRA works to educate members of the general public to have a responsible attitude towards dogs and their welfare and to help create a world where no healthy, good-natured dogs are killed merely because they are considered to be a surplus number.

Members of the Association of Dogs and Cats Homes

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Registered in Ireland Number 564962 - Registered Office: Connemara Kennels, Camus, Co. Galway