10 House Training Tips
By Honor Tarpenning, NextDayPets.com Staff
Housebreaking success or failure is up to you!
Some puppies are faster or slower than others with regards to catching onto the rules of housebreaking. Ultimately however, the owner and their ability to abide to the rules below on a continual basis will determine if or when a puppy will be housebroken. Follow the 10 rules below and don’t let up as that’ll hamper your efforts.
- Be consistent. Choose a spot where you want Puppy to go potty, and take him there every time. Also, come up with a word that you will use every time you want him to go. For example, say “go potty,” then, when your dog does his business, follow it with “good potty” and praise him like crazy. He will quickly learn to associate the word “potty” and the potty spot with doing his business. Don’t change your word around or your dog won’t get what it means.
- Never let that puppy out of your sight. First of all, there are tons of dangerous things your pooch can get into when you’re not watching, so you should avoid the hazard all together by keeping a constant eye on your puppy. Furthermore, puppies all display similar behavior before they go potty. They sniff and root around, and turn in circles, and appear restless. Keep an eye out for this behavior and take your pup outside before he ever has a chance to go potty in the house, and you will be a step ahead in training. As you get to know your puppy better, you will grow more familiar with his “gotta go” behavior.
- Always reward your pup with tons of energetic praise and a treat when he goes potty outside. If you wait until you get inside to give him his treat, he will have already forgotten what he did to deserve it, so keep a couple treats in your pocket every time you walk your pup.
- Don’t take him inside right away. Your puppy will learn that as soon as he’s done going potty, outside time is over and it’s back in the house, so he’ll stall as long as he can. If you always play with your puppy for a few minutes after he goes potty, he’ll learn to get it out of the way immediately so he can play with you.
- A puppy shouldn’t be expected to make it more than one or two hours until he is around three months old. This means he might end up waking you up in the middle of the night. Do not be cranky with him just because you’re sleepy, it’s not his fault.
- Put your pooch on a regular feeding schedule. If you feed him at the same times every day, he will need to go potty around the same times too. If you free feed your dog (leave food out all the time) you won’t be able to regulate his eating to stabilize his potty-time patterns.
- Always take your puppy out immediately after he wakes up in the morning and after naps, as well as after every meal, play or training time, and last thing before bed.
- Pet/baby gates are perfect for restricting puppies to one room where you can keep an eye on them.
- Puppy pads (especially those pretreated with pheromones) are a great way to train your puppy to go in one specific spot indoors if you live in a high rise apartment, or are somehow incapable of taking your puppy out every time it is necessary.
- A good rule of thumb is, however many months old a puppy is, he shouldn’t be expected to hold it more than that many hours. So, two month old puppies shouldn’t have to wait longer than two hours; three month old puppies, three hours, and so on. This is, of course, only a generalization, as all puppies are different. No dog should be left crated for more than 6 hours.
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