House training a puppy is no easy task, but with the right degree of patience it can be achieved by anyone. Being consistent and using positive reinforcement can instil good habits in your pup’s behaviour to make both of your lives a lot easier. It also has the added benefit of a engendering loving bond between you and your pet.
Training your puppy will take somewhere between four and six months. At that point, if you’ve followed these instructions and used consistent methods, your dog should be fully house trained. If it’s taking a little longer though, don’t despair. Some breeds can take up to a year, and size can be a factor. For example, smaller dogs have smaller bladders. A higher metabolism means more frequent trips outside are called for. Different living conditions can be a factor. There are all sorts of reasons a puppy can learn more quickly or more slowly. The trick is to always remain patient and consistent. This way, your puppy will break old bad habits and develop new, more desirable habits.
There may be setbacks along the way, but just like training or educating a human, this is to be expected. Persevere with your training program and you’ll come through the other side. It’ll all be worth it in the end.
When Do I Begin Training My Dog?
Well, experts recommend you start at around 12 to 16 weeks of age. This means your dog has enough bladder control and bowel control to know how to hold it in. If you’ve adopted a puppy older than 12 weeks, you might find the whole process takes a little longer, but that’s to be expected. This is because you may have to eliminate some already developed bad habits before you can start teaching good ones. Encouragement and reward will get you a long way. And don’t forget those two golden words two: patience and consistency.
Step By Step Household Puppy Training
It’s universally recommended that training your puppy in a confined space will yield the best results. This could mean a crate, a small room, or simply using a leash to prevent your little dog going walkabout when you’re trying to train it. As your puppy begins to learn he or she needs to go outside for the toilet, you can also introduce a little more freedom in the training routine, so it can roam about the house. But only do this a little later on down the line. Start off small and work up.
- Ensure you keep to a regular feeding schedule. Take food away between meals. This develops a strong sense of meal time.
- Take him or her outside after meals, or when they wake up after a nap. This will encourage the puppy to go to the toilet after these times and eventually it’ll become second nature.
- Always use the same spot for your puppy to toilet. Again, this creates consistency and your dog will know exactly what you’re intending when you get there. The scent prompts them to go.
- Stay with your dog while they do their business, until they’re fully house trained.
- When your puppy does go to the toilet outside, praise them by offering a healthy treat or reward with a walk around the block.
House Training Puppies With a Crate
This can be a good short term option to train your puppy. It allows you to keep a super close eye on them and you can spot signs of needing the toilet. Teaching your puppy to hold it in until you open the crate is a good way of them developing proper bladder control.
Guidelines For Using a Crate For Bladder Control:
- Ensure it’s large enough! Your dog should be able to comfortably stand, turn, and lie down. However, don’t make it too big or they’ll just end up using the corner as a bathroom, and that will undo all the good work.
- If you’re using it for more than two hours, ensure there’s a fresh supply of water. Use a dispenser if you can, as this can be attached.
- If you won’t be at home during these training sessions, ensure someone else is giving him a break in the middle of the day, at least for the first eight months or so.
- Do NOT continue to use a crate if your puppy starts to use it as a toilet. Doing this may mean they’ve learned it from a previous owner or when it was in the pet store. The crate could be too big, or you may have started when he or she was too young and they might just not have the control yet.
Signs Your Puppy Needs The Toilet
If your puppy is sniffing, barking, circling or whining, it may well need to go. If it’s in a confined area then scratching at the door and barking are telltale signs. Take them out immediately and odds are, he or she will go right away.
Setbacks In Puppy House Training
It’ll be annoying, but accidents are common in puppies up to one year. This might be due to a complete change in routine, or subtle changes to their environment. Don’t get angry and just accept this is bound to happen. Keep plugging away with your training schedule. If it still isn’t working, you may need to see a vet to rule out some kind of medical problem.
Potty Training Puppies
Always keep these points in mind when you’re house training your little companion:
- Punishing your little dog for an accident is never a good idea. It teaches fear, and this is the last thing you want.
- Catching your puppy in the act in the wrong place should be responded to with a loud clap. This will tell them they’ve done something wrong. Follow this up by taking them outside, leading by the collar gently. Most importantly, use a lot of praise once he or she has toileted in the right area. Positive reinforcement is the name of the game here. A treat can help too – just don’t overdo them.
- If you’ve found some evidence of your puppy toileting in the wrong place, don’t react with anger. They really won’t connect this with their earlier act and all you’ll do is confuse and upset them.
- Sometimes simply staying out a little longer with your puppy can help avoid accidents. They may just need that extra time to explore. After all, they are young and still learning their environment. Once they’ve satisfied their curiosity, they’ll go to the toilet in their own time. Be patient.
- If you do need to clean up an accident, use an enzymatic cleanser. Using this over an ammonia-based cleaner will reduce the dog’s odour and also reduce its chance of returning to that spot to do its business again.