Contrary to popular belief, house-training a puppy requires far more than a few stacks of old newspapers -- it calls for vigilance, patience, and plenty of commitment. By following the procedures outlined below, you can minimize house-soiling incidents, but virtually every puppy will have an accident in the house, and more than one, most likely. Expect this -- it's part of raising a puppy. The more consistent you are in following the basic house-training procedures, however, the faster your puppy will learn acceptable behavior. It might take several weeks to house-train your puppy, and with some of the smaller breeds, it might take even longer.
- Like babies, puppies do best on a regular schedule. Take your puppy outside frequently -- at least every two hours - -and immediately after he wakes up from a nap, after playing, and after eating or drinking.
- Praise your puppy lavishly every time he eliminates outdoors -- you can even give him a treat -- but remember to do so immediately after he's finished eliminating, not after he comes back inside the house. This step is vital, because rewarding your dog for eliminating outdoors is the only way he'll know what's expected of him.
- Pick a bathroom spot near the door, and always take your puppy to that spot using a leash. Take him out for a longer walk or some playtime only after he has eliminated. If you clean up an accident in the house, take the soiled rags or paper towels and leave them in the bathroom spot. The smell will help your puppy recognize the area as the place he is supposed to eliminate. While your puppy is eliminating, use a word or phrase, like "go potty," that you can eventually use before he eliminates to remind him what to do.
- Put your puppy on a regular feeding schedule and feed a high-quality diet to make house-training easier. Depending on their age, puppies usually need to be fed three or four times a day. Feeding your puppy at the same times each day will make it more likely that he'll eliminate at consistent times as well, and that makes house-training easier for both of you.
How to House-Train Your Puppy
Straining your puppy really just boils down to a few basic principles why you need to have a proper set up -- used. Management to a what you're gonna want is a short term confinement area. -- -- And you're gonna use that for -- along if you believe your body can hold its -- If you're doing outdoor training you don't necessarily need to have a long term confinement area but if you have these really young and not going outside -- -- your schedule doesn't allow. For you to bring your puppy do potty breaks frequently enough that you're gonna have -- long term confinement area in a long term confinement area. It's a place where your body can do no wrong you're gonna happen in that long term confinement area and indoor legal toilet for your -- to eliminate on in the event that you can't bring them into the -- yourself off and we used -- pads or newspaper some sort of an absorbent surface and you want to start by covering the entire surface wind up hats or newspaper. This way you are setting your puppy up -- -- 100% success. They can't make a mistake as time goes on and give it a week ago Russia they'll start removing a little bit of that hat -- substrate slowly. That you're gonna ensure that your is actually targeting the pack and eventually your whole life being a to have more floor an -- what impact that take your time. And if your -- ever makes a mistake then -- just gonna put a little bit more toilet service down for your -- the next thing you absolutely have to remember is that your puppy is not in their grace. Border long term confinement area and they are out and about what you. You're gonna supervise them 100% of the time and what I talk about supervision and I don't mean just watching your puppy right around the living room floor. And we in the corner I mean really keeping your cup be closer to you. The only time they're going to be running out and about. And getting a little exercise and fun is right after they got the bathroom that we know your obvious and -- And you're setting yourself and your puppy up for success of not having accidents in your house and the way that you can supervise them is keeping them on a long light weight in short leash this way your puppy is always. Tethered to you and as time goes on. If you feel that your puppy might need to go to the bathroom you're gonna tighten up the supervision. It even put him in your lap or a little padding your feet -- at toy and that many believe it's time for them to go to the body period of -- -- outdoors outdoor training or to their legal in Fort -- and so remember to thank you and your puppy up. For successful house training he wanted to use your management tools which is your great possibly a long term confinement area. And make sure you have your -- At the right place at the right time to them when they do go to the bathroom in the right spot here prepared to tell them how good they are and backed that up with a really great -- says that they know that's what you want.
Don't give your puppy an opportunity to soil in the house; keep an eye on him whenever he's indoors. You can tether him to you with a six-foot leash, or use baby gates to keep him in the room where you are. Watch for signs that he needs to eliminate, like sniffing around or circling. When you see these signs, immediately grab the leash and take him outside to his bathroom spot. If he eliminates, praise him lavishly and reward him with a treat.
When you're unable to watch your puppy at all times, he should be confined to an area small enough that he won't want to eliminate there. The space should be just big enough for him to comfortably stand, lie down, and turn around in. You can use a portion of a bathroom or laundry room blocked off with baby gates. Or you might want to crate-train your puppy and use the crate to confine him. (Be sure to learn how to use a crate humanely as a method of confinement.) If your puppy has spent several hours in confinement, you'll need to take him directly to his bathroom spot as soon as you let him out, and praise him when he eliminates.
Expect your puppy to have a few accidents in the house -- it's a normal part of house-training. Here's what to do when that happens:
- When you catch him in the act of eliminating in the house, do something to interrupt him, like make a startling noise (be careful not to scare him). Immediately take him to his bathroom spot, praise him, and give him a treat if he finishes eliminating there.
- Don't punish your puppy for eliminating in the house. If you find a soiled area, it's too late to administer a correction. Just clean it up. Rubbing your puppy's nose in it, taking him to the spot and scolding him, or any other punishment will only make him afraid of you or afraid to eliminate in your presence. In fact, punishment will often do more harm than good.
- Cleaning the soiled area is very important because puppies are highly motivated to continue soiling in areas that smell like urine or feces.
It's extremely important that you use the supervision and confinement procedures outlined above to prevent the number of accidents. If you allow your puppy to eliminate frequently in the house, he'll get confused about where he's supposed to eliminate, which will prolong the house-training process.
A puppy under six months of age cannot be expected to control his bladder for more than a few hours at a time. If you have to be away from home more than four or five hours a day, this might not be the best time for you to get a puppy; instead, you might want to consider an older dog, who can wait for your return.
But if you're already committed to having a puppy and must be away for long periods of time, you'll need to make arrangements for someone, such as a responsible neighbor or a professional pet-sitter, to take him outside to eliminate. Or you'll need to train him to eliminate in a specific place indoors. Be aware, however, that doing so can prolong the process of house-training. Teaching your puppy to eliminate on newspaper might create a life-long surface preference, meaning that even as an adult he might eliminate on any newspaper lying around the living room.
When your puppy must be left alone for long periods of time, confine him to an area with enough room for a sleeping space, a playing space, and a separate place to eliminate. In the area designated as the elimination area, use either newspapers or a sod box. To make a sod box, place sod in a container such as a child's small, plastic swimming pool. You can also find dog litter products at a pet supply store. If you clean up an accident in the house, put the soiled rags or paper towels in the designated elimination area. The smell will help your puppy recognize the area as the place where he is supposed to eliminate.
If you've consistently followed the house-training procedures and your puppy continues to eliminate in the house, there might be another reason for his behavior, such as:
- Medical Problems: House-soiling can often be caused by physical problems such as a urinary tract infection or a parasite infection. Check with your veterinarian to rule out any possibility of disease or illness.
- Submissive/Excitement Urination: Some dogs, especially young ones, temporarily lose control of their bladders when they become excited or feel threatened. This usually occurs during greetings or periods of intense play, or when they're about to be punished.
- Territorial Urine-Marking: Dogs sometimes deposit small amounts of urine or feces to scent-mark their territory. Both male and female dogs do this, and it most often occurs when they believe their territory has been invaded.
- Separation Anxiety: Dogs who become anxious when they're left alone may house-soil as a result. Usually, there are other symptoms as well, such as destructive behavior or vocalization.
- Fears or Phobias: When animals become frightened, they might lose control of their bladder and/or bowels. If your puppy is afraid of loud noises, such as thunderstorms or fireworks, he might house-soil when he's exposed to these sounds.