The puppy stages are complete with all kinds of affection, puppy kisses, excitement, cuddling, and of course… potty training! House training your puppy requires a lot more than millions of newspapers and “odor be gone;” It also requires vigilance, patience, plenty of commitment, and above all, consistency.
Like a baby, puppies require regular scheduling for eating, playing and times to go potty. By designating a time where you and your pet go outside and exercise, it provides him time to relieve himself in the correct setting. When he does this, make sure he knows that he did good and reward him with a treat or praise.
This routine will create a habit in your dog so he will understand that if you grab the leash to go outside, it means he needs to go potty, and then he will get to play and have a treat.
By setting down the food and water at the same time every day, you will ensure that you’re promoting a schedule for bathroom breaks. Then, when the food and water is finished and he has gone to the bathroom, remove them (If it is summer, and it’s hot, be sure to leave the water).
Supervise and Reward Routine
You can’t be around all the time, but when you are home, watch for signs that your puppy needs to go to the bathroom. Some of these include scratching, hiding, going into other rooms or sitting by the door. By watching for these behaviors, you will limit the possibility to eliminate indoors, and you can reward good behavior if you catch it in time to go outdoors!
Crate Train Routine
Some people are huge proponents for confinement and crate training. By leaving the puppy in the crate when you leave the house, he will correlate this as his “home”, and most times, nesting animals will not go to the bathroom in the place they “nest,” or sleep. Then, when you arrive home, you can directly take your pup outside and let him eliminate in the correct area, rewarding him for doing so. Remember, a puppy can usually hold his bladder for only a few hours (one hour per each month of age, on average). It is very hard for a puppy to properly learn if you are negligent in routine.
If your puppy goes inside, remember to be patient, and also keep in mind that it’s completely normal. If you catch him in the act, make a startling noise or say, “outside.” Then, immediately bring your pup to the bathroom spot, and praise him if he finishes there.
Remember that it is extremely important to prevent accidents by doing the things listed above. If a puppy is continually allowed to go in the house, it may confuse him as to where the correct place is, making the housetraining process even longer.
By following the procedures outlined above, you can minimize house-soiling incidents. Virtually every dog, especially puppies, will have an accident in the house, and more likely, several. Expect this and understand that it’s part of the many joys of living with a puppy.