How To Effectively House Train Your Puppy
Potty training, house breaking, house training; whatever you call it, every puppy parent has to deal with it.
Puppies are like babies; their ability to hold in their poop and pee until they get to the right spot starts out being nonexistent. Babies can wear diapers but it’s not that simple with puppies! If they are not able to ‘hold it’ yet, it is up to you to help them learn where to go in a positive way while preventing accidents from happening as much as you can. That means taking Puppy out very, very frequently at first!
If you get your puppy when he is really young, say 8 weeks, try taking him out every half hour at first when he is awake. And be on the lookout for when Puppy wakes up from all those naps as that is prime elimination time. Go right outside with Puppy when he wakes and when he drinks.
If Puppy is doing well with 30 minutes between potty breaks, try 45 minutes. When that is going well, up it to an hour, along with potty breaks after every nap. Keep going this way and you will see real progress in the reduction of accidents. And hopefully, Puppy will start understanding that pottying happens outside. He may even start going to the door when he has to ‘go’ so keep an eye out for that too!
Another important time to take Puppy out is immediately upon waking in the morning.
Now let’s talk about what to do when Puppy has the inevitable accident inside, because chances are good it will happen. Do not scold your puppy! Dogs do not think quite the same way as people. Puppy may think you don’t want to see the accident and that’s why you’re upset. To avoid upsetting you, he may start going behind furniture or in another room to do his business. That will just make your ultimate goal of no accidents in the house much harder to achieve. Instead, say nothing and simply clean it up. Use a good quality enzyme cleaner for pet messes, which you can find at any pet supply store.
If you catch Puppy in the act, say, “Do you want to go out?” Say it in a happy, upbeat voice. Then whisk Puppy outside. Once there, even if he doesn’t complete the task, you have made the point without frightening him.
My last point is about pee pads. If you have an English Mastiff puppy, do not use them! There are no super sized pee pads big enough for an adult giant breed dog, or even for a Border Collie or Labrador. If you have a Chihuahua, try to train them to eliminate outside. I know it’s tempting to use the pads, but for some dogs, it is hard to figure out that they should go inside only on the pad. You may be setting yourself up for a lifelong problem. But remember that tiny dogs have tiny bladders and they may always need to go out more often than their larger canine relatives. If you must use pee pads, confine your dog to a small space.
Remember that you are raising a baby. The effort is great but the rewards are many! And also remember that puppyhood is only a small portion of the many years you will have with your all-too-soon adult dog. The more effort you put in now, the better the outcome. So enjoy that cute little bundle of cuteness!