Related to crate training but not quite the same, housebreaking a puppy is an essential part of keeping your new best friend in your home. Without house training your puppy will soon become a burden on you and your family.
What is house training?
House training is teaching your puppy that its not ok to poop on the carpet and its not ok to leave stains in the house. House training is hard work and can be frustrating but it is a necessary process.
How long does it take to house train your puppy?
The time it takes varies from dog to dog and owner to owner. Some dogs naturally want to do their business in the yard and others insist on doing it in your shoes!
Keep the faith and soldier on, eventually they will grasp it.
Typically it takes four to six months for a puppy to become fully house trained. It is also worth noting that your dog won’t be able to house train until they are roughly fourteen weeks old, it is practically impossible before this age as the dog is not capable of holding anything in.
How do you house train?
Just like potty training a toddler, every dog is different. House training takes patience and effort. The key is to get to know your dog and try a different approaches until one works. However there are a few things you can do to make the process go a little smoother.
The first thing to consider is that what goes in must come out. Keep the flow of food regular and cut out snacks in between, this will allow you to judge reasonably accurately when your dog will want to go.
The second thing you should do is buy a crate. A space that is just large enough for his bed. This will be a safe place for him to sleep and a place for him to go while you are out of the room for any length of time.
This sounds cruel but you should also restrict your puppy’s movements around the home at first. Keep your puppy near to the yard door, usually in your kitchen. A safety gate can be used to keep them in this area if need be. And you need to watch them…Watch them like a hawk! Once you see the signs and you know your puppy is about to leak, keep a close eye on them and get ready to pounce into action. As soon as you see your puppy about to do its business, pick them up and put them in the yard. Your puppy needs to know that you are putting them in the yard because he has started to poop in the house so when he carries on and finishes doing his business in the yard, be sure to give him plenty of praise…Maybe a treat as well.
You should take your puppy out first thing in the morning and last thing at night to give him a chance to empty himself in the yard. If he does do anything in the yard then be sure to give plenty of praise, you need to link the action with a reward so that he is motivated to do it again. If he doesn’t, it’s not the end of the world and you can try again in another hour or so.
This process will need to continue until your puppy gets the idea. Sometimes it takes months and sometimes it’s much quicker.
At night times and whenever you leave the room for any length of time when you can’t watch him, you should lock your puppy in his crate. Dogs will rarely mess their own bed so he will hold it in until you return to let him out. As soon as you let him out in the morning put him straight in the yard because he will be desperate to do his business!
If you work during the day, the process may take a little longer but you can still do it. Continue the process in the evenings.
Using House Training Pads
A few years ago a great invention appeared to the world of puppy house training. Training pads are widely available that aid the process of housebreaking a new puppy.
The pads work by being impregnated with a chemical that the dogs like to do their business on. The theory is that the dog smells the pad and then does its business on there instead of the carpet.
Training pads are particularly useful for people who live in apartments because it makes it easy for you to train your dog to poop in a particular spot.
The process is the same as above but if you have training pads you can almost guarantee that your dog will pee on them.
Confine the puppy to the kitchen once again, near the yard door and place the training pad near the door, take your dog over to the pad and let them have a sniff so they know that it is there.
Training pads aren’t a miracle cure so your dog may still miss the pad the first few days. Your dog should start to pee on the pads after a few hours but to encourage it, every time you see him about to go, take him quickly to the pad. It is actually amazing how fast they pick this up.
Once your dog is doing his business on the pad every time, its time to move to the yard.
Move the pad to the yard. Let your dog watch you do this and then take him outside to the pad and let him have a sniff. Try and stay in the yard until he does his business on the pad….It shouldn’t be too long.
Keep replacing the pads for a few days and keep taking him outside and too the pad. After a week or so of him consistently using the pads outside you can remove them altogether and your puppy will be house trained!
The process is:
- Keep the puppy in a small area in the home. Lay some paper down in this area.
- Keep an eye on your dog and look for signs.
- Take your puppy out every hour or when you see any signs.
- Praise your puppy whenever they do their business outside.
Puppy training tips
- Puppy training is hard work, it takes patience
- Don’t punish your dog if they mess on the carpet, there will be hiccups occasionally. You should just clean up the mess and get on with it.
- Stay in the yard as long as you can, and stay out there with him.
- Always praise good behavior and ignore the bad.
- If you are using training pads, be sure to clean the areas of the floor where the pad has been or your dog will just go there instead!
- Be sure to clean any area where your dog has fouled in the house thoroughly. They have a tendency to use the same spot and they find this by smell so if you don’t clean it thoroughly they will go there again and again.
House training a puppy takes time and effort but it is an essential part of owning a puppy……patience is the other essential ingredient!