Many people think there is something wrong with their puppy if they cannot be house trained easily. Now we cannot blame our puppies if they do not understand where they are supposed to do their business. It is our responsibility to teach them. It is very easy to get frustrated during the whole house training process, but you need to understand that frustration will hinder our progress, so we need to avoid that emotion during training.
Best way to house train a puppy – Doing it the right way
Now the first thing to look at during house training a puppy is the timing. It is your responsibility to getting your puppy in the right place, probably on the grass or at least outside when they need to go. You will have to figure out when you think your puppy is going to need to go. The biggest mistake is that people think they can rely on dogs that are not toilet trained, to figure it out on their own. The frequency of toileting can vary. Some puppies may go four times in an hour while others might go after three or four hours. Sometimes there is no communication or signal between you and your puppy that they need to go for toilet. Therefore, it is suggested that you start jotting down the time and frequency when your puppy goes toileting. You will soon get an idea about how often your puppy would like to go and then you can set an alarm at those intervals. This will help, even at times, when you forget to take your puppy for a toilet break or you are too busy with your work. Once your dog is toileting at the right place then you need to keep at it. You will need to keep this schedule for a long time before you start relaxing and expecting your puppies to do it on their own.
After this, you will also need to take control of their environment i.e. the area they are allowed in or not allowed in, when they come back, having not gone to the toilet. This effectively means that you decide where they are at all times. When you take your puppy out for a break and if they have toileted, then you should give them a little treat and bring them back inside. Now if they do not go toileting, then either you may leave them outside for a while in the hope that they go or you can bring them back inside. However, you will need to carefully manage them, if you have brought them back inside. Do not give them too much space, keep them confined in a smaller area. If you give your dog a whole of the house area, he is going to head off into another room, which is a different world away from his usual place. They will think nothing of toileting in this area and it could be long before you even find it and you would not know they have done it. Not only it is in the wrong spot but also if you do not know where they have done it, they could do it regularly and you might think that they are not going to the toilet very often when they absolutely are.
You can also think of using a crate or a similar device to keep your puppy fairly still. The crate should not allow the dog to turn around or run around. This will stop them from moving or agitating their bowels, which makes them go to the toilet. If they are sleeping or lying down, they are far less likely to go to the toilet. Therefore, you can leave them there for a period and then take them out at their regular interval and see if you can get them to go again. There are some pros and cons of using crates. The downside is that they do cost a fair amount of money and eventually you might find out that your dog does not need them and you have an empty crate taking up room space. The other thing is that some dogs do not like to be confined in a small space and become stressed. Therefore, some people purchase them and find out that they are not of much use. However, the positives are that many dogs absolutely love their crates and they see it as their den. They settle in it, enjoy it and relax there. It can be a lifesaver for people who just need a break from their hyperactive dog. It also helps if you got some visitors, you can put your dog away for a while. Apart from this, crates also help with toilet training. Probably at first, you may give it a go without a crate and if you are still struggling with toilet training then think about getting a crate or buying a pen.
Effectively rewarding your dog when they go at the right place is probably the most important key to successful toilet training. This means rewarding them in a way, which is truly motivating them to go back there again and get that reward again. That positive signal to show them where to go is far more powerful than saying ‘no, no, don’t go here, I don’t want you to go there’ and trying to keep them in a penned area. Now there is a catch when it comes to dog food. People can interpret rewards as being pats and cuddles. However, rewards should mean ‘amazing food’. The reward should not be in the form of dry boring biscuits that they probably have during breakfast or dinner. It should be really motivating stuff like chicken, cheese and bacon. Dogs and puppies will do amazing things to be rewarded with these exceptional treats. They will really figure out what it is that you want them to do. You should always have these treats ready lying outside probably in a jam jar or something so that you can immediately reward them when they go toileting.
These are the key areas that you want to be getting into place. First is the timing. Ensure that you are taking your dog out to the area you want them to go before they go to the toilet. Second is taking control of their environment. Consider reducing the area that they are allowed in. Also, make sure that they are not allowed to venture into the carpeted area, as that can be difficult to clean later. Third is to use amazing rewards to help your dog understand exactly where you want them to go.
Best way to house train a puppy – Things to remember
- Be patient – You cannot house train your puppy in just a few days, it will take some time. You need to understand that it is not instinctive for a puppy to want to do their business outside. We need to show them and train them. The length of time to fully potty train a puppy varies significantly and depends on many factors.
- Do not punish – Another thing to remember is that the potty accidents in your house should never be punished. If the owner feels that the puppy is seeking revenge or being spiteful, it can lead to the puppy being abused. Puppies are seldom disobedient and are incapable of taking revenge. They are just simply not toilet trained.
- Steer clear of myths – Also, avoid long standing remedies like rubbing your puppy’s nose or spanking them. We need to let puppies know that our house is their house. Instinctively puppies do not like to do their business where they live and where they sleep. However, they are not going to generalize the entire house as a single structure. Once they understand that the entire house is indeed their house, you will see that the accidents come to a halt.
Best way to house train a puppy – Things to avoid
- Avoid places that lead to distractions – Puppies are easily distracted and this can often lead to house training issues. If something novel takes their interest, they may forget toileting altogether and explore the interesting thing instead. Puppies are often fascinated by the littlest of things. If this is an issue for your puppy, then make sure that the location you choose for your puppy’s toileting is fairly boring or has already been fully explored.
- Avoid wet ground – Some puppies do not like getting wet when they toilet. If this is an issue, try toileting the puppy in an area that is protected from rain. Perhaps try toileting them on concrete pathways rather than grass or garden pit. Then gradually expose your puppy to wet ground until it becomes accustomed to it. You may take your dog for a short walk in wet conditions. Most dogs like to toilet on a walk and are happy to go for a walk in the rain.
- Avoid preferred surfaces – When your puppies make several mistakes while toileting, they tend to start preferring the surface or place, they make their mistakes on. This means that your puppy could develop a preference for tiles, carpets, floorboards, bedding, etc. Puppies will go to great lengths to toilet on their preferred surface. If your puppy has developed a surface preference, you must restrict the access to that surface.
- Avoid fears and phobias – Sometimes puppies develop fears that may be associated with toileting outdoors. These fears may be the result of an unpleasant experience while toileting outdoors at some stage, for example, a neighboring dog that barks threateningly or a loud noise. If this is the case then you should toilet your puppy as far as possible from the thing he fears and then slowly teach him not to have unnecessary fears. You should teach your puppy that going outdoors is fun by playing games, giving him treats or anything that he finds pleasurable outdoors. This must be a gradual process and at no time elicit fear response from your puppy. It will also require considerable patience and understanding.
- Avoid incomplete training – To achieve maximum results with house training, puppies need confinement and supervision. All puppy owners should strive for errorless house training. Each time a puppy makes a mistake indoors, he is learning that it is ok to toilet inside. When mistakes are made, you should reassess your house-training plan and include more toileting breaks. If you have a haphazard approach to house training, then your puppy will too.
Best way to house train a puppy – Some more tips
- Be consistent – A trusting and consistent relationship is fundamental to successful house training. The more consistent you are the faster your puppy will learn. House training a puppy can take several weeks and sometimes longer for some breeds.
- Establish a routine – Puppies do best on a regular schedule because it teaches them that there are times to eat, times to play and times to potty. Make sure to take him right out after he wakes up, during and after playtime, and after eating because these are the times he’s most likely to have to go.
- Pick out a specific spot – It is recommended that you pick out a specific bathroom spot outside, and always take him ether first when he is on a leash. You should take him out for a walk or play after he is gone toileting or he might just learn to hold it to keep you outside.
- Do not reward midway – Rewarding correct behavior is the best way to teach your puppy. However, you should be careful not to reward your puppy until he has completely finished with his business or he may forget to finish outside and then have an accident inside.
- Check for medical issues – If you keep a consistent schedule, your puppy could be house trained by the time he is five to six months old. However, do not be discouraged if it takes longer or has an occasional accident, as many factors including dog breed, consistency, and temperament can contribute to a longer training period. In case you feel there is little to no progress, consult with your veterinarian to be sure that a medical issue such as bladder infection is not the culprit.
- Monitoring – Keeping your puppy in a small space within eyesight will allow you to notice and react when they show the signs of needing to eliminate. Those signs can be barking, scratching at the door, squatting, sniffing or circling.