Housetraining your Puppy

Welcome Home: Housetraining your new puppy can be easy and successful if you dedicate the necessary time and patience. A simple housetraining  plan includes using rewards to teach your puppy where to eliminate, constant supervision, and preventive confinement when you are not able to supervise. With these elements, most pups can be trained in a relatively short period of time.

Getting the Message: Certain events stimulate elimination.  These include eating, drinking, playing, and waking from naps.  If you watch your puppy carefully especially after theses activities, you will soon be able to notice signs that they needs to eliminate.

Where to start: Choose a spot outside with easy access where you want your puppy to eliminate.  Accompany him/her to this spot every time they go outdoors.  Your puppy will soon recognize this spot by it’s scent.  Mildly praise any sniffing or other pre-elimination behaviors.  When he/she does eliminate praise them heartily, offer a tasty food reward, or start playing.  As you start housetraining make sure to take your puppy outdoors every one to two hours. As your puppy gets older they will be able to go longer periods of time between going outside.

Schedule Meals: Controlling meal times will help to give you some control of your puppy’s elimination schedule.  Offer food several times a day at the same time each day.  Only make the food available for 30 minutes at a time.  Most puppies will eliminate within 1 hour after eating.  If you are having trouble with your puppy eliminating overnight, make sure their last meal of the day is 3-5 hours before bedtime.

Prevent Mistakes: The hardest part of housetraining is preventing your puppy from eliminating indoors.  Until your puppy has gone 4-8 consecutive weeks without eliminating indoors you must keep him/her within eyesight.  A leash is a great way to do this!  If you are unable to watch your puppy, take them outside to eliminate and then confine them to a small safe area.  Crates provide an excellent confinement space

Clean-Up: Puppy’s will naturally return to previously soiled areas.  To prevent this remove urine and fecal odor with an effective commercial product making sure to saturate the areas.  If your puppy is eliminating in a certain area of the home block access to the area, or place their bed or food bowls in the area, as most animals will not eliminate in the same area where they eat or sleep.

Stay Calm: Your puppy will have an accident or two.  Be prepared! Getting angry or frustrated will not help.  Punishing your puppy for an accident is the least effective and most overused approach to housetraining.  If you catch your puppy in the act make a loud noise or firmly say “NO” then quickly take your puppy outside.  With a little patience ad a consistent approach, your puppy will be housetrained in no time!