Getting a new puppy is always exciting for kids and adults alike. Not only are they adorable, but full of fun and energy too. There are, however, stresses and frustrations when bringing a puppy into a new home, one of the biggest being housebreaking. You will have to accept the fact that there are going to be quite a few messes to clean up, but with the right techniques, this period won’t last too long.
- Consistency is key. No matter which house training method you choose, it is important that you be consistent throughout the training process. If you want your dog to learn to do his business outdoors, you need to reward him consistently for doing so until he learns to do it automatically.
- Patience and love. Don’t forget, at 2-3 months old, puppies are just like babies. They don’t have complete control over their bladders, so if they take a little time to house train properly, don’t fret. Have patience-they are, after all, still considered infants.
- Establishing a routine is important. Routine is especially during house training. Having a proper routine, for example, taking your puppy outside after every meal, or every hour. Your puppy will learn to follow the routine eventually
- Do not show frustration or anger. This is extremely important, as it could actually have the opposite effect, and slow down your puppy’s progress. NEVER rub your puppy’s nose into a mess, it is traumatic and will absoloutely not make your puppy understand what he is doing wrong.
- Supervise your puppy closely while you are at home. While you are house training your puppy, it is important to keep a close eye on him to prevent accidents. Keep your puppy in the room with you as much as possible, and watch for signs that he has to go – such as sniffing and walking in circles.
- Don’t linger outside. If your puppy doesn’t need to go when you take him outside, bring him right back in. If you follow this procedure, your puppy will learn what is expected of him when you take him out.
- Choose a particular place in the yard for your puppy to go. When you take your puppy outside, always lead him to the same part of the yard. This will not only make your job of clean up easier, but it will also help your puppy to learn what the specific area is for.
- Adopt a “potty” phrase. Every time you take your puppy to the designated area of the yard, use a word or phrase, such as “go pee,” that your dog will learn to associate with the area and with the act. Use the same tone of voice too. Eventually, you will be no longer have to use the phrase.
- Praise and reward your puppy when he does well. While your puppy is learning, it is important to praise and reward him every time he relieves himself outdoors. By praising your puppy excitedly for his good behaviour, you teach him that his actions are pleasing to you, and he will seek to earn that approval in the future. You can do this by giving out treats, or simply by making a fuss of him. Positive reinforcement is always a great way of training.
- Do not feed your puppy within two hours of bedtime. Two hours before bedtime, take up your puppy’s water dish and don’t feed him any food or treats. This will help to avoid accidents during the night.
- Keep your puppy confined while you are away. Keeping your puppy in a crate during long absences is a simple way to avoid accidents. Be sure to choose a crate that is not too big, and line it with a soft blanket. You can even use a litter box for tiny breeds. Take your puppy out immediately before and after crating him. Before you put your puppy in the crate, take him outside to do his business and again after you release him.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that what you get out of training your puppy is equal to what you put into it. If you are consistent in training your puppy and reward him for good behaviour, house training should be a fairly quick and painless process. If you do not take the time or make the effort to train your puppy properly, however, you are likely to be faced with frustrations and accidents and an all around nightmare in house training for both you and your puppy. Be patient, and remember, messes are accidents, not a means of acting out.