Housebreaking a puppy is one of the challenges pet owners face after the newest member of the family arrives. Many people think that toilet training a dog is a difficult undertaking, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Arming yourself with the proper information is the first step towards getting your pooch to go where you want him to go.
While dogs can be toilet trained at any age, the ideal time is between eight and twelve weeks old. Establish a housebreaking routine as soon as your pup comes home.
Use a Dog Crate
A dog crate is a useful toilet training tool as it keeps your puppy from wandering around when you’re not there to supervise him. A lot of dogs quickly learn that if they make a mess in their crate, then they will have to sit in it. Most canines are quite hygienic and will not like sitting in their own poop or urine.
Make sure that there is enough room for your puppy to move around, but not so much space that he is able to do his business in one corner then stay in another corner far away from the mess. While many dog owners consider crates as prison cells, your pet will enjoy having his own space when he wants to escape from the hustle and bustle of the house every now and then.
See to it that your pet’s crate is a happy place, and don’t use it for punishment. Add cozy blankets and some toys to make your pup comfortable. A dog crate is not only useful for housebreaking your pooch, it’s also good for keeping him out of trouble.
Keep an Eye on Your Pup
Observing your pet is essential to his toilet training. Whenever you see him circling, sniffing, or about to squat, take him to his “bathroom” right away. If he urinates or defecates, lavish him with praise. It is recommended that you have a word or phrase, e.g. “hurry up,” that you use as a cue to let him know what you want him to do. While he’s doing his business, say the cue a few times, then praise him when he’s done.
Set Up a Schedule
Following a regular schedule for feeding and walking your dog will make housetraining easier. Puppies, like children, do well with routines. Try to take your pet out at the same time every day so that his body will adjust.
During mornings, take your puppy out of his crate, but don’t let his feet touch the floor. Bring him to his “bathroom,” say the cue, and praise him when he’s finished. Take him out at least every two hours, after eating or drinking, and particularly after playtime.
Don’t Let Your Pup Wander
If you let him roam, he will leave you “surprises” around the house. Whether or not you use a dog crate, limiting your pet’s access to some areas of the house will make toilet training simpler. It’s not easy to watch a puppy if you let him run around, but if you keep him in the kitchen, for example, then he will still be able to interact with everyone, and accidents can be spotted quickly at the same time.
Try and Try Again
When you first start housebreaking your pup, there will be times when you feel that he’s not learning anything. He may have accidents occasionally, but don’t get discouraged. Simply keep a watchful eye on your pet, stick to your routine, and accompany him to his “bathroom” frequently.
In addition, don’t use different doors when taking your pooch out of the house. Pick just one, and once he’s toilet trained, he will scratch on that door whenever he wants to go out. When this happens, you can give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done.