10 Tips For Housetraining A Puppy
House training is one of the biggest challenges pet parents face when bringing a new puppy home. It usually takes between four and six months for a puppy to be fully housed, but it’s not uncommon for it to take up to a year. To ensure your own pup’s house training is closer to four months than twelve, we’ve put together a few tips to help you out.
Consider crate training
Using a crate during house training can do wonders to speed up the process. Dogs are very clean animals and don’t want to pollute the place where they can also relax and sleep. Knowing this, choose a box that gives them enough space to move around but not enough to go to the bathroom and easily stay away from. When your puppy needs to leave, he will signal that he needs to get out of the box by scratching or vocalizing, and you can quickly get him outside.
Go outside often
Throughout the entire training process of your puppy, you will want to take him out at least every two hours – but ideally every 30 minutes to an hour – from the moment you wake up. Additional trips should also be made after playing, eating or drinking.
Visit the same bathroom place
It helps to choose a spot in the bathroom outside and visit it every time you go out. When they are returned to the same place, they will recognize their smell and be told to leave. They can also use a specific word or phrase at this point that they learn to relate to their business.
Give rewards in a timely manner
Offer your puppy a high quality treat, such as their favorite Freshpet treat or recipe, every time they go to the bathroom outdoors. It is important that you give them the reward immediately after you leave. So take them in your pocket every time you go out. If you wait until they are back in the house, it will be difficult for them to know what specific behavior they are being rewarded for.
Keep a consistent feeding schedule
Putting your puppy on a consistent feeding schedule will quickly tell you how long it takes between eating and going out. After a while, you may be able to predict when to take them out, which will save you from going out so often.
Limit your water intake before bed
Try to empty the bowl of water a few hours before bed to reduce the chances of your puppy going to the bathroom at night. Most puppies can comfortably sleep for several hours without having to unload themselves. If timed well, it can mean a full night of uninterrupted sleep for both of you! If they need to go out at night, take a short, no-fuss trip so they don’t get too active to get back to sleep.
Learn to recognize their signs
Puppies usually have consistent “signs” when they need to go to the bathroom. Some of the most common are whining, barking, excessive sniffing, and circling. Over time, you will learn what behaviors they display when they have to leave, and this can help you get them outside before an accident.
Find a good cleaning product
Accidents happen and that’s okay! Instead of using an ammonia-based cleaner, opt for an enzymatic cleaner that removes odors that may draw your pup back to the same spot next time around.
Provide timely behavioral corrections
If you find that your puppy had an accident but you weren’t there to see it, don’t punish him. You will not be able to make the connection between the accident and the punishment and this can lead to anxious behavior, which can ultimately increase the likelihood of an accident in the future. If you catch her in an accident, clap your hands or make another loud noise to scare her (without frightening her) and immediately take her outside to her usual bathroom spot. When they’re done there, praise them and reward them with their favorite Freshpet treat.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Especially for first-time dog parents, the process of house training your pup can be daunting. If you don’t know where to start or are having trouble with any part of the process, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your veterinarian may be able to provide you with some helpful tips or put you in touch with a trainer for professional help.
House training your pup is hard work, but we hope these tips help make the process go quick and smooth!