Tips For House Training a Puppy In A Snap!
The most important element in successfully house training a puppy is having a plan. Without a well-thought out plan in place, you are in for big trouble, and will get off on the wrong track with your new puppy right from the start.
The first step to house training any dog is to prevent accidents. The second step is to teach your dog where you want him to go. It is also important to remember that, just like you, your dog will have to potty throughout the day. With that in mind, let’s talk about how to implement a “mostly” accident proof plan.
When you are not home, the only way to prevent accidents is to confine your puppy. For long intervals, use an area such as a laundry room or exercise pen. Make sure that you put down wee-wee pads or newspaper to define the area where you’d like him to go. At the other end of the space, put a mat for sleeping, some age-appropriate chew toys, and a small bowl of water. Your puppy will need to have enough space so that he won’t step in his mess. For short time periods, a crate is best. Don’t feel bad about crating your little guy. Introduced properly, most puppies actually like crates.
When you are at home, you must limit access to the house. You must have your eyes on him at all times when he is out of his crate. One good way to keep track of an inquisitive puppy is to keep him on a short leash. You can clip a leash to your belt loop or hook it around the leg of your chair. If the leash gets tight and you notice your dog doing the “potty dance,” sniffing the ground, circling, or squatting, you can immediately interrupt and bring him to the appropriate potty spot.
Putting your puppy on a schedule is the best way to predict behavior. Take a new puppy out to his potty spot on a leash every hour, and give him a potty command like, “Go potty.” Stand still. Do not follow your puppy around. Give him three minutes to potty. Praise him if he goes. If he doesn’t go, bring him back inside and put him in his crate and then try again in another hour.
Predicting when your puppy has to go potty is the key to prevention. As a rule, puppies need to go potty after these activities: Eating-30 to 40 minutes after eating, Sleeping– right away upon waking, and Playing– after 15 minutes of play. You can also keep an Elimination Log to record when your puppy goes potty. Once you learn his patterns you can proactively take him out.
If your puppy has an accident and you catch him in the act, interrupt him by clapping or saying “uh-oh”, pick him up and take him on-leash to his potty spot. Give him the potty command and praise him if he goes. Say nothing if he doesn’t. Next time, supervise more closely. If he has an accident and you do not catch him in the act, there is nothing you can do about it. Do not reprimand, scold, or swat him with a newspaper. It does no good; in fact, frightening him may cause more problems. Just clean it up and be more vigilant next time. Remember, the more mistakes he has, the harder the process becomes.
Puppies can be a wonderful addition to your family, as long as you remember that they need a lot of care and attention. House training does not have to be a nightmare, in fact, with a good plan in place, it can be a snap!
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