Teaching your new puppy to do his business in the right place and at the right time is one of the most important parts of being a doggy parent. House soiling is one of the main reasons that dogs end up losing their homes. Most people don’t like the thought of a dog who destroys flooring, carpet, and is constantly leaving a mess.
This is why it’s important to know what to do going in.
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Looking at potty training tips from parents of human children, you’ll see emphasis on things like having patience, timing, plenty of praise, sticking to a routine, and location. Although these objectives still apply in house training a puppy, there are other things to consider.
IS IT OK TO PUT MY PUPPY IN A CRATE?
A lot of first time puppy parents worry that confining their puppy to a crate might be cruel. You may have seen conflicting stories or blog posts or gotten differing opinions on whether or not dogs are “den animals”. Although they certainly don’t spend the majority of their lives in a den, they do have a “denning instinct”.
Pregnant dogs seek out a den to give birth. Injured dogs seek out a den for safety. During times of stress, dogs will seek out the safest and most secure location they can find. So while you’re worried that your puppy sees a crate as a prison cell, it’s actually quite the opposite. When training your puppy to be in a crate is done correctly, it can provide a safe space where he can relax.
Want to learn more? Check out “Crate Training Tips For Dogs And Puppies”.
IS IT OK TO TRAIN WITH “POTTY PADS”?
Here’s another topic relating to house training a puppy of which you might have heard conflicting opinions. Some are of the mind that “paper training” or using potty pads will only reinforce the behavior of doing their business indoors, but done correctly it can help you avoid accidents and provide a transition to “going” outdoors. It’s an especially helpful tool during the cold winter months or if you live somewhere like a large apartment building in the city where it’s not always easy to get outside right away.
Start with placing the pad near your puppy’s bed. Dogs will normally need to go potty as soon as they wake up. Make sure to use verbal cues like “Go potty!” while he’s going, and make sure to praise him when he goes. Once he’s got the idea, start moving the pad gradually closer to the door. Jut keep in mind when dogs normally need to “go”…when they wake up, after eating or drinking, or after playing. Once the pad has gradually moved to the door, the next step is to move the pad outdoors. Most puppies will have an easy time transitioning from the pad to grass at this time.
Looking for super absorbent, 100% leakproof potty pads? Check out Train Me Premium Potty Pads from TruDog!
WHAT DO I DO IF MY DOG HAS AN ACCIDENT?
Make no bones about it. While house training your puppy, there will be an accident or two…most likely more.
If your puppy has an accident, don’t punish them; just be sure to keep a closer eye on them. If you catch your puppy in the middle fo an accident, make a noise to startle them…this will usually get them to stop momentarily. Take them outside or to the potty pad and then make sure to praise them for going in the correct location.
Just in case of accidents, it’s always wise to be prepared with cleaning materials. There are a myriad of products on the market for removing dog urine stains and odors from different types of fabric. But if you’d rather make your own cleaning solutions at home rather than using store-bought chemicals, you can do that as well.
And if you find the odor still lingering in your home, try Sniff Me all-natural soy based candles which are specially formulated to neutralize pet odors.
REMEMBER THE BASICS
There are different methods of house training a puppy. And, most likely, your puppy will have accidents. But remembering a few key aspects of house training will make the process much easier.
TIMING AND ROUTINE- Make sure to keep your puppy on a routine. He’ll most likely need to go as soon as he wakes up, after play time, or after he eats or drinks. This is why it’s crucial as well to stick to a normal feeding schedule.
LOCATION – Whether you’re going to train starting outdoors, utilize a crate, or use potty pads, location is very important. Make sure he’s aware of where the potty pad is if using one. If starting right away by going outdoors, take him to the same place each time.
PATIENCE AND PRAISE – It’s akin to the process we go through with out two-legged children when they’re very small. You know mistakes are going to be made and that they most likely won’t “get it” right away. Always be patient, don’t yell or get upset, and always make sure to praise them when they perform a desired behavior. Our fur babies want to please us and the more praise they get when doing what we want, the more likely they’ll be to continue doing it.