How to Housetrain Your Puppy
Bringing home a puppy is a wonderful decision and an exciting time for the family. But after you’ve played with the pup and cuddled her for hours, it’s time to get to work and start housetraining her at once. Without early and effective housetraining, puppies grow up to be destructive and uncontrollable through no fault of their own. Dogs respond extremely well to guidance, and the calmest, most self-assured ones are always the dogs who’ve had the benefit of early housetraining to guide their behavior and make everyone’s life a lot less stressful.
The first thing you must do is establish a schedule for your dog. Your canine companion is happier when her body knows exactly when it’s expected to digest food and when it’s supposed to eliminate. Puppies begin to develop bladder control when they are around 10 to 12 weeks old. Until then, food as well as frequent turns outside the house must be done on a predictable schedule that she quickly comes to anticipate.
2. Access to Food + Water
So, meal times must be strictly followed, and in this period, try not to let the dog free feed from her bowl. Take away her water bowl after every meal. Limiting water supply may seem cruel, but it will keep her from making accidents. Puppies eat a lot more frequently than adult dogs. Make sure she has access to water during her meal and she’ll stay sufficiently hydrated. Then take her out immediately afterwards.
Given a pup’s inability to hold her pee in once they have to go, take her our first thing in the morning and then once every hour. It may seem like a lot of work initially, but within a few weeks you’ll find that your charge is learning that she must never have accidents inside the house. Always go to a familiar spot that she already marked so that she can smell herself there. This triggers their instinct to mark the area and will make the job easier for you.
One of the biggest reasons people fail to house train their puppies is because they give up too early. Go out with ten to fifteen minutes in your hand. They may not pee immediately but they eventually will. And if they don’t, then bring them inside and take them out again an hour later. However, never leave the puppy outside alone during this time. You need to be sure that she’s finished peeing before she comes back in.
5. Positive Reinforcement
If your puppy comes in from her airing and promptly pees inside the house, don’t scold her, for that matter, don’t give her any attention. Immediately mop up the area. Be sure to use string cleaning agents to kill the smell. Whenever she pees or poops during her hourly walks outside, reward her with treats or a little game, or simply affection. Make it a positive experience that she associates with eliminating outside. If she has an accident inside the house, don’t react, no matter how frustrating it might be. Dogs are extremely sensitive and over a few weeks she’ll realize which behavior gets her all your love and which one gets her ignored.
If you are regular and patient, you’ll train the most stubborn puppy within a few weeks. But as with all things related to dogs, you must approach this with determination and a solid sense of humor. This will keep you sane while your puppy decides whether to humor your efforts.