House training your puppy is all about being consistent with your commands, having patience, and using positive reinforcement. The goal is to create good habits for your pet so that they know what is expected of them, and to also build a strong and loving bond with you.
House training a puppy can take anywhere from 4 to 6 months, but in some cases, it may take up to a year for them to be fully trained. A puppy’s size is often a predictor of how long it will take to house train them. Smaller breeds have smaller bladders and higher metabolisms, which means they will need to go outside more frequently. Another predictor is your puppy’s previous living conditions. If they were not properly trained in their previous home, you may find that you need to help your puppy break old habits and establish new, more desirable ones.
While you’re training your puppy, there may be some setbacks but don’t worry! As long as you keep up with a management program that includes taking your puppy out at the first sign they need to go and offering them rewards, they’ll learn eventually.
When to begin house training puppy:
Puppy house training generally begins between 12 and 16 weeks of age. By this age, most puppies have gained enough control over their bladder and bowel movements to learn to hold it.
If your puppy is older than 12 weeks and has been eliminating in a cage (and possibly eating their waste), house training may take longer. You will need to reshape the dog’s behavior with encouragement and reward.
Steps for housetraining your puppy:
Confining your puppy to a defined space is the best way to potty train them, whether that means in a crate, in a room, or on a leash. As your puppy learns that they need to go outside to do their business, you can gradually give them more freedom to roam about the house.
When you start to house train, follow these steps:
It’s important to keep your puppy on a regular feeding schedule. You should take away their food between meals so they learn to eat when they’re supposed to.
Make sure to take your puppy out first thing in the morning and then once every 30 minutes to an hour. They should also always go outside after meals or when they wake from a nap. Before you leave them alone, make sure to take them out one last time at night.
Consistency is key when potty training your puppy – take them to the same spot each time to do their business. They will begin to associate their scent with going to the bathroom, and it will prompt them to go when they need to.
You should keep your puppy with you outside, at least until they are house trained. This way, you can supervise them and make sure they don’t have any accidents.
When your puppy eliminates outside, praise them with words or give them a treat. A walk around the neighborhood is an excellent way to show your puppy that you approve of their behavior!
Using a crate to house train puppy
A crate can be a helpful tool for house training your puppy – at least in the beginning stages. By keeping them in a crate, you can closely monitor them for signs that they need to go to the bathroom and teach them to hold it until you open the crate and let them outside.
Here are a few guidelines for using a crate:
The kennel should be big enough for the puppy to stand up, turn around comfortably, and lie down, but not so big that they can use a corner as a bathroom.
If you are using the crate for more than two hours at a time, make sure the puppy has access to fresh water, preferably in a dispenser you can attach to the crate.
If you’re not able to be home during the house training period, make sure somebody else can take them out for a break in the middle of the day for the first 8 months.
If your puppy is eliminating in their crate, don’t automatically assume it’s because they’re bad or that the crate is too big. There could be a number of reasons why they’re doing this: they may have picked up bad habits from the shelter or pet store where they lived before; they may not be getting outside enough; the crate may be too big; or they may be too young to hold it in. If you’re not sure what the problem is, take them to the vet to rule out any health issues first. From there, you can start troubleshooting the other potential causes.
Signs that your puppy needs to eliminate:
Whining, circling, sniffing, or barking are all signs that your puppy needs to go out. If they are unconfined, they may also bark or scratch at the door. Take them out right away to avoid accidents.
House training setbacks
Accidents are unfortunately very common among puppies who are less than a year old. There could be several reasons for accidents, from not being fully house-trained to a change in the puppy’s environment.
If your puppy has an accident, stay consistent with their training. And if accidents continue to happen, consult a veterinarian to see if there’s a medical issue.
Dos and don’ts in potty training your puppy:
Here are some house-training dos and don’ts to keep in mind while training your puppy: DO pick a designated elimination spot outdoors and take your pup there regularly. DON’T punish your puppy for accidents indoors – this will only make them fear and resent you. DO praise your pup enthusiastically when they eliminate in the appropriate spot. DON’T let your puppy roam freely indoors until they are fully housetrained. confine them to a small, safe area with easy-to-clean flooring.
punishing your puppy for having an accident is not recommended as it could teach your puppy to fear you.
If you catch your puppy in the act of doing something unacceptable, make a loud noise to startle them and grab their attention. Then take them outside by calling their name or gently grabbing their collar. Once they are finished, praise them or give them a small treat as a reward.
If you find the evidence of your puppy’s accident but they’re not currently in the act, resist the urge to react angrily by yelling or rubbing their nose in it. Puppies aren’t intellectually capable of connecting your anger with their accident.
Staying outside longer with your puppy may help to curb accidents. They may need the extra time to explore and use the restroom before coming back inside.
Use an enzymatic cleanser to clean up accidents rather than an ammonia-based cleaner. Ammonia-based cleaners will only mask the odor and not remove it, which will only attract your puppy back to the same spot.