One of the toughest jobs that a family faces when they bring home their new puppy is getting the dog house-trained. This means that your dog will go outdoors and not use your floors and furniture as a toilet. A lot of people think that house training a puppy will be a tough task, but it doesn’t need to be. If you prepare yourself in advance with plenty of information on ways to get your dog house-trained, you will be on the right path to having a dog that goes to the bathroom where you want them to go. Below I have 6 tips for house training a puppy, that I hope may help you.
1. When is The Best Time to House Train
A dog can be toilet trained at any age, but the best age to begin is between eight and twelve weeks old, and it can take up to 6 months for your puppy to be completely housetrained.
From the pups I have had I found the girls seemed to be quicker learners than the boys, my Alaskan Malamute pup barely had any accidents in the house right from when I bought her home at 8 weeks and after a few weeks she was having none at all, whereas her brother who lived with my friend took a lot longer to grasp the idea he wasn’t supposed to just go wherever he was at the time. I’ve been lucky with all the rescue dogs I have had in that they have never had any accidents in the house, except for my one boy, but when he came to me at 5 years old he had never actually ever lived indoors before, so he took a bit of time and to train, but eventually he got there and the only casualty was my hallway carpet.
If you set up a house training routine as soon as you bring your puppy or older dog home, before long they will get the right idea of where to go when they need to relieve themselves.
2. The Advantages of Using a Crate
A crate is a great tool for toilet training a puppy. It keeps them confined when there is no supervision and most dogs learn quickly that if they make a mess in their crate they will have to sit in it. Dogs are fairly hygienic and won’t enjoy having to sit in their own toilet.
If using a crate be sure there is enough room in it for your pup to move around, but don’t leave so much room that they will be able to relieve themselves and then lie down away from it.
A lot of dog owners don’t really like crateing their dogs as they see a crate as a jail cell or something to be used for punishment.
None of my dogs are crated but I have used them when introducing a puppy or a new rescue depending on the dog, and they have been really beneficial, as the dog loves having their own space where they can escape from the hustle and bustle of the household for some quiet time and a place they can feel safe.
Make your dogs crate a happy place for them to go and don’t ever use it for punishment.
You can also feed your dog in the crate, or while they are in there offer them treats reinforcing it is a nice place to be. Maybe put their favourite toy or chewy in there with them, add blankets inside and I have also covered the top and sides over with them to make them feel more enclosed and made a cozy den for them to escape to whenever they feel the need.
Utilizing a crate for your dog can keep them out of trouble and not only when house training. Things to remember when using a crate for house training.
- Make sure your pup has room to move around and stand in their crate but not too much room to give them an area to toilet in.
- Don’t leave your puppy for longer than around two hours at a time in the crate, and if you are not going to be home during house training make sure you have someone else who can let your pup out at regular intervals to go to the toilet. Even an older dog should not be left for long periods of time without being let out.
- Ensure they always have access to water.
- If your pup does start using their crate as a toilet, it could be that they are not being let out enough, the area in their crate is too big or they are too young to hold it in.
3. Keep Your Eyes Peeled
Keeping a close eye on your puppy is a key factor in getting them house-trained. Signs to look out for are whenever you see that they are sniffing, circling or beginning to squat, as soon as you do immediately take them outside to the place where you want them to go and wait and see if they do. If your pup does go, make sure to praise them.
Also a good idea is to have a cue, such as “hurry up” but can be whatever you want so that your puppy knows what you want them to do. When they are going to the bathroom repeat the cue and then give your dog lots of praise for a job well done. Always be consistent with the cue you use, and remember It is better to take the dog out and nothing happens than take a chance of an accident happening.
4. Have a Schedule
Keeping to a regular schedule when feeding, watering and walking your dog will make house training much easier. Puppies are like children and they thrive on a routine, so try to take your dog out around the same time everyday so they will get used to when they are going and be able to adjust their bodily functions.
The first thing you should do in the morning is take your puppy from the crate or wherever they sleep and bring them to the place where you want them to go to the toilet, give the cue, and praise when they successfully go.
You should take your puppy out at least every two hours, and always after eating or drinking and especially after play. Before you know it, your puppy will be letting you know it is time to go out and do their business.
5. Don’t Let your Puppy Roam
Letting your puppy roam around the house wherever they want is a surefire way to have accidents
. If you have decided you don’t want to use a crate, and even if you do use one, confining the dog to certain areas of the house can make house training easier for everyone.
Its difficult to keep track of a puppy when they have the run of the house, but if you confine them to one room for example the kitchen, they will still be able to be part of the family and what’s going on but can be better supervised in case of an accident
6. Don’t Get Discouraged
There will be times when you first begin house training that you feel your pup is just not getting it. They may have accidents in the house as well on occasion. But there is no need to be discouraged.
If you stick to your routine, keep a good eye on the dog and make frequent visits to their outdoor toilet, in no time at all your puppy will be house-trained.
Another good idea is to use the same door every time when you are taking your pup out so that when they have to go, eventually they will automatically go to that door to let you know they want to be let out. Once this happens, you will know all your hard work has paid off and that your puppy is truly beginning to understand that going to the bathroom in the house is a no-no.
I hope you have found these tips helpful if your are in the process of house training your puppy, feel free to leave any comments or questions, and if you have any other tips you want to share.