5 tips on housebreaking your new puppy
Puppies can be a lot of fun, they're cute and cuddly and positively adorable. However, a new puppy can also require a lot of work, particularly if you are keeping it in the house. House training a puppy requires patience and consistency, much like toilet training a toddler does. The end result, a dog that is free to enjoy life as a house pet and one that will let you know when he or she needs to go outside, is well worth the initial effort.
- Be persistent. Right from the start, you need to make sure you teach your puppy the rules. And the number one rule is not to do his business in the house. Obviously, a new puppy won't really get this at first, so you'll need to be very persistent to reach your goal of having a housebroken puppy. Training your dog to go outside is going to take some time and you'll be cleaning up some messes, so be ready.
- If you don't see it, don't punish it. It's going to happen. You'll walk into the room and find a puddle or a nice little pile of doggy doo waiting for you. This is NOT the time to express your displeasure with your puppy. He won't understand since the act has been done and he doesn't know what you're upset about. The only time you should punish your puppy for making a mess indoors (and by punish, I mean scolding and perhaps shutting up in his box) is when you actually see it happen. Act immediately, or the entire thing will have vanished from the puppy's mind and you won't be doing any good at all.
- Follow a routine. Dog training mostly relies on consistency in order to work. If your puppy knows what to expect, he will be better able to do as you want him to. At first, you'll need to tailor your timing to the puppy. Most puppies need to head outside right after a meal, so make it routine to do that. As your dog gets older, you'll be able to lessen the number of trips outdoors and your dog will learn to hold it or let you know if there is a need to be filled.
- Keep it contained. You will have less to clean up if you keep your puppy in one area of the house. In fact, one form of puppy training involves using a crate to keep the dog contained. The crate can be placed anywhere in the home. If you decide not to use a crate, though, you can still put the puppy in a specific room, particularly at night. Laundry rooms often work well for this since they are easy to clean and warm. Your puppy will also feel more comfortable in a smaller space at the beginning.
- No food at night. By making sure that your puppy isn't eating at night, you'll save yourself a lot of hassle. You can remove food and water a couple of hours before bedtime and take the puppy out for a walk before turning in for the night. This will work to prevent too many bathroom trips during the night.
As long as you are consistent and patient with your puppy, you'll find that he is eager to please and will do his best to learn bathroom rules quickly. Dogs really do want to make their humans happy and if heading outside when nature calls is what makes you happy, then you can bet that's what your puppy will try to do.