Caring for your dog
Housetraining a new puppy can be easy and effective
if the necessary time and patience is dedicated. Just like an architect
building a house, a plan is needed.
Teach the puppy where it is to eliminate,
by accompanying it every time it goes outdoors. Choose a specific
location with easy access. The area will soon become a familiar
spot as the pup recognises odour from previous excursions. Mildly
praise any sniffing or other pre-elimination behaviours. When the
puppy eliminates, praise it heartily. Using the same word when the
pup eliminates, “go toilet” for example will teach it
to go on command later when it is needed.
Scheduling meal times
Controlling the puppy's feeding schedule
provides some control over its elimination schedule. Most will eliminate
within the first hour after eating. Because of this, it is best
to avoid feeding a large meal just before confinement. Offer food
two or three times each day at the same times, and make it available
for no longer than 30 minutes. The last meal should be finished
three to five hours before bedtime.
It is also important to take it outdoors after
playing, drinking, or sleeping. By scheduling feeding times, play
sessions, confinement periods, and trips outside to the "toilet"
area, you will accustom your puppy to a relatively predictable elimination
The most challenging part of the housetraining
process is preventing the pup from eliminating indoors. Until the
puppy is housetrained, constant supervision is needed. When unable
to supervise, confine the pup to a relatively small, safe area.
Always take the puppy out to eliminate just before confinement.
A wire or plastic crate provides an excellent area in which to keep
the puppy when you cannot observe it. The crate becomes it safety
nest and it will not eliminate there.
If the puppy is home alone each day for long periods,
restrict it to a larger area such as a small room or exercise pen.
The area should provide enough space for the puppy to eliminate
if necessary and rest several feet away from a mess. Place paper
at the sites where the puppy is likely to eliminate. To associate
good things with the confinement area, spend time in the area playing
with the puppy or simply reading nearby as it rests there.
Returning to the scene of the crime
To discourage the puppy from returning to
previously soiled areas, remove urine and fecal odour with an effective
commercial product. These can be purchased from a local pet supply
store or veterinarian. If your puppy begins eliminating in certain
areas of the home, deny access by closing doors to the rooms, utilising
baby gates, or moving furniture over the soiled areas. Most pets
prefer to avoid eliminating in areas where they eat or play. Feeding
or placing water bowls, bedding, and toys in previously soiled areas
can discourage elimination.
Keeping your cool
No puppy has ever been housetrained without
making a mistake or two. Be prepared for the inevitable. Punishment
is the least effective and most overused approach to housetraining.
A correction should involve nothing more than a mild, startling
distraction and should be used only if the puppy is caught in the
act of eliminating indoors. Immediately take the pup to its elimination
area outdoors to finish. Once it is done, praise it for eliminating
A correction that occurs more than a few seconds
after the puppy eliminates is useless because it will not understand
why it is being corrected. If the punishment is too harsh, the puppy
may learn not to eliminate in front of the owner, even outdoors,
and the owner runs the risk of ruining their bond with the puppy.
Don’t even think about rubbing the pup's nose in a mess. There
is absolutely nothing it will learn from this, except to be afraid.
Some pets will squat and urinate as they greet family members. Never
scold them. This problem is due typically to nervousness or excitement,
and scolding will always make the problem worse. Puppies tend to
outgrow this from seven to ten months of age.
Summing it up
If patience and consistency is used, a puppy’s
housebreaking need not be a stressful procedure. With a little time
and patience it will all work out. Keeping to a schedule will help
speed up the process and make it easier for both owner and pup to
know what is expected.