A puppy’s house training made easy
The basics of house training
In essence, house training is quite simple as all you want to do is teach your puppy not to go to the bathroom on certain surfaces or areas. Below you’ll find a few tips to help you win at house training. For more info, ask your veterinarian about paper training if it is not practical to take your puppy outdoors.
A puppy within sight
By always keeping a watchful eye on your puppy, you’ll be able to prevent him or her from starting any bad habits. If you are unable to keep constant watch, simply confine your puppy to a relatively small, safe area. However, your puppy should be under human supervision or confined until he has gone at least four consecutive weeks without going to the bathroom in the house.
Schedule to success
You can teach your puppy where to go potty by frequently taking him or her to the desired area and allowing time to sniff around. You should take your puppy out shortly after eating, playing, or after naps, before confinement and whenever your puppy starts sniffing around. Feed your puppy two to three times daily on a regular schedule and avoid feeding your puppy for an hour before confinement and before bedtime.
Who’s a good boy? (or girl)
After your puppy goes potty in the correct area, quietly give praise, and once finished, give a Science Plan Puppy kibble as a reward. Reward good actions immediately and not after you’re indoors again.
Accidents sometimes happen
Your puppy is still a baby and messes will occur. But when this does happen, do not make the mistake of punishing your puppy. Not only can this damage your relationship it may actually slow down house training. If you catch your puppy in the act of doing something it shouldn’t, make a sharp noise (clap your hands, stomp the floor) without saying anything. All you basically want to do is interrupt the bad behaviour and not frighten the puppy. Once stopped, immediately take your puppy outdoors to finish. Remember to thoroughly clean up any odour from floors and carpeting to help prevent a repeat. It’s important to wash your puppy’s bedding regularly and take him or her out during the night if required.
About Dr. Wayne Hunthausen, DVM
The Puppy Training section was contributed by Wayne Hunthausen, DVM. Dr. Hunthausen is a veterinarian and pet behaviour consultant who has worked with pet owners and veterinarians throughout North America since 1982 to solve companion animal behaviour problems. He has also served as the president and executive board member of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior.
Dr. Hunthausen has written for numerous pet publications, co-authored pet behaviour books and helped develop an award-winning safety video for children and pets. In his spare time, he is an avid photographer and enjoys skiing, cycling, movies, travelling with his wife, Jan, and hiking with their dogs Ralphie, Beau and Peugeot.