How to House Break Puppies
Every pet owner will need to, at one time or another, house break their puppy.
Even if you plan on leaving your dog outside most of the time, it is a good idea to train them
early on where they are permitted to relieve themselves. The last thing you want is to have them making messes.
And while many people dread this process and therefore put it off, letting their dogs get away with much more than
they should, it need not be a complex process... if done properly.
The Rules of House Breaking
There are very specific rules for housebreaking your
puppy. To start with, never punish a puppy for making a mess when they are young. They do not know that this is
a bad thing and you're only going to create neuroses and make it harder to train them later.
Second, make sure you offer praise when the puppy does things properly. If they do it where they are supposed
to, offer praise and love, and even treats to reinforce the behaviour.
The House Training Methods
There are a few different ways to house train a
puppy. You'll generally have to stay inside to get it all right, and that means making sure you are there to
offer constant supervision.
* Pads and Special Areas - To start with, you'll want to set down pads and create special
"peeing areas" where your dog can go. These areas will be marked off by where the pads are. If they go off the
pads, you redirect them and then praise them for going on the pads.
The key here is to move them to the pads whenever you see them about to do something. You'll need to keep a close
eye on them to see when they are getting ready to go which will be often as a puppy).
As your dog gets acclimated to using the papers, you'll move them closer to the door and then eventually put them
down outside. Eventually, you'll be able to eliminate the papers outside as well and the puppy will know that
outdoors are for potty.
* Crate Training - Puppy crate training is an
important tool for potty training a puppy.
First off, no puppy wants to go to the bathroom in their crate. This is their bed space and that means they will
keep it clean.
You need to make sure the crate is only large enough to be their bed though. Many owners make the mistake of
getting a large kennel that the puppy can move around in. That will only give them space to go to the bathroom in
it, requiring you to start over. Never use the crate as a punishment either. You want your dog to enjoy being in
there, so that when you're cooking or going to the store, you have somewhere safe to leave them so they don't make
* Handling an Accident - When your puppy makes a mess or accident, which he or she definitely
will, remember not to punish them. Just clean up the mess and forget about it. The key here is that the dog will
not remember what you're punishing most of the time.
Even if you do catch the dog in the act, the dog will wonder why they are getting in trouble now, after doing it
a dozen times before without incident. It doesn't make sense and it will only confuse them and create anxieties and
future behaviour problems.
It can be frustrating, but you'll need to be patient and work toward changing the behaviour, not punishing it.
But, you'll be surprised how fast your puppy will adapt. By using a crate, your puppy will learn that it can
hold its feces and pee and if you pay close attention, it will take very little time to acclimate him to going
outside. Patience and persistence will get the job done nearly every time.