How to house train your puppy:
Picture this: Your new puppy is sleeping contently, suddenly, he/she gets up and wanders a few feet away. The puppy sniffs the floor, then quietly eliminates on the floor. Your puppy has just made his/her first bathroom boo-boo.
The fact is, puppies don’t come equipped with bathroom manners. They don’t know that there are places and times that you want them to eliminate. You have to teach them proper potty protocol (house training).
General puppy potty times:
Puppies will generally need to eliminate after sleeping, eating, playing, and before bedtime. By setting a schedule with your new companion, these activities can be better controlled, thus making the potty training much easier.
Prevention is key:
The key to housetraining is to prevent accidents from happening in the first place. Such deterrence may seem impossible if you have a puppy that seems to eliminate every few minutes. But by following a few simple steps, you can teach your puppy proper potty protocol.
Pick a potty spot outdoors where you want your new companion to eliminate. Be sure to pick a spot that is easy to clean up, and one that has easy access for you to go with your puppy.
Pee posts (purchased from your local pet supplier) can help in establishing the area that you wish the puppy to eliminate. Puppies must be given ample time and space outdoors, in an area close to your home, where they are allowed to eliminate. Whenever your puppy needs to go, take him/her to this spot and use the same route to get there every time (routine is crucial).
Yes, you must go outside with your puppy!!!!!!! Do not expect that you can just open the door and send him/her out on their own to do their business, and think that he/she will learn that is what you want (they are not mind readers).
Supervise your puppy:
To prevent accidents, watch your puppy closely whenever he/she is not confined. That way, when the pup shows signs of needing to go potty (stopping suddenly, circling, sniffing the floor, etc.), you can take the puppy to the potty spot that you have chosen, before he/she makes a mistake. If you have times that you are not able to supervise your puppy, be sure to provide a safe location where accidents are less likely to occur, such as a crate, laundry room, bathroom, etc.
Please understand that puppies are not capable of holding it for long periods of time. A general rule to follow (1 hour for each month of age), meaning that when your new puppy goes home with you at 8 weeks of age (2 months old), he/she should not be expected to hold it for longer than 2 hours at a time.
Note: Do not refuse access to water in an attempt to reduce potty breaks. Throughout the day, the puppy must have access to clean fresh water at all times. Puppies are very susceptible to dehydration and urinary tract infections if they are not provided with adequate water.
If you want a good nights rest without the frequent potty breaks, take the food (if allowed to free feed), and water away approximately 1 hour before bed time. Be sure to take the puppy out potty right before bed. An 8 week old puppy should be able to make it around 4-5 hours through the night without a potty break. Be sure to supply the puppy with fresh water, first thing in the morning, before the days activities begin.
If this sounds like work, it is!! It is your responsibility as a dog owner to teach your puppy all the things that will make him/her a great family member. Your puppy will need to learn many more things, besides house training; we recommend a puppy socialization and obedience class to help you.
Or, if you wish to attempt the training on your own, there are many great books available on basic obedience. Just remember, all of the hard work that you put into your puppies first months, will make him/her a wonderful, loyal, enjoyable lifelong companion in the years to come.