Humans, you wouldn’t want to have an accident in your house, would you? Well, great news! Puppies don’t enjoy pooping or peeing inside, either. See? You’ve already started housebreaking a puppy in the best way possible – you and your dog are already in agreement!
When dogs are puppies, we leave our den area to relieve ourselves. Then, our biological moms clean us up. It’s kind of like how my human mom picks up my poop in a poop bag on walks! But let’s get back to the point here. We like our home to be clean, just like you do. When we are really small, but old enough to be away from our dog mom, it takes some training for us to learn the proper places to poop. We rely on our new parents to guide us and show us the correct places to poop!
Set a Schedule
You’ll want to schedule both feedings and bathroom times. I’m not a big eater, but I do like it when my food is left out all day. That way, I can nibble whenever I’m in the mood. Feeding your potty-training-puppy this way is probably not the best idea. If her food is left out all day, there’s more of a chance she can eat or drink without your knowing it, and eliminate in your house. This isn’t to say you should be too restrictive over your dog’s food and water intake.
Instead, set a detailed feeding schedule. This schedule will in turn dictate a bathroom schedule. Easy as can be! In general, puppies need to use the bathroom just minutes after eating.
Keep Your Dog With You
If you’re worried about your dog dropping a deuce in the house, keep her with you at all times. Invest in a gate or a long leash so that you’ll always have a line of vision to your dog. Pay attention for obvious signs that your dog needs to relieve herself. Your dog may whine, bark, scratch at the door, sniff the ground, circle around, or even begin squatting. Be sure to bring your dog immediately to where you’d like her to eliminate as soon as you see any signs. Chances are, your dog might be trying to communicate her need to relieve herself with you. Do your best to pay attention!
If you are allowing your dog water access all day while housebreaking, remove the dish about two hours before bedtime. Why? We like to drink. If you leave it there, we’ll be sure to drink it and won’t be able to hold our bladders. Most puppies can sleep about seven hours without waking up to use the bathroom if we haven’t had a drink before bed.
Your dog is bound to have accidents in the house, and how you reprimand her makes a big difference in how the rest of the housebreaking will go. Be assertive, yet calm, and always redirect your dog to the correct spot you’d like her to eliminate in.
Remember, all dogs are not the same. You’d be insulted if I said all humans were the same. Like humans, some dogs learn more quickly than others. Work together with your dog to find what is best for both you and your pup.
Other Tips I Recommend
- Your dog may be able to alert you if she has to go outside. Put bells on your door, and train your dog to paw it every time she needs to go out. While she is learning, remember to always ring the bell before going outside, so she associates it with being able to relieve herself.
- I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Dogs love treats, and consider them great motivators. When we pee in the spot you prefer, give us a treat. It might not click with us right away, but eventually, we’ll associate relieving ourselves outside as a preferred behavior.
- Repeat phrase or keywords: A dog friend of mine is a lazy pee-er. While she has been house trained before, she sometimes forgets to go outside, and in turn has an accident in the house. She’s lucky to have a great mom who reminds her every once in a while. She’ll say “Do you have to out outside?” and the second my friend hears the word “outside,” she bolts to the door to be let out. Works like a charm. When you start training your dog, try to use the same phrase such as “potty” or “outside” or “bathroom” so that your dog will begin to associate it with relieving herself.
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