- Skip the “puppy pads”! Teaching your puppy to use pads is an extra step you don’t need. Instead, supervise your puppy at all times and limit freedom in the house. When you can’t supervise your puppy, keep him safe and prevent messes by confining him to a crate or a pen. Limit access to the house until you have several months of consistent success.
- When in doubt, take them out! Puppies need to eliminate frequently, so take them out….
- After a nap
- After a meal/drink
- After playtime and training
- How long can they hold it? As a general guideline, for every month that your puppy ages, they should be able to “hold it” for another hour. For example, if your puppy is two months old, expect him to need to go out every two hours or so. A four month old puppy should be able to wait about four hours.
- This is not a hard and fast rule! If there are any “strikes” (see above) during that time be sure to take him out!
- Many puppies can go longer overnight because there is very little external stimulation (ie; lights are off and there is no activity in the house)
- Use a leash/Stay with your puppy/Potty time is not playtime!
- Go outside with your puppy. Pick a spot in the yard that you would like him to go and use that spot, every time! Stand still and let the puppy sniff around that immediate area. You can add a “cue “word such as “business” to be associated with going outside to urinate/defecate. When he goes, PRAISE LAVISHLY! When you are sure he is empty, offer a treat or a quick play session as a reward.
- Two Puddles/Two Piles-Puppies get distracted easily, and may not completely empty themselves when they first go out. If you find that your puppy is coming back inside and having an accident soon after, give him an extra few minutes outside when you go out. He may need to make TWO puddles or TWO piles before he is really finished!
- No Freedom Until He’s Empty! If you are still having trouble with accidents happening in the house, limit your puppy’s freedom until he does his” business” outside.
- When you come inside after an unsuccessful “out”, put your puppy right into a crate for 10-15 min.
- Take him out of the crate and directly outside for another chance-if he goes to the bathroom, PRAISE LAVISHLY!
- If he doesn’t do his” business”, back inside to the crate for another 10-15 min.
- Repeat this process until your puppy is successful.
- Slowly increase the amount of freedom that your puppy has in the house as long as there are no accidents!
“My puppy is housetrained, but he eats his poop! How can I stop it?
This is one of those unpleasant things that some dogs do that we can’t explain. There are a number of taste deterrents on the retail market that work sometimes, but our solution is simple: CLEAN IT UP! If your puppy doesn’t have access to poop, he can’t eat it! An added bonus is that your yard will be clean and you will be reducing the risk of disease transmission to other animals and family members too. This is just one of the reasons why keeping your dog on a leash can be helpful during housetraining time!