0837 housetrain your puppies
Photo: Sit Means Sit

When to Begin House Training Puppy

Experts recommend that you begin house training your puppy when they are between 12 weeks and 16 weeks old. At that point, they have enough control of their bladder and bowel movements to learn to hold it.

According to Web MD, if your puppy is older than 12 weeks when you bring them home and have been eliminating in a cage (and possibly eating their waste), house training may take longer. You will have to reshape the dog’s behaviour - with encouragement and reward.

Step 1. Schedule a veterinary exam

0958 housetrain your puppies1
Photo: Veterinary Practice News

If your dog suddenly begins having “accidents” or if you have been unsuccessful at housetraining, contact a veterinarian right away. Resolving health issues may resolve the problem, American Humane cites.

Intact males may be marking, in which case neutering can help significantly (not to mention the added health benefits of neutering).

Step 2. Understand normal puppy behaviour

1132 housetrain your puppies
Dog behaviour. Photo: The Spruce Pets

Never rub a dog’s nose in urine or faeces, or punish a dog for an “accident.” This will teach your dog to fear you, and he may hide when he has to “go.” It is not instinctive for dogs to relieve themselves outside; it is only natural for them to not go where they sleep. Everyplace else is fair game!

You must be patient. Regardless of whether you have a puppy or have recently adopted an adult, the dog will not automatically understand the routine in your house or know where the door is. It is up to you to train your dog.

Step 3. Get started

Decide on a special treat that your puppy/dog will only get when after pooping or peeing outside.

1. Keep the treats handy (near the door) every single time you take the dog out.

2. Treats should be small (about the size of your pinky fingernail), and you will need at least three to five treats for each potty break.

Step 4. Schedule your puppies' feeding

1358 housetrain your puppies2
Photo: Cesar

Always feed by schedule, rather than free feeding. Eating all day = pooping all day! Get your dog on scheduled feedings:

1. Your veterinarian can help you determine the appropriate amount of food your dog needs and the number of feedings per day.

2. Remove any uneaten food after 20 minutes.

3. Do not offer the dog more food until the next scheduled meal.

4. Stick to it! The dog should be eating on schedule within one to four meals.

Step 5. Clean up messes thoroughly

1634 housetrain your puppies3
Photo: Scratchpay

Dogs are attracted to return to spots where they urinated/defecated previously. If you clean up just a little, the dog will be attracted to “refresh” the spot. If you clean thoroughly, there will be no attraction to go there again. Pet urine is very difficult to get out, and standard household cleansers don’t cut it. Rent or hire a carpet cleaner with special pet-urine enzymatic cleaner or use an enzymatic cleaner, such as Nature’s Miracle or Simple Solution, found in most pet supply stores or online.

Cleaning protocol:

Saturate any dried spots with lukewarm water.

Press the area with paper towels until there is no more moisture.

Follow the instructions on the container, but repeat three times.

Step 6. Use chemical attraction to your advantage

Do not throw away any “accidents” since dogs are attracted to go in the same places over and over. Let’s use this to our advantage! First, pick up any indoor “accidents” and bring them outside to the potty area.

1. Put the poop right onto the ground, or secure the material used to wipe up urine to the ground with a rock or stick.

2. These “triggers” can be removed after the pet has “pottied” in the area.

3. When they do poop outside, leave the most recent poop in place to encourage your dog to go again in that area.

4. After each new poop has been left in that area, you can clean up any previous poop.

Be sure to go back inside the house and immediately clean any soiled areas according to the instructions in step 5.

Step 7. Supervise your puppies

You must see everything that comes out of the dog so you can interrupt inside “accidents” and reward outside potties. If you notice a mess after it has happened, you are not supervising closely enough. Watch for sniffing, squatting, circling or tail out straight — and take the dog out immediately. If the dog begins to poop/pee inside:

1. Immediately interrupt him by clapping and saying “Ah ah!”

2. Get the dog outside as soon as possible (carry him whenever possible and put the leash on the dog as you head to the door).

3. You must be with the dog outside so as to praise him; simply letting him out and shutting the door is not enough.

Once you are outside, take the dog right to the area where you want him to “go.”

1. Walk back and forth or around in little circles.

2. Do not play or converse with the dog until he goes (this may take some time, but be patient).

3. When the dog begins to go, quietly whisper a command you plan to eventually use to tell him to “go,” such as: go potty, get busy, do your business, etc.

4. Quietly praise him and get that special treat ready.

5. As soon as the poop/pee is complete, immediately praise him, quickly give him several treats and then play.

6. Now your dog gets to do whatever he wants (go for a walk, run back inside, etc.).

Step 8. Schedule potty break

2417 housetrain your puppies1
Puppy potty break. Photo: Instinct Dog Behaviour and Training

The frequency of potty breaks depends on age, breed and previous training (anywhere from every 10 minutes to once an hour). Set a watch alarm or timer to remind you of potty breaks. Stick to the intervals until the dog is successful for several days. Slowly increase the amount of time between intervals only if the dog succeeds. As he succeeds, gradually allow more and more freedom inside the home. If you see accidents, go back to more frequent potty breaks, increase supervision and reduce freedom inside.

Crates are an important puppy housetraining tool that can make your life easier. Besides, puppy pads and paper training offer a temporary solution to housetraining. You should remember, consistency, attention, understanding, and patience are all key in housetraining.
Tips To Improve Your Dog Tips To Improve Your Dog's Diet

There is an increasing demand of raising a pet such as a dog to become best companion. However, raising them is not a simple task, ...

How Often Should You Take Your Dogs To The Vet? How Often Should You Take Your Dogs To The Vet?

A big part of caring for a pet is taking them to the animal hospital or vet clinic for health care. But when should you ...

7 useful tips to raising a dog 7 useful tips to raising a dog

A dog can be a wonderful addition to any home, but raising a dog is not an easy task. Knowinsider will give you 7 useful ...