You must be aware of the various conditions and activities that tend to stimulate puppies to eliminate. These include feeding, drinking, playing and waking up. Learn to be aware of these activities so you will know when your puppy has to eliminate. Keep in mind that younger puppies will have to eliminate more often that older ones. The next step is to teach your puppy where you want it to eliminate. You need to choose a specific location that the puppy will use at all times. It will become a familiar spot because the puppy will recognize its own odor. When taking the puppy to eliminate, start using
a command such as “go outside” or “go potty” and the puppy will start relating the command with the behavior.Praise your puppy during and after eliminating. When teaching your puppy to eliminate outside it is important to differentiate between play time and potty time. The way to do this is to allow the puppy to eliminate and immediately bring the puppy back inside so the puppy understands when and where to eliminate. If you let your puppy spend more time outside than inside during the house training process, it will be difficult for the puppy to understand what you want it to do and where you want it to eliminate.
TAKING THE FIRST STEPS
Your puppy’s feeding schedule provides some control over its elimination. Most puppies will eliminate anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour after eating. Meals for small toy breed puppies should be provided 2 to 3 times a day, most other breeds will be fine with twice a day feeding. The food should be made available for no longer than 5-10 minutes at a time. Making the food available for 5-10 minutes at a time will help your puppy get on a feeding schedule and help you know when it has to eliminate.
To ensure that you are not over feeding your puppy, look on the bag of food you are feeding and go by the age and weight of your puppy. For example, If it says feed 1 cup –1 1/2 cups per day, then divide the lesser amount of food by the times per day that your are feeding and give that amount at each meal, so you would give 1/2 a cup in the morning and 1/2 cup in the evening. Over feeding puppies can cause them to have excessive bowel movements. The last meal should be finished 2 to 3 hours before bedtime, also make sure that you take your puppy to eliminate right before bedtime.
Drinking large amounts of water, as puppies sometimes tend to do, will make them have to eliminate even more often. Their bladders can’t hold large amounts of water at one time and therefore they get blotted and have to urinate every few minutes. Because of this, it is best to ration the water supply and not let the puppy drink a large amount of water at one time. By doing this it will also help you to know when the puppy has to eliminate.
Crate training is a good way to help house train your puppy. Since dogs are den animals, the crate becomes their den and they will learn how to hold it while in their den. You will need to start with a small crate, just big enough for the puppy to stand up and lay down in. If the crate is to big then the puppy can eliminate on one side and sleep on the other, thus defeating the purpose to teach the puppy to hold it. You can expect your puppy to cry the first few time you put it in there. The puppy is not crying because it is in a crate, it is crying because it is alone. More than likely the puppy has never been alone before and this takes sometime to get adjusted to. A few things that you can do to help your puppy get adjusted are feeding the puppy in the crate, throwing toys in there and letting the puppy retrieve them, hiding treats in the crate for your puppy to find and sometimes a radio with the station on the fuzz sound can help (this is called white noise.) When you are not able to provide constant supervision because you are busy, sleeping, or away for the house always confine your puppy to its crate. This will provide a safe environment for your puppy while you can’t be there. Getting your puppy in a daily routine with feeding and going into the crate should help your puppy house train quicker. You can start using a command word when you put the puppy in the crate like “get in” or “ crate.” Once you put the puppy in the crate walk away and don’t say anything to the puppy as you are leaving, this will just add to any anxiety that the puppy has about being alone. Don’t try to comfort the puppy if it starts to cry just ignore it; I know this is a hard thing to do. You think that you are comforting the puppy when it is crying but in reality you are giving in to it and may make matters worse in the long run by causing separation anxiety.
Some of the most common mistakes when dealing with house training are misinterpretation, discipline, consistency and failure to teach the puppy to hold it. Be aware of your puppy’s actions and body language. For instance, if you observe your puppy sniffing frantically around the room, immediately use your “go outside” command and take the puppy to its special place that you want it to eliminate. Some young puppies don’t start sniffing for a place to eliminate, they just seem to be walking and the urge hits them and they go on the floor. Young puppies don’t quite know what to do with the urge that they feel just yet, but it will come to them it time. In the early stages of house training, it is good practice to allow your puppy out every 30 minutes to an hour to help prevent accidents and establish good habits. After eating and drinking you can count on your puppy to have to eliminate. Each time you take your puppy outside, take it to the same location and out the same door each time. Doing this will help your puppy recognize where it is supposed to go to eliminate and help start a consistent routine. Be sure that your feeding schedule is around the same time every day to help your puppy become accustomed to the elimination schedule. In the event that you witness an accident taking place in the house, quickly tell the puppy “NO,” then place the puppy outside and use your outside command. Keeping the puppy on a leash while in the house can also help you pay more attention to its needs. This way the puppy can’t get more than the length of the leash away from you and you will know if it has an accident. Do not, under any circumstances, rub your puppy’s nose in the urine or feces. Doing this may cause irreversible negativity when it comes to eliminating. Never let your puppy watch you clean up its mess in the house, as this will tend to make the puppy proud of it. If your puppy defecates on the floor, take that and put it outside where you want the puppy to go. This will help the puppy understand where you want it to go by helping the puppy recognize its own scent.
Just as a note, if your puppy has an accident in the house, clean it up with an odor eliminating cleaner. Using this type of product will keep the puppy from returning to the same spot. I recommend a product called Nature’s Miracle.