“I’m not alone,” said the boy. “I’ve got a puppy.”
Jane Thayer – The Puppy Who Wanted a Boy
Key Takeaway: Housebreaking your puppy helps in establishing a happy and
conflict free relationship. Only when the puppy is housebroken can you let the
puppy walk around freely.
Consistency, patience, and lots of positive reinforcement are required for
housetraining your puppy. The goal of this exercise is to help in building certain
good habits in your puppy and to establish a loving bond with it. It can take
anywhere between four to six months for your puppy to be house trained.
However, for some puppies it could take up to a year as well. Size could be
major factor too.
A smaller puppy has a smaller bladder and a higher rate of metabolism than a
bigger pup. Therefore, a smaller puppy would need to be taken out more
frequently. The living conditions of the pup should also be taken into
consideration. Furthermore, you might have to get rid of any undesirable habits
of your puppy and establish desirable ones. You will need to set a schedule and
stick to it.
You will also need to show consistency and patience. Remember that you are
dealing with a puppy; a puppy doesn’t understand our language. A puppy simply
picks on your tone and nonverbal cues. When you are training your puppy, you
will definitely face some setbacks. These setbacks aren’t a reason for you to give
up on training the puppy. As long as you keep on managing them, your puppy
will be fine. You should take your puppy out as soon as you see signs that he
might want to eliminate and offer him rewards when he does potty outside. This
will help him learn.
When to Start Housetraining
Housetraining can be started when the pup is 12 to 16 weeks old. At this age, the
pup can control his bladder and bowel movements. Any later than this, it will
take longer for you to housetrain your puppy. If your puppy has been used to
eliminating in his cage, then it will definitely take you longer for breaking this
routine and incorporating a desirable habit instead. Encouragement and reward
will help in housetraining your puppy.
It is believed that confining the space that is available to your puppy helps in
housetraining. The puppy will not eliminate where it sleeps or eats food.
Therefore, it would want to go outside to do his business. Here are some steps
that you can follow for housetraining your puppy.
Create a Schedule
You will need to establish a schedule for your puppy and feed it according to this
schedule. Don’t leave any food in the pup’s bowl in between meals. Take the
puppy for a walk as soon as he wakes up in the morning, after his meal, after he
wakes up from a nap, and even after playing. Take him out to pee after every one
hour or so.
Also, make sure that you take him out before he goes to sleep. Take your puppy
to the same spot every time so that he can do his business. The smell will also
prompt him to do so. You will also need to stay outside with him till he is
housetrained. Whenever your puppy has done his business, you should praise
him or even give him a treat. A walk can be a treat as well.
Using a Crate
You can make use of a crate as well. However, don’t keep your puppy in the
crate for more than two hours at a time. Only let him sleep in the crate during the
night. The crate should be of a comfortable size. If it is too big then the pup
could use this as a bathroom. If it were too small then it wouldn’t be comfortable
for him. If you can’t be with your puppy all through the training period, then you
will need to get someone to take care of the puppy and take him for a walk when
you aren’t at home. You should stop using the crate if you notice that your puppy
is using it for eliminating.
Sniffing the ground, barking, whining, circling a spot, or scratching the door are
the common signs that your puppy needs to go out. Accidents are bound to
happen during potty training. You will need to deal with these incidents properly.
Don’t be harsh with your puppy or shout at it. Instead, clean the area thoroughly
and take the puppy outside. If you can monitor the puppy, then saying no the
moment you see it get ready to eliminate will help too.