House Training a Puppy

House training is probably the first training you will give your puppy and as you can imagine, it’s an important one to get right. Puppies need to pee and poo regularly and you need to train your dog to go to the toilet where and when you want him to. Puppy training is key to this process and should be started as early as possible.  It’s important to remember that your puppy doesn’t know that there’s a right place to go to the toilet, so it’s up to you to tell him and to keep telling him. But don’t forget that puppies will be puppies and mistakes will happen. Make sure that you clean up any mess very well, including using an odour eliminator to remove any lingering smells.

There are several training methods to choose from but all require a good deal of commitment on your part. You can either train your puppy to go outside straight away or teach him that he can go in a designated area in your house before you train him to go outside. It seems to me to be a lot easier to train once, even if this requires a greater initial commitment.

Puppies love a routine. It helps them with their understanding of the world and makes life’s lessons easier to learn. Establishing a feeding routine early on is the key to avoiding too many accidents as when a puppy is fed regularly, he will also need to poo regularly – and hopefully predictably. Consistency is hard work but the payback is that your puppy will be house trained that much sooner.

House training your puppy is hard work and any method you choose will require a great deal of commitment on your part and should be a constiuent part of your puppy training. The outdoor method means your puppy goes to the toilet outside right from the start.

Start by making a pen which contains your puppy’s bedding, water bowl and toys. Your puppy will not want to soil his sleeping quarters. Keep your puppy in this area or close by you on a lead. It’s important that he is not left loose to roam about your house as there will be no incentive for him not to go to the toilet where and when he feels the urge.

Every hour you need to take your puppy outside to a designated spot and encourage him to go to the toilet by walking up and down and using a short phrase like ‘hurry up’ or ‘busy busy’. Stick with just one phrase so that your puppy will learn to associate it with going to the toilet. Give him a few minutes and if he doesn’t go, try again in 15-30 minutes. Praise your puppy once he has peed or pooed. Once your puppy has done his business, you should spend some time playing with him as a reward.

At night, you will need to set your alarm and get up to take your puppy out two or three times. At 3:00 in the morning this may feel like the worst idea but stick with it and reap the rewards of a happy, housetrained little mutt.

Once you have got your puppy in a good routine about going outside to go to the toilet, you will need to train him to ask to go outside. One of the easiest ways to do this is by hanging a bell or chime by the door. This should hang down to your puppy’s head height. When you take your puppy outside, you need to give the bell a little shake and say the same little phrase like ’let’s go’ or ‘outside’ every time. Then, immediately open the door and take the puppy outside. Do this for a week or two. Your puppy will associate the bell with the phrase and with going outside for the toilet.

The next step is to take your puppy to the door as normal but instead of shaking the bell, just say the phrase. If your puppy gives the bell a push with his nose, give him lots of praise while opening the door quickly. If he doesn’t touch the bell after a few seconds, just go through your normal routine of giving it a little shake, saying your phrase and opening the door. Keep trying to get your puppy to ring the bell every time you take him to the door but don’t wait more than a few seconds before stepping in. Your puppy will eventually work out what you want him to do and will soon be going to the door and ringing the bell when he needs to go.

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