Waking up and stepping into a puddle is something that most puppy owners experience. Dogs 8 weeks of age can urinate once an hour while awake. As soon as a puppy arrives at your home, your first task is to s teach your dog house training by encouraging the dog to eliminate in a specified spot. Dogs that are not given any orientation will choose a spot that they prefer. To make the process easier, it is advisable to choose a designated spot outside of the house where the puppy can eliminate. This will help the puppy to associate that spot with elimination. Additionally, it is important to use positive reinforcement when the puppy eliminates in the designated spot. This can be done by offering treats or verbal praise.
The best time to start dog house training is between 7,5 and 8,5 weeks. This is the time when puppies develop preferences and will actively search for the chosen substrate. Do not delay the dog house training for longer than 10 weeks. After the puppy is 10 weeks of age, fear starts to develop and he or she can be uncomfortable to eliminate in a new environment, e.g. outside.
Tips to help your puppy with potty training
- Take your puppy once an hour outside to do their needs, 15 to 30 minutes after they eat or immediately the puppy wakes up. Puppies have a fast metabolism and a small bladder, so they need to go frequently.
- It is important to be consistent with the timing of taking your puppy outside. This will help the puppy to establish a routine and get used to going outside for elimination. Additionally, it is important to take your puppy outside even if they do not show any signs of needing to eliminate. This will prevent accidents inside the house.
- Once you are outside, concentrate on the job. Keep the dog on a short lead. Do not play with them until your puppy is done. Allow sniffing as it plays an important role in the ritual of dog house training. After your pet is done, reward with time outside to explore.
- If your dog is too excited to be outside and cannot concentrate, pace on a short lead back and forth. This will speed up the process.
- Once the puppy is done praise and be very proud of the dead. Being positive and encouraging will speed up the dog house training.
- If the dog is outside off the leash, stand still and do not interact with your dog until the job is done.
- At home watch for signs that indicate the puppy is searching for a place to urinate. Pacing, whining, sniffing could be some of the indicators.
- If your pup starts to leak once you lift him/her, place a cloth in the genital’s area. This will stimulate inhibition.
- If you have an older dog who is already house trained, take him/her with on walks. Puppies learn quicker by copying other’s behaviour.
Teaching your dog to eliminate on a paper or in a litter box can make housebreaking hard. As the puppy can develop preferences to pee on a paper and actively seek for the spot. Later, even a house trained dog can eliminate on the floor laying newspaper.
Cannot take my dog regularly out
We understand that being at home all the time for the first few months is not always possible. If your dog has to stay alone then the deligated spot should be far from the food bowl. Most dogs will not eliminate at the same place where they eat. A preferred place is close to the doors. The methodology is the same as described above when bringing the dog outside. If your dog has problems finding the right spot, place a sponge soaked in urine or pieces of drops on the preferred area.
If your doggy stays in a crate when you are away, make sure that the crate is big enough so that a bed, food, water bowls, toys and litter box fits. The litter box should be placed as far away from the bowls as possible.
However, it is important to note that leaving a puppy alone for extended periods of time can be stressful for the puppy. It is recommended to have a friend or family member check on the puppy during the day and take them outside for elimination. Alternatively, hiring a dog walker or pet sitter can also be a good option. This will ensure that the puppy is getting enough exercise and socialization, and is not getting stressed out from being alone for too long.
Punishment of the puppy for him/her eliminating in a wrong spot is counterproductive. If you do not catch the dog on the spot and scold on him even a minute after, the puppy will not understand the reason he/she gets punished. Your rough behaviour can make your dog scared of you and even trigger fear, submission urination. However, if you catch the moment your puppy squats, give a negative cue to startle your dog, eg NO, Ouch, clap your hands or make a loud step. If the dog stops peeing, pick him/her up, hold a cloth under the belly and quickly bring him/her outside and praise for doing it in the right spot.
Normally dogs are completely house trained with 6 months. Small breed dogs and females may take slightly longer to do their needs outside. However, if your dog is older than 6 months, you should look for other reasons, medical or behavioural, why he or she still accidentally pees or poops at home. Keep in mind that unvaccinated puppies should avoid contact with other dogs, their faeces or urine. This might be a source of infection for your puppy.
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