Dog House Training Guide: Tips And Advice On How To House Train Your Puppy

Bringing home a new canine can be a very exciting time for any family, but house training a puppy can be trying for even the most dedicated owners. There are a number of valuable tips that will help any dog house train in a relatively short period of time.

One of the most important parts of puppy house training is to remember that a puppy is like a baby: It's going to take time for the new lesson to sink into that young brain. To help the puppy learn appropriate elimination behaviors, owners must remain consistent, dedicated, and patient.

Set a Daily Routine

Begin by setting a daily routine. Following a regular schedule will help your puppy learn that things like eating, playing, and going outside to go to the bathroom happen at a particular time or in a certain order. It's important to remember that a puppy is capable of holding his bladder for about one hour for every month of age. For example, a three-month old puppy can hold it for about three hours. If forced to wait longer, the puppy is likely to have an accident. Unless you're lucky enough to work from home, you'll need to have someone come in to walk the dog while you're away. A regular feeding schedule will also help the puppy to eliminate at more predictable times. Of course, it's also a good idea to take the dog outside whenever he wakes up from a nap or finishes a particularly vigorous session of play.

Using Crating and Confinement Responsibly

Confinement and supervision also play a role in house training any puppy. Crating is acceptable only if the owner learns how to do it responsibly, but other confinement methods are equally effective. Try using baby gates to enclose a small area of the bathroom or utility room to keep your puppy in one place. The area should be small enough that the animal won't want to eliminate there. Another useful method of indoor confinement is to tether the animal to a piece of furniture when he's inside the house. You'll be able to enjoy the puppy's company without watching every move he makes. When a puppy isn't confined, he should be closely supervised. Not only does this help with house training, but it will also keep the puppy-related destruction to a minimum.

Be Consistent

Remain consistent in where you expect your dog to eliminate. By walking him to the same spot in the yard every time you go out, you'll teach the puppy that a particular area is designated for potty time. It also helps to choose a phrase like "go potty" or "do your business" when arriving in the area that you've chosen. Eventually the dog will associate the place in the yard and the phrase with the act of elimination. You'll be pleased to learn that most puppies make the connection fairly quickly.

Teaching a puppy to sleep through the night without a trip outside can be difficult. Savvy pet owners quickly learn to remove the puppy's water bowl two to three hours before bedtime. On the occasions that your puppy does wake you to go outside, take him quickly and quietly. While it's okay to praise his good behavior, turning on a lot of lights, talking excessively to the animal, or playing with him will teach the dog that he doesn't need to sleep through the night.

Positive reinforcement is a huge part of dog house training. When a puppy receives a scratch behind the ears or a treat for eliminating at the correct time and in the proper place, he'll be more likely to repeat this desirable behavior. Like small children, puppies respond well to praise. While every potty training attempt won't yield a successful result, consistent behavior on the part of the owner will help enormously.

Use House Training Aids

Dog house training aids have also made the process of house-breaking a new puppy much easier. Puppy pads are one of the more common aids, and these are pretty easy to use. When the dog starts showing signs of needing to go to the bathroom, place him on the pad and give the command to "go potty". Eventually, the dog will learn to only eliminate when he hears this command. Pads are a great transition when puppies are just beginning to learn the essentials of good bathroom behaviors. Dog potties are also useful in the house-breaking process. These potties generally simulate an outdoor experience, but are small enough that they can be placed on patios or porches. Most of these systems include a drainage system, scents to attract the dog, and synthetic grass that is useful for training. While this product is a little more expensive, it's a one time investment. Bells are another excellent house training aid. Simply hang a cluster of bells on the door handle; through training, the dog can learn paw at the bells when he needs to go outside, alerting the humans. Remember that house training aids can only go so far in teaching proper elimination behavior; consistency and hard work from the owner are the most important factors in a successful outcome.

Prepare for Dog House Training Accidents

Accidents are going to happen when house training any puppy. Don't scream, hit, shake, or severely punish the animal for mistakes. If you catch the puppy in the act of going potty in the house, interrupt him and take him to a more appropriate spot. Praise him for finishing his business outdoors. If you don't catch the puppy during the accident, clean it up and move on. Rubbing his nose in the soiled area won't have any effect because he won't remember what he did wrong. Punishing an animal who doesn't understand the mistake will only damage the pet-owner relationship.

House Training Success - A Well Behaved Dog

Never forget that bringing home a new puppy requires almost as much effort as bringing home a new baby. You'll spend countless hours feeding, training, and playing with your new addition. By following some (or all) of the tips mentioned above, you'll maximize your potential for house training success. Remember that proper training leads to a well-behaved dog.

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