Dog Potty Breaks: Seven Tips To House Training Your Dog – Welcoming a new puppy into your home does not have to be a frustrating experience. House training a new puppy takes a lot of time and energy, but there are several ways to make the training easier on both of you. Highlighted below are seven tips to help you and your puppy during this transitional time.
Set up a potty schedule:
Your puppy will have limited bladder control at first. It is up to you to set the schedule for potty breaks. In general, puppies have to use the bathroom first thing in the morning, right after waking up from naps, about a half an hour after eating and right before going to bed at night. Other than those times, you should take your puppy outside every hour or so.
Prevention is the key to success:
Your goal as a new puppy owner should be to prevent accidents from happening. By keeping to the potty schedule as well as looking for visual cues from your pup, you should be successful at this. Anticipate his potty needs, and place him outside in the appropriate area. Give him plenty of time to finish his business, and then praise him. Puppies will usually have a bowel movement after meals, so make sure you give him time to accomplish that. Some get their business done quickly, while others take a little longer to find that perfect spot. A walk around the yard can help speed things up a bit for the slower pup.
Purchase a crate and/or baby gate: Since you won’t be able to keep a close watch over your puppy 24 hours a day, you will need to create a safe place to keep him when you can’t keep an eye on him. A dog crate is an excellent place for your pup as it creates a snug area for him to call his own. Most dogs will be reluctant to soil their sleeping area, so you shouldn’t have to worry about that too much. Baby gates also work as a way to keep the dog out of certain areas of the house. Confining him to the kitchen while you are away from the house will help make clean ups easier than letting him run all over the carpet.
Feed your puppy dry dog food: Dry dog food is the better choice for your puppy, as it is not saturated with liquid like the canned foods. Moistened canned foods put extra fluids in your puppy’s system, thus causing an increase in the need to urinate.
Do not punish for mistakes:
If you catch your puppy urinating on the floor, scoop him up immediately and place him outside in the appropriate spot. Let him finish, and then bring him back indoors. Screaming, spanking or rubbing his nose in the spot on the floor is not necessary and may even make the problem worse. If you are confident your puppy has an understanding of where the appropriate place to go potty is located and he still goes in the house, scold him for the mistake, but do not punish him.
Thoroughly clean up any accidents:
Dogs like to return to the same spots to go potty, so it is necessary to make sure you remove all traces of accident from your floor. An enzyme based cleaner will get rid of the smell breaking down the bacteria and ammonia of which urine odor is comprised. Do not use ammonia-based cleaners, as they will make the problem worse.
Above all, be patient: It will take time for your puppy to become fully house trained. Do not expect immediate results. If you get frustrated, your puppy will pick up on that and it may impede the training process. Keep your cool, be patient and know that eventually your efforts will pay off.
Although these tips at house training a dog are aimed at training a puppy, it is possible to retrain an older dog. Sometimes dogs will go through a phase of testing the boundaries, so to speak, and you will need to be firm and teach him that it is not okay to use the house as a bathroom.