House training your puppy is very important. It can seem like a tough, demanding and frustrating task but it is well worth it in the end! It also takes a lot of patience and consistency on your part.
The length of time it takes to train your puppy can range from a few weeks to a few months. It really depends on how much time and attention you have to focus on this training and for the puppy to realize that the house is his living quarters and not a huge toilet!
Puppies have small bladders and need to go to the bathroom every hour or so while awake and moving around. Therefore, it is important to keep the puppy on a strict schedule when house training. They should be taken out to potty after eating, waking up, and after playing. Take them to the same area all the time, so they eventually know where they are supposed to potty. Also very important is to give your puppy lots of praise and treats when it goes potty in the correct area! Never, under any circumstances, hit your puppy for messing in the house or rub his nose in it. This will only teach your puppy to not trust you and the process will take so much longer. If you catch the puppy squatting, you can disturb the flow by saying you “oh no” and quickly scooping the puppy up and take him outside. If the puppy is having a bowel movement don't interrupt just let him finish and then say “oh no” and take the puppy outside. Never ever get angry where you scare the puppy, you don't want the puppy afraid of you!!
Make “Outside” their “potty place”. Try and not take the puppy outside to play often until they are house broken. Let them associate “outside” with “potty time”. If you do take them out to play try taking them to a different part of the yard and use a word other than outside for playtime. Or use a different word for potty time.
Each and every time your puppy goes where he should pee or poop say the puppy’s name followed by potty (poo) and good boy in an excited voice. Obviously you can use any words you so choose but whatever the terms are be consistent. They are quite like “human babies”. They will naturally need to go to the bathroom after waking from a nap or a nights rest, and/or eating and during playtime. Watch for clues as well. They will start to “sniff” and at times walk in a circle. That means, “Help, I need to go potty”.
Try to feed your puppy at the same time everyday. This will make it a lot easier to regulate when your puppy will need to go potty. Feed your puppy a high quality food (a list will be provided), the better the quality the less waste there is.
Don’t give your puppy any food or water after 7:00 at night. This will help prevent accidents in the middle of the night or waking up often to go out. Take him out right before you go to bed and first thing when you get up in the morning. The first few weeks you are going to want to scoop your puppy up and take him outside to avoid accidents on the way out. Another mistake I've made is asking the puppy if it needs to potty and then going to get my jacket, phone etc. 9 out of 10 times I was too late! Once you bring it to the puppy's attention they need to go!!
If you can’t supervise your puppy all the time, it’s a good idea to keep it contained in a small space like a playpen or crate(please refer to rate training). This will help avoid any unexpected accidents. Another idea that works well is to tether the puppy to your waist using the leash. This way the puppy is with you when you can't constantly keep an eye on him such as when you are doing chores.
If you don’t have a yard to let your dog out in and have to take your dog for a walk to go potty, try not to get him too excited or disturb him too much while he’s looking for a place to potty. Be sure to take plastic bags with you whenever you walk your dog to pick up any messes!
What to do if you catch your puppy in the act of a potty training "mistake"...
If pup is peeing in the wrong place... you may be able to stop him. Move quickly towards him when he begins to pee and pick him up. Urgency is key here - you want to startle the pup just a little as you move towards them to pick them up, but you DO NOT want to scare the pup. You are redirecting your puppy to the right spot - not disciplining him. Immediately after picking him up, take him to the potty area and patiently wait. Most pups will finish there. Reward your pup with exuberance!
If the pup is pooping... let them finish. Puppies are not able to shut off a poop like they can shut off a pee. More likely than not, you'll just create a huge mess by trying to interrupt a poop. Just say "Oh no" do not punish the puppy just take the puppy outside to show the puppy the correct area to go.
As always, never make a big deal about cleaning up after your puppy when an accident occurs.
The most important thing you can do to make house training happen as quickly as possible is to reward and praise your puppy every time he goes in the right place. The more times he is rewarded, the quicker he will learn. Therefore it's important that you spend as much time as possible with your puppy and give him regular and frequent access to his toilet area. A good rule of thumb is to take the puppy outside every 30-60 minutes while awake.
Monitor daily events your puppy's individual habits when establishing a schedule. Expect to take the puppy out:
The Key To Successful House Training
Consistency and Patience. Never scold or punish your puppy for mistakes and accidents. Most mistakes happen when pet parents are paying attention and getting the puppy out after eating, drinking, upon waking or when the puppy abruptly stops playing. The older your pup gets, the more he will be able to control his bladder and bowels. Eventually your pup will have enough control that he will be able to "hold it" for longer and longer periods of time. Let your puppy do this on his own time. When training is rushed, problems usually develop. Don't forget, most puppies are not completely house trained until they are 6 months old.
If you follow these steps and are patient and consistent, you should have a house trained puppy in no time!