Training a new puppy can be surprisingly challenging sometimes, especially if it’s your first time as a dog owner. Housetraining proves to be one of the most daunting parts of the overall puppy training process and leaves many owners wondering where to start. As with all training, consistency is the key. When it’s done in an organized way, it can be easy. To help you out, we’ve got a few simple tips and tricks to help you housetrain your puppy.
1. Get a Crate
Crate-training your puppy right from the beginning will do wonders for your training endeavors. The crate should only be large enough for the dog to lie down, turn around, and stand in. For the first few weeks, the dog should be in the crate when you’re not watching him. When the dog comes out of the crate, your focus should be 100% on him.
Ideally, he’ll consider the crate a safe and cozy place to be; it’ll help him sleep through the night and give him his personal space when he needs a break. In addition, dogs don’t like to make messes where they live, so using the crate will encourage your pup to signal to you that he needs to go out. If your puppy begins to whine or scratch at the crate, you should take him outside immediately. This way, he’ll know that whining will get him only a trip outside (and not playtime). He’ll quickly associate the great outdoors as the place to go potty.
2. Create a Set Schedule
Setting a regular schedule from the start is crucial when it comes to potty training your puppy. Establishing these good habits early will help your puppy to adjust and make the transition period a lot smoother for you both. A sample schedule would be as follows:
- 7:00 am: outside for morning bathroom
- 7:15 am: fed breakfast, given water (*use the 15-minute rule” for food, no free feeding. Water should be given 2-3 times a day, not left out)
- by 9:00 am: let out for short walk no more than 20 min
- Out between 11 am – 1 pm, given water
- 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm: out again
- 7:00 pm: fed dinner, given water
- 8:30 pm – 10 pm: outside for bathroom
- *also include scheduled play time
4. Positive Reinforcement
One of the best things you can do to housetrain your puppy is to give plenty of reinforcement. Dogs learn better when given positive attention, so scolding him for an “accident” in the house just won’t work for his housetraining. Instead, praise him excessively after every successful bathroom trip outside. Pets, cuddles, treats – all of these will encourage your dog to keep doing the thing that got your attention!
5. Keep a Close Eye
Every dog is different, so no matter what techniques you’re using, you should always keep a close eye on your puppy. Eventually, you’ll both get into a rhythm of going outside for a bathroom break. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on how those breaks are going, too; you can learn a lot about a puppy’s health by its urine and feces. A diet change may be needed if your puppy seems to not be digesting properly. That change will also help with housetraining.
Contact Argos Dog Training
Need some help with your puppy or dog? The experts at Argos Dog Training are here to help! Call (617) 302-7467 to get professional assistance with your dog training needs. As the expert dog trainer in the Boston area, we’ll be able to get your four-legged friend on the right track. Check out our training courses here!