Housetraining is not only possible; it is also easy because of the natural instinct of dogs to relieve themselves away from their living quarters. The use of a pet crate makes the whole process go more smoothly. A pet crate has the additional advantage of protecting your home from the potential destructive behavior of a curious puppy, as well as minimizing chances of the puppy injuring himself.
Feed your puppy 3-4 meals of a high quality commercial pet food daily:
Consistency in feeding times makes the times of elimination more predictable. Make the last feeding no later than 6 p.m. Removing water at 8 p.m. may be helpful for the first month or two.
Confine the puppy in a crate all the time it is not under your direct supervision:
The crate should be large enough for the puppy to stand up and turn around, but not so big as to have extra room in which elimination can occur. If you choose to buy a larger crate, place something in the back part of the crate to make it smaller while the puppy is smaller. A key point: Do not give it an opportunity to have an accident. Do not show the puppy any attention while in the crate. Talking to the puppy, sticking your finger into the crate door, or even yelling at the puppy trains the puppy to whine, bark, etc. to get that attention. Totally avoiding the pup's actions in the crate will soon lead to the puppy learning to be quiet.
When you take the puppy out of the crate, immediately take it outside:
If it refuses to "do its business" after 5 minutes outside, put it back in the crate for 5 minutes and repeat the procedure. The puppy soon learns that its reward for "doing its business" is to stay out of the crate.
Select one toilet area for your puppy:
Take your puppy to the area at times it is most likely to need to eliminate-- right after sleeping, soon after eating, etc. In the beginning, it is advisable to take the puppy out every 2 hours if possible. Always provide the puppy the opportunity to go outside to eliminate just before being put back in the crate. Always take the puppy outside immediately after returning home before the excitement causes an accident. When you get to the area and your puppy begins to sniff around for the right spot, use a phrase such as "hurry up," or "do your business." Soon that phrase will result in elimination.
Praise your puppy immediately:
After he has eliminated in the right area. Even if you are doing everything right, accidents will happen. If you catch your puppy in the act, clap your hands to startle him and say "No!" Immediately take him to the area you have designated as a toilet area. If he then eliminates in the toilet area, praise him for doing a good job. If you find an accident, do not raise your voice, spank your puppy, or rub his nose in it. While you will certainly make him afraid, it won't be because of the accident, but will only make them afraid of you.
Keep a record of elimination times:
Most all puppies will be "regular." They will go at the same time every time after eating. Most puppies will eliminate within 5 minutes after eating. Once you have learned the specific time for your specific puppy, you will have a good idea at what time you should routinely take the puppy outside. This is particularly valuable to know during inclement weather.
Use products that neutralize urine odor when cleaning up accidents!
Remember, BE PATIENT: Housetraining should be complete by 4-6 months of age. But it is still advisable to keep the pet in the crate when you are away from home for several months to prevent possible destructive behaviors.
Remember: your puppy needs plenty of play and exercise when out of the crate.
THE PUPPY MUST EARN HIS FREEDOM:
- supervise the puppy constantly when he is loose in the house.
- confine the puppy properly whenever you cannot supervise him.
Types of acceptable confinement include:
- Small, portable dog crate
- Safely fenced backyard or kennel
- A small area in the utility room or kitchen that has been boarded off so the puppy cannot injure himself or destroy property.
- Bathroom with floor protected
REWARD THE PUPPY PROPERLY FOR RELIEVING HIMSELF OUTSIDE.
Take the puppy outside (on a leash) and praise the puppy when he relieves himself. Take the puppy to the same area of the yard for bathroom purposes each time. Use a verbal cue such as "Hurry Up," "Go Potty," "Do your Business," etc. Say this in a gentle, quiet tone of voice. In the beginning, this will mean nothing to the dog, so do NOT become upset when he fails to respond. After 2-3 weeks, he will start to understand if his eliminating is followed by warm, sincere praise.
Keep his bathroom area picked up except for the most recent stool.
Give the puppy approximately 10 minutes to relieve himself. Do not form the habit of waiting 20-30 minutes for the puppy to eliminate. After he is consistently relieving himself within 10 minutes, gradually over a period of several weeks shorten the time span to 5 minutes.
DO NOT REPRIMAND THE PUPPY FOR FAILING TO RELIEVE HIMSELF!
HAVE THE PUPPY ON A SCHEDULE FOR HIS MEALS AND OUTDOOR BREAKS.
FEED A HIGH QUALITY FOOD. FEED THE PUPPY ALL IT WILL EAT IN 10-15 MINUTES 2-3 TIMES EACH DAY.
Do not leave food down all day for him to nibble on. Continual input leads to continual output! If the puppy is fed on a precise schedule 7 days a week, his bowel movements will become very predictable.
HIGH QUALITY FOODS PRODUCE MUCH LESS STOOL.
You get what you pay for in dog food. High quality foods are priced higher because they have much better quality (and digestible) ingredients. Cheaper foods use poorer quality ingredients, which are much less digestible and therefore produce more stools.
Housetraining will be much easier if you feed the best foods available. We recommend such foods as PURINA, EUKANUBA, IAMS, SCIENCE DIET, and NATURAL CHOICE. For best results when feeding these foods, they should be fed exclusively not mixed with other foods to cut your cost. If you are going to feed grocery store food, we recommend PURINA ONE.