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Housebreaking for Puppies

 

MetPet.com Staff Writer

Everyone, and every dog, has their own idea of the best way to housetrain a puppy.  This is a selection of tips that we have accumulated over the years. 

Go outside
Although it's convenient to train a puppy to go on newspapers inside the kitchen or garage, it's also a habit that will have to be unlearned in the near future.  It's much easier, and cleaner to teach your newly adopted puppy to go outside from the very beginning.

Crating
Puppies generally do not like to eliminate where they sleep so having a crate will help to minimize accidents.  Puppies can sleep overnight in a crate in the bedroom and be put into crates when you leave the house or for naps during the day. 

Select the right words
Settle on a word or words that are distinctive and not too embarrassing to use with your puppy for elimination.  We like 'busy-busy' or 'get-busy'. 

Anticipate the need
Puppies will need to go outside every few hours and immediately upon awakening from a nap, after play, after eating and drinking.  They may not always go but the idea is to make sure that they eliminate outside 100% of the time even if they they only go 50% of the time you take them outside. 

Give the puppy plenty of time to sniff, play, root around and generally waste time while outside.  The more active he is the more likely he is to eliminate quickly but sometimes he can't be rushed.  Encourage him by saying 'busy-busy' so that he will learn that the words go with the activity. 

Shape his schedule
Set up a schedule where you can begin to anticipate his need to go outside.  Keep his meals as regular as possible and take up the water a few hours before bedtime.  This will reduce the number of accidents and make it easier to sleep through the night. 

Pick a spot
Before your puppy comes home, pick a spot in your yard that you can train him to use.   You can select an area that is off to the side or hidden by bushes and does not have delicate plants.  If you use this spot consistently, you won't have dead spots all over the lawn or be stepping in mounds. 

You can also try putting down bark dust, gorilla hair or other mulch around the yard as an alternative to the lawn.  Dogs seems to be prefer grass but can be satisfied with mulch. 

The Paper Method
There's 10 feet of snow outside or you have to be gone for several hours at a time and it's not possible to take the puppy outside every few hours.  If you need him to have facilities inside, here are some helpful tips. 

Keep some of the paper
If you are training your puppy to go on newspaper, save a bit of the soiled paper each time and place it on top of the fresh pages.  This way, your puppy gets a scented reminder of what to do where.  

An alternative are puppy pads which are scented to encourage elimination. 

Smaller and smaller
Start by spreading newspaper over the entire floor.  If you limit your puppy to a single room like the kitchen, this will be much easier.  Each day, replace any soiled newspaper and also take away the paper along the edges.  The area covered by newspapers should get smaller and smaller each day until it's just a page.  This will make it easier for the puppy to understand that he can't eliminate just anywhere.


Anticipate Accidents
A puppy will tend to have accidents.  Simply clean it up thoroughly with a neutralizer specifically made for pets.  To make the job easier and less noxious, keep several rolls of paper towels, cleaner and plastic garbage bags around the house. 
 

 
 
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