Tips for Housetraining Puppies and Dogs
As with most things in life, there are right and wrong ways to get things done. Rubbing a
dog or puppy’s nose in a mess is not the right way to housetrain. Using ample amounts of supervision and positive reinforcement is. Use the following dog or puppy house training tips to get started on the road to proper dog or puppy potty training.
Getting on the Right Track
The first course of action in housetraining is to promote the desired behavior.
You need to:
- Designate a potty area outdoors.
- Guide your dog there to do his business.
- Heartily praise him when he goes.
By occasionally giving him a treat right after your dog finishes, you can encourage him to potty in the desired area. The odor left from previous visits to that area will quickly mark it as the place for the pup to do his business.
Timing Is Important (especially with puppies)!
A six- to eight-week-old dog or puppy should be taken outdoors every one to three hours.
Older puppies can generally wait longer between outings. Most puppies should be taken out:
- After waking in the morning
- After naps
- After meals
- After playing or training
- After being left alone
- Immediately before being put to bed
Pottying on Command
To avoid spending a lot of time waiting for your dog or puppy to go, you may want to
teach him to potty on command. Each time he is in the act of eliminating, simply repeat
a unique command, such as “hurry up” or “potty,” in an upbeat tone of voice. After a few
weeks of training, you’ll notice that when you say the command your dog or puppy will
begin pre-potty sniffing, circling and then potty shortly after you give the command. Be
sure to praise him for his accomplishments.
- Most puppies will potty within an hour after eating. Once you set your dog or puppy’s
- feeding schedule, you will have some control over when he needs to go.
- Schedule your dog or puppy’s dinner times so that you will be available to let him out after eating.
- Avoid giving your dog or puppy a large meal just prior to confining him or he may have to go when you’re not around to take him out. Schedule feeding two to three times daily on a consistent schedule.
- Have food available for only 30 to 40 minutes, then remove it.
- The last feeding of the day should be done several hours before he’s confined for the night. By controlling the feeding schedule, exercise sessions, confinement periods and trips outdoors to the potty area, your dog or puppy will quickly develop a reliable schedule for pottying.