Successfully house -training your new puppy – think small!
Bringing a new puppy home is exciting and can be over whelming. The first concern is taking care of their bathroom needs outside. It is not easy but like most projects it’s helpful to have a plan. A good house-training plan includes 3 areas;
- Crate – A crate speeds up the house-training process. A crate is useful because dogs are clean animals and do not want to go to the bathroom where they sleep and eat. Make sure the crate you are using is the appropriate size for your puppy. Puppies should be able to walk in the crate turn around and get into a comfortable position to sleep. Most crates come with a divider so you can adjust the size as the puppy grows. If you leave too much space the puppy can go to the back of the crate and take care of their bathroom needs then move back to the front and back to sleep. When the puppy is in their crate and barks in the middle of the night you need to take it out to bathroom and then put them back in the crate. The middle of the night bathroom breaks usually last for a week or so. They are tiring and trying but are part of the plan to quickly train your puppy to go to the bathroom outside.
- Play Pen – Part of the plan should be where the puppy or dog is allowed to hangout during the day. The smaller the space the better. A play pen is and excellent choice. The puppy soon learns this is their space and will keep it clean. If you need to be in another room you know the puppy is safe and can’t get into trouble. Play pens can be used as a time out area when puppies get a little to rowdy or bitey.
- Actively being watched by someone. If a puppy has taken care of their bathroom needs outside it can be allowed in other areas of the house if someone is actively watching them. Actively watching means interacting with the puppy, not on the phone, cooking dinner or watching TV. The puppy can be out of their crate or pen with someone for 30-40 minutes and then should be taken outside again to bathroom.
How do you know when your puppy is house trained?
In the beginning you are the one being trained. You have a schedule of taking the dog out and are consistently following it. Use praise and give a small treat when they bathroom outside to teach that it is more rewarding.
If you catch them in the act make noise to startle them and pick them up, carry them outside to finish. If you find a puddle or pile clean it up with an enzymatic cleaner. Rubbing their noses in it or scolding them does work. Teach them where you want them to go.
Unless you plan on using wee-wee pads in the future do not use them. You want your puppy to learn that it is not ok to go to the bathroom in the house.
Be patient with your puppy and with yourself!