New dog in the family?
Now you just have to make sure he figures out where to pee and poop (i.e. not on your grandmother’s Oriental rug).
Housetraining can be a tedious, frustrating, two-steps-forward, one-step-in-poo endeavor. But it doesn’t have to be.
Follow these 7 steps diligently and consistently, and you’ll have little Fido potty trained in no time.
But wait — don’t forget the most important thing!! You’ll need plenty of treats on hand to reward and reinforce good behavior. Be sure to choose the right treat so all those rewards don’t compromise his health.
The 7 Step House Training Process
- Lots of trips outside. Take your dog outside as frequently as possible. The more often a new dog relieves himself outside of your living area, the better. He’ll begin to associate “outside” with “this is where I pee.”Stick to a strict schedule for your outings. Over several days, he’ll learn that he can hold it and wait for ‘outside time’.
*Remember, puppies have smaller bladders and will need even more trips than adults. The rule of thumb is — for every month old the puppy is, that’s the number of hours he can hold his bladder (i.e. 2 months old = 2 hours at a time).
- Regular, scheduled mealtimes. Feed your dog at specific times, twice a day. Then take him out 30 minutes afterwards to use the restroom. This is mainly to make it easier on you.
- Pay attention. After spending ample time with your pup, you should be able to tell when he needs to go out. In fact, you can reinforce this behavior by saying, “Wanna go out?” or even just “out” and rewarding him by — guess what — taking him out! This way he’ll learn to let you know when he’s gotta go.
- Frequent the same spot. Once they’ve defecated on a certain spot enough times, dogs will begin associating that spot with relieving themselves. Revisit the same spot many times and use the same cue — “out” — to help him solidify this association.
- Only you can prevent carpet bombs. Try to make sure your pup never uses the bathroom inside. (This one’s hard!) Catching and stopping him before he goes in the house is the quickest way to house train him. As soon as you see him nosing around or assuming the position, grab him and take him outside immediately, and don’t forget to use your verbal cue.
- Use a crate. This might seem cruel (or like cheating) to new owners, but dogs actually find peace and comfort in a crate; it’s like a den. And dogs will almost never relieve themselves in their den. (If they do, there may be something wrong. This is a good reason for a vet visit).
- Clean up and move on. If your dog does go indoors, be sure to clean it up as soon as possible. If you don’t, he will begin to associate that area with the “potty” spot, and nobody wants that.Do not punish your dog for going inside. He won’t understand why you’re mad — he’ll simply learn to fear you.
House training is just like any other aspect of pup parenting: the only thing holding you back from success is the amount of time and effort you’re able to devote to it.
That can be a huge adjustment when you bring a new dog into the family. But hey, they deserve it, right?
And if you’ve never cleaned dog crap out of an Oriental rug, let me tell you — it’s better for everyone involved if you never have to!