Housebreaking or potty training your pup is a must for harmonious living indoors with the family. Eliminating indoors just is not acceptable in human culture and it is up to you as your dog’s care giver to help him understand how to adapt to life in the home. Going potty in the correct place every time is the goal!
Dogs are creatures of habit, and are opportunist they do what works. Helping them do both is key. Set your dog or puppy up to succeed in housebreaking first by using the crate training method. Once your dog is comfortable in using the crate, you can bring that tool into the equation to help prevent indoor potty accidents. Help him create a habit out of going potty in the correct place by creating and sticking to a canine schedule.
Your canine schedule may include only potty breaks and meal times if your dog is an adult. If he is still a puppy, though, you will also want to include training and play time to help your little one develop into a proper canine citizen. A puppy will need to eliminate about every two hours. He will also need to go right after eating and drinking, after play, and before bedtime. If you ever need to leave the home for some time, make sure he potties before you leave him in his crate to prevent accidents, and he should be allowed to go immediately after you arrive back home.
Until a puppy reaches about 4 to 6 months of age, his ability to fully control his potty needs just doesn’t exist. He has not fully developed physically, so it is up to you to read his body language and take him outside or onto a potty pad when he needs it. A puppy may walk in circles with his nose to the floor, sniffing for a place to potty. If you notice this behavior, take him out immediately! If he’s small enough, you can scoop him up in your arms and carry him to make sure he does the right thing!
If your dog is an adult or over 7 months of age, his potty breaks may range around every two hours. However, still allow him to potty after meals, play time, first thing in the morning and last thing before bed time.
Any animal in training is bound to have accidents. It’s just part of the territory! You’re learning your dog’s personality and your dog is learning how to live in harmony with the family. How you react to his accidents can further his training or impede it.
It can be easy to become frustrated or even angry when your dog or puppy makes a mess on the rug. However, rubbing his nose in the mess, yelling at him or punishing him by putting him the crate will do nothing to help solve the problem of potty accidents! In fact, this kind of punishment is confusing and very scary for any dog or puppy. He will not understand that going potty inside is wrong, but will learn to avoid you when a mess is on the floor. Instead, take your dog out to finish his business and clean up the mess as best as possible. An enzymatic cleaner will best cleanse any residual odors to prevent attracting messes there in the future.
If you catch your pup in the act, make a loud and startling noise to interrupt him. If he is urinating, he should stop almost immediately. Dogs cannot stop in the middle of defecating, though, so it’s best to just clean up after.
Taking measures to prevent accidents through use of crating and creating an ideal potty schedule will help to prevent accidents and bad potty habits with your dog or puppy. This schedule and prevention process will instill positive habits and ensure a lasting bond with you and your dog.