How To House Train Your Dog
Bringing home a new puppy can put a smile on anyone’s face. That is, until he starts leaving messes on the carpet. Like toddlers, puppies have to be taught where they can and cannot toilet in the house. The owner’s responsibilities include training the puppy and preparing to clean up accidents, which are an inevitable part of the process. The guidelines below can help with both phases of a puppy’s “toilet training” phase.
This reminder applies both to training the puppy and cleaning up accidents. As soon as your new family member gets home, help him to start getting familiar with his surroundings. Introduce him to the toileting area, and consider crating him in a comfortable, den-like structure so that you can monitor his toileting practices. When you let him out, show him where to urinate and gently keep him there until he does. After the first few times, the scent will bring him back to the same spot.
If your puppy has already established other toileting areas on your carpet or furniture, you will need to closely monitor his movements after thoroughly cleaning the accident areas. If problems persist, it may be helpful to consult a dog trainer or behavioral specialist.
A typical young puppy will generally need to be toileted every couple of hours. For example, a two-month-old puppy will need to empty its bladder approximately every two hours, while a three-month-old puppy needs to go every three hours, and so on. Regular toileting times include first thing each morning, after eating, and before bedtime.
Use words of praise and puppy treats to reinforce good toileting habits. Never rub a puppy’s nose in his accident area nor physically punish him. A puppy usually does not realize he is urinating in an unacceptable area. Prevention is the best strategy for success.
Clean Accidents Promptly
You can expect your puppy to have a few accidents while being trained. Get prepared by choosing non-toxic cleaning supplies. You’ll need paper towels or newspaper to absorb a damp stain. A bucket for fresh water will help, along with a wet vac or extractor that can be rented from a home supply store for deep stains. Get a dog odor neutralizer to apply after thoroughly cleaning the accident area.
Older stains may require professional carpet cleaning assistance, especially if the stain has penetrated to the carpet padding.
If your puppy has a favorite accident area, try to block it off or make it undesirable for future use. Make the designated toileting area more appealing and accessible to ensure consistent use. It also helps to keep your home well organized, with used newspapers and magazines stacked neatly or put into a box for recycling or trash. Soiled or odorous diapers and sports clothing should be placed in the laundry area, as strong scents – even if not directly associated with toileting activities – can sometimes be mistaken by puppies as incentives for toileting in the wrong places.
Following a few steps like these can make puppy training even more enjoyable and successful.
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