There comes a time in every puppy's life when she has to be house trained. You don't look forward to it and neither does the puppy, but it is something that just has to be done! This can be a frustrating time for you and the dog, but here are some tips on house training puppies to help you get started:
- Get into a routine from day one. Take the dog out every few hours to go to the bathroom. Praise him like crazy when he does his business outdoors -- "cookies" are a great idea! Before taking him outside, ask him something like, "Do you want to go outside?" or, "Do you need to go potty?" Whatever you decide, ask him the same thing every time so he gets used to it and know what's coming next.
- Consistency is the key. As with the "command" you'll give her when you're going to take her outside, create a ritual that stays the same every time. If you put her on a leash to take her outside, do so consistently and without changing the order of actions. Make her sit, put on the leash and take her out every time in that order if that is the ritual you've established. If she is released into a yard, go out with her every time and make sure she does her business, praising her afterward.
- If you have to leave him alone during the day, put him into an indoor pen with newspapers on the floor. This method can also condition your dog to soil only floors that are covered by paper. You will have to clean up when you return, but this will help prevent those little surprises behind the couch or in the middle of the kitchen. As soon as you get home, take him outside using your normal routine.
- Don't get frustrated! It is tough to house train a dog, but it must be done. Yelling and screaming is not a productive way to house train. If you find an accident in the house, clean it up. If the dog is nowhere to be seen when you find the accident, yelling at her won't help, as she won't know why you're yelling. If you catch her in the act, then by all means tell her she's a naughty dog and immediately take her out to finish. If she goes outside, praise her for it.
With a little patience and consistency on your part, you'll truly enjoy the outcome when you no longer have to clean up those surprise puddles and "gifts" from the carpet. Be consistent, praise often and get into a routine. Soon your dog will be by the door telling you he needs to go outside. And don't forget to take the cookies with you!