Posted by Nicole Thompson - Owner, Paws 2 Purrfection Promotions on 1st Mar 2017
Getting a new dog can be very exciting, but there's also a lot of work that comes along with that. Though not impossible, it's EXTREMELY RARE to get a new dog that's completely house broken. So it's best to expect and anticipate a lot of time & patience will be needed in the next few months.
There are many options to house training, but by far, the best option is always persistence combined with a solid schedule. The first thing you really need to do is make it clear where you want your pup to go. They don't usually come pre-programmed to know that they need to go potty in a certain place. So the best rule of thumb is to take them out frequently. And I mean A LOT! So much so, that you'll almost feel silly taking them out so often. And as soon as they go…… Super happy dance!!! Make them feel like they've just done the best job a puppy could ever do in all the world! Your joy will be the best gift they can receive! A little training treat never hurts either……
So once you've established the proper place to potty, you can move on to creating the schedule, so you don't have to take them out quite so much. Make it a habit… and I mean SET IN STONE, that about 5-10 mins after they eat or drink, they go outside. And they need to go before they come in. Don't cave just because it's raining or windy or you have an episode of Chicago Fire on pause that you're dying to get back to watching. This is that patience an understanding I mentioned earlier.
Once they've done their deed, HIP HIP HOORAY and back inside you go!
Now when you're at work or just can't be home with them, can be a little more tricky. If you don't work at a job where you can bring your pet and if you are going to be away for several hours during the day, you'll want to make sure they either have access to an approved potty location or you will need to make time to stop home on your lunch break (or whenever possible) to take them for a short potty walk if you can. Their little bladders will eventually get so they can last longer, but if you are training a young pup, you'll need to expect some accidents if they can't go out every few hours or so.
You'll also want to limit their food & water to specific times. They will need water more often then food of course, but a little tinkle accident is far less troublesome than a number 2.
While you're out, a crate can be a great training tool. This not only gives your dog a safe place, where they won't be able to get into dangerous things, like chewing wires or your favorite tennis shoes. But it also provides them with their own special place. A dog typically won't defecate in the same place that it sleeps, so you'll want to make sure the crate is large enough for your pup to have enough room to turn around and layout comfortably, but not so large as to give them a ton of poopin' space, where they can easily get away from it. They will prefer to try to keep their "bedroom" tidy.
Make sure to give them some comfy bedding, and a wee-wee pad is also a nice thing to add on the bottom of the crate in the open space, so if an accident does happen, they have a place to go that won't upset them. And yes, they do get upset if they've gone potty in a place they know you won't approve of. Dogs are all about making mommy or daddy happy and upsetting you is very last on their list of things that they ever want to do.
With that being said, the crate should NEVER be used as a place of punishment. It should always be a place your dog WANTS to go. They should feel safe and secure there. In fact if they're nervous about something, they may go into their crate to get to a place where they feel protected and comfortable. Make their crate a place of security and comfort and it will be easy as pie to get them in there when necessary, the next time you're heading to work or the store.
Upon your return, take them out to go potty right away and be sure to praise, praise, praise for them going in the right place. Just remember accidents will certainly happen and they will get less and less with your persistence and patience. Before you know it, your little pooper will be your little rock star and you'll both be happy you took the time to train your pup right.
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