Teaching your puppy where to do their business is one of the most important parts of housetraining. After all, no one wants to deal with accidents indoors and soiled floors forever! But with a little patience, consistency, and tips like the ones below, you can get your pup’s bathroom habits right on track.
When to begin housetraining
Before you learn to housetrain your puppy, it’s worth knowing when this process should even begin. Experts recommend that puppies be trained when they reach between 12 weeks and 16 weeks old. This is because younger puppies won’t have enough control over their bladder and bowel movements to be able to hold it!
Steps for housetraining
During training, it’s best to confine your puppy within a defined space, whether that’s a crate, in a room, or on a leash. As they learn to go outside to pee or poop, you can then gradually give them more freedom to roam indoors!
Follow these steps to housetrain your puppy:
- Follow a regular feeding schedule, and take away their food (even if it hasn’t been fully consumed) between meal times.
- Take them out to urinate as soon as you wake up in the morning, then once every 30 minutes to an hour. Also take them outside after meals, when they wake up from a nap, and before going to bed at night.
- Learn their cues that they need to go outside. This can include whining, circling, sniffing, or even barking. You may also consider bell training for easier communication!
- Take them to the space spot outside each time, as their scent will help prompt them to go!
- Supervise them outside until they’re housetrained.
- After they urinate outside, immediately reward them with verbal praise or a treat!
Do’s and Don’ts of housetraining
While house training can be a tiresome process, it’s important to keep the following do’s and don’ts in mind:
- Clean accidents indoors with an enzymatic cleanser instead of an ammonia-based cleanser, to help remove any odors that might attract them back to the same spot.
- Stay outside longer if you need to, as some puppies need extra time to explore.
- Clap loudly as soon as you catch them in the act, and immediately take them outside. Reward them with verbal praise or a small treat after they’ve finished!
- If you’re using a crate to house train them, make sure that it’s spacious enough that they can comfortably stand, turn around, and lie down, but not big enough that they can use an area as a bathroom!
- Don’t punish them for peeing indoors. This does nothing to teach them and only makes them fear you!
- When you find accidents indoors, don’t react angrily by yelling at them or rubbing their nose in it. Your puppy isn’t capable of making the connection between your reaction with what they did.
- Don’t use a crate if your puppy keeps eliminating in it!
Housetraining your puppy is one of the secrets to living a happy home life together. As pets respond to our attitude, it’s best to cultivate a nurturing environment that’s conducive to learning!