To housetrain your dog or puppy, you need consistency, commitment, positive reinforcement, and a lot of patience. The goal is to develop good hygienic habits and build a loving bond with your pet.
Mostly, potty training a puppy can take 4-6 weeks. But in some cases, it may even take up to a year, depending upon how fast their old habits break to establish more desirable ones.
According to experts, you can begin potty training a puppy between 12 to 16 weeks of age. At this stage, they have more control over their bowel and bladder.
However, the dog breed also plays a vital factor in it. You may need more frequent trips outside with smaller dog breeds as they have small bladders and higher metabolisms.
Here are Some of the Basic House training Guidelines for your Dog:
1. Establish a Routine
When you feed your puppy on a schedule, they eliminate it on a schedule too. Give them food three to four times a day, depending on their age. When they eat at the same time each day, it makes the housetraining easier.
2. Pick a Bathroom Spot
Always take your puppy on a leash to the same spot to do their business. Use a specific word or a phrase to remind them what to do and let their scent in the area prompt them to do their business.
3. Reward them Every Time they Eliminate in the Bathroom Spot
Praise or give treats after they have finished their business. Remember, puppies can get easily distracted, so patiently wait till they finish.
4. Pick your Puppy’s Water Dish at Night about two and a Half Hours Before Bedtime.
It will reduce their likelihood of reliving them at night.
Most puppies can sleep for around seven hours without a bathroom break. If your puppy wakes in the night, don’t make a hue-and-cry of it. Instead, turn on a few lights, don’t talk or play with them. Take them on a leash to the spot. Once they have done, then return them to their bed.
5. Always Supervise your Puppy Indoors
Secure your puppy to you or nearby furniture with at least a six-foot leash when you are not playing with them indoors. Watch out for signs like
- Scratching at the door
- Sniffing around or circling
When you see these signs, immediately take their leash and lead them to the bathroom spot. Even if your puppy is in the backyard, treat it as an indoor room and keep them on leash till they get housetrained.
Are you Finding it Tough to housetrain an Adult Dog?
If you got an adult rescue dog recently, their housetraining skills might be imperfect. Some might not even have any training at the shelter homes. Start using a crate to housetrain an adult dog.
Read More: How to House Train a Dog?
Guidelines for Crate Usage To Housetrain Your Dog
- Make sure it’s big enough for your dog to stand, turn around, and lie down. You can also install the crate using a portion of a bathroom or laundry room.
- When you are away for more than two hours at a time, make sure your dog has access to fresh water in the crate.
- Don’t confine them in the crate for longer than they can hold it, forcing them to soil the crate. It’ll make housetraining much harder for you.
- Dogs have a preference for a spot for eliminating. Take them to the same place always, where you want them to go.
- Make the bathroom spot easier for them to identify. You can leave soiled towels in the ‘eliminating spot’ and get them to familiarize themselves with the scent.
- Just like potty training a puppy, shower your dog with treats when they do it right. Make sure to give it right after using the ‘eliminating spot’ so that they can connect the reward with what prompted it.
- Lastly, don’t punish your dog for accidents. If you have not caught them in the act, then clean it. If you did, then startle them midstream with a ‘shout’ or a ‘clap’ and take them to the ‘eliminating spot’ to finish it. Treat them after, to make them understand the right behavior.
Read More: How to Crate Train Your Dog?
Remember, even if you housetrain your dog meticulously, mistakes can still happen!
Punishing your dog, like scolding them or rubbing their nose in it, makes them afraid of you. Always clean the area using a product containing live bacteria or enzymes that break down the mess, rather than using an ammonia-based cleaning agent.
Ammonia smells like urine to your dog!
Place the soiled towels in your dog’s ‘eliminating spot’ for them to identify the potty area and continue training them. If it still doesn’t work, consult a vet to rule out a medical issue (especially in the case of an adult dog). For more information on potty training a dog, feel free to post your questions in the comment box below.