One of the most critical aspects of training a puppy is teaching her to eliminate (urinate or defecate) outside the house. Housetraining can be a frustrating task if it is not appropriately performed. The following tips will give guide you through this daunting task.
Understand the normal physiology of puppies
Most puppies eliminate shortly after they play, eat, drink, and sleep. Depending on their age, puppies may be fed 2 to 4 times per day, which means that they will probably use the bathroom around five times per day. To prevent accidents, you should anticipate the times when your puppy will need to eliminate.
Besides, you should be aware that most puppies are not able to hold elimination during the whole night until they reach four months of age. During the daytime, puppies four months or less usually have few hours of control, while puppies five months and over may be able to last longer between eliminations.
Learn to reinforce proper behavior
You should take your puppy outside shortly after he consumes any food or drinks water. Once your puppy has completed the deed, you should reinforce the desired behavior with a treat or praise.
Pairing the elimination and reward sequence with a word just as the puppy begins (e.g., hurry, potty time) is beneficial. Many dogs will soon learn to associate these words with elimination and will eliminate when the cue word is given.
Know the role of odors in potty training
In the process of housetraining your puppy, she will probably eliminate inside the house a few times. It is critical that you clean these areas thoroughly because the odor will attract further elimination at the site.
It is advisable that you crate your puppy whenever you cannot supervise her until she can control elimination for more extended periods.
Correct your puppy at the right time
Whenever your puppy eliminates in an improper area, correction should occur immediately (e.g., caught in the act) or within 30 to 90 seconds. If you find urine or stool on the floor after your puppy has eliminated, you should not consider any form of correction, as your dog will not associate the correction with the elimination.
Once an elimination area has been established and there have been no accidents for several weeks, the time spent unsupervised can then be gradually increased.
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