You don’t have to wait until your dog is messing around in the house to start on potty training. To achieve an effective outcome, it is imperative that you remain consistent in your training. Positive reinforcement and patience play a significant role in this process.
The typical time frame for house training a puppy ranges between four to six months. However, some puppies can take as much as a year, depending on their body size. Smaller breeds and younger puppies have higher metabolism rates and small bladders, and this will require going more often.
Depending on where your puppy comes from, you may need to establish new potty training to get rid of undesirable behaviour
When to begin
House training should begin when your dog is between twelve and sixteen weeks old, according to experts, your puppy has can easily control their bladder or bowel movements. At this point, they can now learn to hold it.
If you bring home an older puppy who goes in their cage, your potty training will take longer. It involves unlearning behaviour and teaching a desirable one.
Before training your puppy to go to the bathroom outside, you can consider indoor training. Use a pee pad indoors before for you transition them to the outside.
How to go about it
Typically, there are two main house training techniques you can apply. You can either directly train them to go outside or use the transition method.
The second method is preferable for younger puppies that are not yet able to control their bladder and bowel movements. The objective of either is to prevent unsightly, smelly messes around the house.
The initial step
Regardless of how daunting this task may seem, it is possible to house train your dog is no matter the age. The most important part is to create a schedule, and this involves a feeding routine. Free eating behaviour will make it hard to control bowel movements.
Take away any food that remains after twenty minutes, and do not offer any more until the next feeding hour.
Wait for a half-hour before taking your dog outside. By creating a mealtime routine, it becomes easier to predict bathroom time for the dog. For smaller puppies, feeding is necessary thrice a day, so make a plan to feed them during lunch hours.
Given their small bladders, allow more frequency to go outside.
Supervision is the key to success
During the first days when you bring the dog or puppy home, it is very crucial that you keep a close eye on them.
The objective of close supervision is to ensure that they do not go to the bathroom inside the house. As such, this is the simplest and most effective way of house training your dog. More so, it will allow you to learn what behaviour associates bathroom time.
Teach your dog a potty cue
Some owners will teach their dogs to bark, but there are other cues you can try. Put a mat by the door, and teach your dog to stand there whenever they want to go. Also, you can hang a little bell they can ring, and you will open the door.
Do not allow play at this time, since your dog will associate potty cues with playing as well.
Set up the potty area
Using a leash, walk the dog to the part of the yard where you want them to relieve themselves at. Do not walk away from your dog, instead, wait until they finish.
Once they finish, reward them using a treat or praise them, as positive reinforcement. As such, relieving themselves outside will be an experience to look forward to.
Create a regular schedule
Take the dog out as many times as possible, including after naps and feeding. You can do this as much as every hour to increase your dog’s likelihood of peeing at the right place.
Clean up as thoroughly as possible
Make sure to get rid of spots and smells that may mark a spot as an indoor toilet spot for your canine. Most experts recommend that you clean up the spot consistently for about two to three weeks from the last moment of use.
As such, even with a hyper-sensitive smell, your dog will not be able to pick out the smell. Use pet-safe stain and odour removers. To be on the safe side, you can physically prevent the dog from accessing the spot by putting a piece of furniture over it.
Nonetheless, it is practically impossible to prevent bathroom accidents, regardless of the effort. Thus, it is up to you to understand why it is happening so you can train your dog effectively.
For instance, your dog may be creating messes because they are under stress, and figuring out the triggers will help in finding a solution. Consistency can help in limiting accidents around the house, even with house trained puppies.
Read the signs
Your dog has a particular behaviour that they exhibit when they need to go to the bathroom. Such signs include sniffing the floor, walking stiffly or holding his tail in a weird position.
If you notice any manner of such behaviour, immediately take your dog outside. Including verbal cues such as “potty” or “outside” before you allow them out will enable you to ask your dog if they need to go.
Restrain your dog if there is no supervision
If you leave your dog without any supervision at a time, there is a definite chance that you will be cleaning up a bathroom mess later on. If you have to work, or leave the house for a few hours during the night, keep your dog in their crate.
Typically, dogs are not likely to soil a place they claim as their own, so they will wait it out.
Rather than locking them up in their crate, you can confine the dog to a specific area of the house to allow free movement.
You can start with the kitchen since there are no rugs or much furniture in there.
Do not stay out too long, however.