Housetraining Your Puppy
Filed in Dogs, Behavior and Training, Getting a New Puppy/Dog
Training your puppy to go to the bathroom outdoors may seem like a daunting task, but with some time and patience, you shouldn't have any trouble. The most important aspect of training is consistency.
Crate training makes the housetraining job much easier. Confining your puppy to a crate while you are not around will not only protect him from hazards in the house, but will also help him learn to hold his urine and bowel movements. You must be reasonable about your expectations for your puppy, however. A young puppy can't stay in a crate for 10 hours a day while everyone is away at work. Very young puppies need to go outside every 2 to 3 hours. Plan accordingly.
You can start training your puppy from day one. Positive reinforcement is the key to the training process. Most puppies are motivated by food, so using some small treats or even some pieces of puppy food works really well. Take your puppy outside, set him where you would like him to go to the bathroom, and when he goes, act like it is the greatest thing you have ever seen. Praise him and give him a treat. Every time he goes to the bathroom outside, do this.
Anytime a puppy eats something, he will need to go outside. Don't let your puppy nibble on a bowl of food all day long, you will find the housetraining process extremely discouraging. Feed meals (2-4 per day) so that you can take your puppy out after every meal.
Most puppies are easy to housetrain, but have a small lapse in training around 12-14 weeks. If your puppy is doing really well and suddenly has a few accidents for a day or two, don't worry. Things should get back to normal right away. Now if the problem persists, there could be a medical problem. Puppies can develop bladder infections. If your puppy is extremely difficult to train or was trained previously and is now having accidents, talk with your veterinarian.