When I first decided to own a puppy, I consulted with other dog owners and the one thing they all agreed on is how much work a puppy needs. I went into dog ownership prepared but I hadn’t realized a puppy really was that much work, especially when it came to house training.
I have come a long way since then and what I can now advice new owners are to be patient with their puppies. You see, it’s natural and healthy for your puppy to relieve herself. The problem comes in depending on where the puppy relieves herself.
If you want your puppy to learn to relieve herself outside you need to train her to do so. Start by introducing a crate that is just the right size for the puppy. Not too big to provide space to make a mess in a corner, and not too small that she can’t be comfortable in it. The rule of thumb is to provide a crate that allows the dog to stand and turn round comfortably, no more.
Teach the puppy to go into the crate by putting her favorite treat in the crate a few times during the day. With time she will learn to go into the crate on her own. Also put the crate in your bedroom at night so that she feels safe because she can hear and smell you at night. This also makes her recognize the crate as her safe place.
The use of a crate forces the puppy to get out of the crate to relieve herself. This is because dogs instinctively get away from the place they consider their sleeping quarters when they want to go.
Learn the signs that indicate the puppy wants to go. If she starts to circle and sniff, take her outside to do her business. Take the puppy outside every hour and after every meal, when you wake up and after an exercise session. When outside just go quiet and let her start relieving herself. Once she starts congratulate her with encouraging words and give her a treat when she is done. This lets her know going on the spot you have allowed her to relieve herself is a good thing and so she will want to maintain the behavior to please you.
Establishing a schedule is important if you want your housetraining to be a success. If you follow a routine whereby you take a puppy out to do her business at regular intervals soon she will go out on her own.
Remember that accidents will happen once in a while. Again, there is nothing wrong with your puppy relieving herself, just with where she does so. Therefore if an accident happens in your absence just ignore it because trying to correct the puppy after the act is already too late.
If you catch her during the process you can reprimand her and pick her and take her outside to the designated spot. Be careful not to make your dog think it’s wrong to go through this natural act because then she will be doing her business in hiding and in very unlikely places such as inside closets to avoid being shouted at, and you will have a hard time trying to locate her messes. Correct her with patience and avoid such uncouth behavior as rubbing her mess on her nose in a bid to make her realize she went to the toilet in the wrong place.
If you find the task of housetraining is too tasking and it’s damaging the relationship you have with your puppy, enlist the help of a professional. A dog trainer will show you how to house-train your puppy and probably help with some lessons initially.