Housetraining your puppy is an easy process when you start early and are consistent with the way that you treat the puppy after it eliminates indoors and outdoors. It is the consistency of your response that will ensure your puppy’s housetraining success.
- When the puppy is indoors, you must be supervise them constantly for signs that they need to eliminate. Typical signs that your puppy needs to eliminate soon are when the puppy:
- sniffs the floor
When you see this behaviour you need to take the puppy quickly to its elimination spot. Do reward the puppy if they eliminate in the correct location.If the puppy is caught in the act of eliminating indoors, the owners should administer an appropriate punishment (a startling NO or punishment device) to reduce the chance of the puppy eliminating in that location again.
- Don’t punish the puppy harshly as the puppy may become reluctant to eliminate in front of the owner anywhere, even outdoors.
- Do immediately take the puppy outside to the proper location and give lavish rewards if it eliminates. If the puppy eliminates in an inappropriate location and no punishment is administered during elimination, the puppy likely will return to the location to eliminate. Only with constant supervision can the owner catch the puppy in the act every time it eliminates in an inappropriate location.
- Although there is a great deal of individual variability, many puppies can control themselves through the night by three months of age. These are general guidelines on elimination control for puppies during the daytime, for the period of control after the puppy has relieved themself:
- a two month old puppy may have up to three hours control,
- a three month old puppy up to four hours
- a four month old puppy up to five hours.
- Do confine the puppy to the crate when unsupervised until the puppy is completely house trained.
- Once the puppy has complete four consecutive weeks without soiling anywhere in the house, the owners can begin to decrease supervision, particular during the first hour when the puppy comes indoors after eliminating.
- Be certain to take the puppy outside to its elimination site regularly, particularly when it has just finished playing, eating, napping, before bedtime, or if any pre-elimination signs are seen.
- Do reward the puppy lavishly for using the right area. Teaching the puppy to eliminate in a single location outdoors is far simpler and much more practical than trying to teach a puppy not to eliminate in thousands of different locations indoors.
- The puppy can be taught to eliminate on command by repeatedly giving cues (“Hurry Up”) in an upbeat tone during the act of elimination.
- Using a leash indoors to keep the puppy nearby aids supervision and helps the puppy to learn to signal the owner when it needs to go outdoors to eliminate. The puppy quickly learns that if it eliminates in front of the owner indoors it will be scolded. If it has to eliminate but can’t sneak away from the owner because of the leash, it is placed in a conflict situation. This results in anxious fidgeting or vocalizing. The pet should then be taken outdoors. Eventually, the puppy will learn that if it approaches the owner and fidgets or vocalizes, it will be taken outdoors to eliminate and rewarded.