The playful and lovable puppies can be a little messy; therefore, housebreaking is one of the primary things that you want to teach him. According to Dog Experts, the task of housebreaking is challenging and requires a lot of patience from your end.
Why the housebreaking training is required?
You need to be aware of the fact that puppies need to eliminate frequently. Puppies aged 12 weeks or below are usually unable to control their bowels and bladders. With management, the method of handling the puppy and his environment can be managed, in order to attain the desired response. The first step to housebreaking is to develop a habit for the puppy to learn to eliminate specifically outdoors, through experience. The habit will enable him to go to the designated place chosen by you for him.
The Necessity of a Crate
While teaching how to housebreak a puppy, ensure that some indoor rules are followed. The puppy must be kept in the crate or enclosed area when you are not with him, which will teach him how to be alone and prevent his feelings of anxiety when he is without you.
Your puppy should be kept in a wired-frame crate that has enough floor space for him to lie down and turn around. This will speed up the training process and prevent accidents as the puppy instinctively would not spoil his sleeping place. In order to make him feel secure, you can keep his crate in your bedroom to assure your presence near him. You should be aware of the fact that a 12 week old puppy can be put inside a crate for a maximum time of 4 to 5 hours, a 6 month old for 6 to7 hours and a 10 month old for a maximum period of 8 hours.
The puppy must not be kept in the crate for a long period as this will compel him to relieve himself inside the cage. It is advisable that you should either ask someone else or come yourself in the middle of the day to let your puppy relieve himself outside or else you will find your soiled puppy in a dirty crate. He can also be trained to urinate on training pads but the process is likely to take more time than the crate method.
Tips on Housebreaking
I would recommend you to follow certain steps:
- At the initial level of housebreaking, a schedule should be prepared for the puppy. Every morning, try to get up at the same time and take your puppy outside. Also, he should be fed everyday at the same time and after eating, should be taken outside immediately. Doing this everyday will help him to learn the pattern and follow a routine.
- After 15 to 30 minutes of serving the food, the food must be removed. This will not only help in putting his digestive tract but also his defecation system on a schedule. You can predict the time when he needs to go by increasing the time between his meal and the need to go outside, with each passing week.
- After the day’s last meal, his access to water must be limited so that he is less prone to waking up in the middle of the night but enough water should be provided to keep him hydrated.
- Your puppy’s potty breaks must be scheduled. In the mornings, your first activity is to take him out after he is awake. In fact, he should be taken outside a number of times throughout the day such as 30 minutes after meal times, after long play sessions and before and after bedtime. He should be trained in both outdoor and indoor bathroom habits. It is advisable to carry him to the designated spot in your arms so that he does not relieve himself on the way.
- He should be taken to the same place so that he is encouraged by the odors of the area to again defecate and urinate. Preferably, the puppy must be taken to this place in the yard, before and after being put in a crate.
- Use a word that he can associate with the action such as ‘Go pee or potty’. The frequent and consistent use of the word in context of the action will ensure that he learns it as a command. If he obeys the command, he should be rewarded with praise and treat. Even if he doesn’t eliminate within 15 minutes, he should be put back in crate and after 10 minutes or so, you should try again.
- If your puppy is caught in the middle of an accident, interrupt him by loudly and firmly saying ‘No’. He should be immediately carried outside so that he can complete his act and should be praised if he finishes. He should never be punished so that he would not afraid of you. If he ever soils his crate, the crate should be cleaned thoroughly before putting him back again.
- In case he messes the house, the house must be cleaned with enzymatic cleaner that would neutralize the odor and discourage future accidents. The nose of your puppy is much more sensitive than yours and cleaning the floor with just soap water will still provide him the smell of the waste and he might mistake it as the bathroom.
- You need to know when your puppy needs to go and look out for the signs given by him such as circling, sniffing, pacing and others. Every puppy is a little bit different but you need to learn the sign of your puppy. When you see the sign, immediately take him outside.
- After his trip outside, he should have some free-time that should be increased gradually so that he learns that doing business outside is the best option.
Some other Points to Remember
Studies reveal that with each passing month, the puppies are capable of holding their bladders for a longer period. The period of restless nights will not last for a long period if you provide enough persistence and patience in the puppy’s housebreaking training.
This process depends on the ability of the puppy to learn things and your level of consistency and commitment. Throughout the process, you need to remain assertive and calm while teaching your pup the ‘right way’. Your stress or frustration will only exude negative energy and might lead to behavioral problems and instability in your pooch. You need to remember that he wants to please you always, therefore correct his actions and praise him to get good results.
Like children, puppies are constantly in search of information about household rules and impeccable supervision will enable both of you to enjoy a lifetime of happiness together.