Follow my easy tips for house training your puppy and you'll be amazed to see how quickly they can learn. First and foremost, consistency, diligence and patience are key. Follow up with a good dose of common sense and lots of love. You'll be rewarded with a devoted companion that knows just how to please you. Here's my regimen for success.
• Be Present from the Start
Whenever I consider a furry addition to my family, I try to give my new puppy every possible chance for success. That means being there from the first day he or she comes home and giving them quality time to get to know me and the rules in my house. In fact, I always line up a one or two-week vacation for their arrival so they get positive instruction right from the start.
I dedicate those days to training and bonding. It also insures that they're not left home along for long periods of time - which is usually a recipe for disaster with a new pup. I can't overstate how important this is for social development and potty training. It may take some planning on your part, but the benefits will last you both for a lifetime.
• Establish a Schedule
According to Pet MD, puppies under the age of 10 weeks have no control of their little bladders. This should make you thankful that they sleep a lot. But, it also means you need to establish a schedule they can learn. Feed them at the same time each day and evening. Pick up food and water after enjoyed their fill so they aren't constantly fueling their little waste tanks. And most important, take them out frequently when they're awake.
It may sound excessive, but I take them out as soon as the wake up, after they eat, right before bed and once an hour between those events for the first week in my home. Sticking to this schedule gives them the best possible understanding of my desire for them to do their business in the backyard and not on my carpet.
• Pick a Spot
Almost as important as sticking to a schedule is picking one spot for your puppy to go. It's easier and faster for them to associate a single spot with their scent for the task at hand rather than random walks with multiple distractions.
When it's time to go out, pick them up, carry them to the spot and put them down - but, don't play with them until they've eliminated. It may take patience, but the concept is easy. You're simply giving them the structure you want them to learn.
• Skip Punishment and Reward Success
Once your pup has done their business, a nice reward should always follow. A concealed treat from your pocket, a pat on their head or a loving belly rub will work. The idea is to associate the good behavior with a reward they will come to anticipate.
Very important, however, is to understand that punishing a puppy does not help house train them. It will only confuse them and make them scared of you or the act of elimination. None of these are desired outcomes. Even the Humane Society agrees that punishment does more harm than good.
When training a puppy, you need to know that some accidents are inevitable. Your best course of action is to try to catch them in the act, put them outside and praise them if they finish up outdoors. Then clean the accident spot thoroughly with a pet stain and odor remover so they aren't tempted to repeat the behavior indoors.
• Learn Their Signs
Over the course of training your little one, you'll start to see signs of how they will signal you when they need to go outside. Each dog is different. Web MD for Dogs says look for behavior like sniffing, whining, barking, circling, pacing, staring, scratching or standing by the door. Don't make them wait. Learn their particular sign and respond immediately for the best results.
These tips and basics aren't fancy. They're just good, old-fashioned common sense - peppered with a lot of consistency, love and patience. But, they've been my pattern for success with every puppy I've trained and it's made for many years with furry friends in a happy home.