Bringing a new puppy into your home can be one of the most exciting feelings in the world. You and your pup are about to embark on the journey of a lifetime, during which the two of you will explore, learn and grow together. Because of the importance of first impressions, it’s essential that you and your puppy start things off on the right paw.
One of the most important tasks to accomplish when welcoming a new puppy into your life is to housebreak her. Puppies are very excitable and it can take some time before they learn proper bladder control. In fact, most puppies actually have very little bladder control initially and will need to be let out at least once every hour to prevent accidents. However, there are a few ways to help facilitate the process of potty training your pup- so we’ve written this guide to help you do just that! We hope you enjoy these tips from EntirelyPets!
Understand Territorial Behavior
When first introducing your puppy to their new home, remember to keep her on a leash while she explores the area. It might help to have her urinate or defecate on a training pad whilst still on the leash. This helps establish that area as the area which is designated for their elimination. When she has done her business in the desired area- before to immediately offer a reward and praise to reinforce this behavior.
Avoid punishing your dog when they make a mistake. Instead, try corrective behavior. Dogs that eliminate in an inappropriate location will often return to the same location in the future because of the scent left behind from their first accident. To prevent reoccurrences, clean the soiled area comprehensively to eliminate any lingering scent.
One of the best ways to housebreak your dog is to use a crate to establish a safe space. Dogs are naturally den animals, meaning that they tend to seek small, cramped areas when searching for a place to rest. Establishing a safe space for your dog gives her a natural incentive to wait for bathroom breaks at allotted times, as she won’t want to soil it. This method of training also has the added benefit of preparing your puppy for travel or trips to the vet or groomer.
Go on Command
Teaching your puppy to go on command can be extremely useful. Teaching your dog to eliminate on command can be also be a very simple process. Teaching a dog any commands is as simple as building an association in your dog’s mind between a word and one of his actions. To do this, simply say your command word every time that your dog eliminates.
Soon enough, your dog will begin to understand that the word you are saying refers to their actions. Once your dog makes the connection, you can build it further by offering treats as positive reinforcement when they do go on command. Once again, if she does not successfully follow your command, do not punish her. If she does not follow the command, she simply might not have yet built the association. If you find that this process has failed, try beginning again from scratch while using a different word for your command.
There are a wide variety of products available that can greatly facilitate housebreaking your dog. Aside from basic training treats, like Bonies, you can also use pee pads to help teach your puppy boundaries by providing them with a designated (not to mention absorbent) spot in which to eliminate. Other useful tools include training collars and training sprays which serve to discourage undesirable behavior.
We hope that these tips prove useful in your effort to potty train your pooch and that the two of you make a great match for one another. Let us know if you found this advice helpful or if you have another useful tip by leaving a comment below!