As the owner of a new puppy, it is up to your ability to continually condition your little one with regards to housebreaking. Follow these 10 golden rules, and don’t take your foot off the pedal, as it may hamper your efforts.
1. Be Consistent
Select a potty spot for your pup, and bring it there every time. Also, conceptualise a word that you will use each time you want it to answer nature’s call. Follow your elected word with crazy praise, which quickly conditions the pup to associate said word and the potty spot with doing its business. Do not change the word, as it will lead to confusion.
2. Eye on The Pup
Never let your puppy out of your sight. Firstly, abundant dangers face your pooch when you aren’t watching, so altogether avoid hazard by keeping a constant eye on it. Furthermore, all pups display similar behaviours before potty time. Appearing restless, they sniff and root about, turning in circles. Identifying this behaviour allows you to take the pooch out of the home, and you will be step ahead as a trainer. The better you know your pup, the more familiar you will be with his ‘business time’ demeanour.
Always reward little pup with a ton of energetic praise and a treat whenever it does its business outside. If you wait till you return inside, the pooch will have already forgotten what it did to deserve such a reward, so keep a couple of treats with you each time you walk the little dog.
4. Chill Time
Don’t take him indoors immediately. If you always play with your pup for a little while following potty time, it’ll learn to get it over and done with so that it can enjoy some playtime with you.
5. Potty Time
Puppies should not be expected to make potty more than one or two hours each time until it is around three months old. Do not be cranky with it if it wakes you in the dead of night, such are growing pains and not the pup’s fault.
6. Consistent Meal Times
Feeding your puppy at the same times every day means that it needs to visit the loo about the same times too. If you freely feed your dog by leaving food out round the clock, you will be unable to regulate its eating, in turn affecting the stability of its digestive tracts.
7. Walk The Dog
Take your puppy out immediately following its morning awakenings and after naps, as well as after every meal, play or training time, and also make it last thing it does before bed.
8. In Control
Pet or baby gates are optimal for restricting puppies to one room, where you can keep watch.
9. Bachelor Pad
Puppy pads (especially ones treated with pheromones) are a great manner to train your pup to remain in a specific spot indoors. Great if you live in a high rise home, or are incapable of taking your puppy out at necessary intervals.
10. Pee Time
A puppy should not be expected to hold it in more than the amount of hours equating to the amount of months it has aged (e.g. a two month old puppy should not wait longer than two hours to do its business). This is but a general rule of thumb, while all puppies are different, never leave one crated for more than six hours.
Adapted from Pet Lovers Centre Magazine – Issue 11