How Do You House Train Your Puppy?

Carrie Pallardy
 
Accidents in the house are a normal part of having a puppy, but dog owners eagerly await the day when they can leave behind the indoor cleanup. While you definitely want your puppy to do their business outside, how do you get to that point? House training your puppy takes patience and persistence. These tips can help you work through the process of potty training.
 

Create a Schedule

You can start house training your puppy at 12 to 16 weeks old. In many cases, this will be right when you bring your pup home for the first time. When house training, it is important to create a consistent schedule for feeding and bathroom times. Feed your puppy at the same times each day and take their food away between those defined mealtimes.
 
The same kind of consistency is necessary for your puppy’s bathroom schedule. Most puppies need to go outside about once an hour when they are very young. Take her outside first thing in the morning, after every meal, after a nap, after playtime, and right before bedtime. Keeping your puppy’s crate close to your bed will allow you to hear crying that indicates the need to go outside.
 

Redirect for Potty Time

Accidents inside are inevitable for puppies. They are still growing and learning. While it can be frustrating to see a mess in the house, refrain from yelling at or punishing your dog. Instead, focus on redirection. If you see your dog squatting, pick him or her up and head outside. Do this every time there is an accident inside to help your dog understand where it is appropriate to use the bathroom.
 

Establish Bathroom Time Cues

While you will take your small puppy out multiple times a day, that frequency will likely decrease with age. Dogs need to learn how to let us know they need the bathroom. Some dogs will bark or head to the door when they need to go outside. It is up to you to work with them to find a cue that works for you. Some people prefer to teach their dog to ring a bell, rather than whining or scratching at a door.
 

Give Plenty of Praise

Praise is an essential element of all dog training goals. When your puppy successfully goes to the bathroom outside, offer treats and plenty of pets to provide positive reinforcement for their behavior.
 
If you cannot be home consistently with a puppy, consider hiring a dog walking service, like Sparky Steps, to give him or her a bathroom break.
 
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