How to house train your dog
How to house train a dog
Routine is exceptionally important when you bring a new pet into your home. This is particularly true of a new puppy. You need to make sure that you have sufficient time to begin and continue the process of house training a dog or puppy and as such the initial stages are best done when you have leave from work or holidays. This will ensure you have sufficient time to devote to the process at the outset.
When to begin toilet training
House training a puppy should start between 4-12 weeks at which point a puppy should have sufficient bladder and bowel control to learn to hold on. A puppy which is older than 12 weeks toilet training may take longer due to bad habits which have developed. This is especially true of rescue dogs which may not have had the attention required to develop good toileting habits.
Developing a regular feeding routine
Ensuring you develop a feeding routine is all part of the training process. Before you set food down to the puppy make sure that they sit and are attentive. Ensure that you feed the puppy in the same place each day and set a time aside where you can oversee the process.
Ensure you use the same area for toilet training
Once the puppy has lost interest in feeding remove the food out of reach to avoid snacking between meals. This will encourage healthy feeding habits and ensure better toilet control. Taking the puppy for a walk to eliminate shortly after feeding will ensure that the puppy gets into a routine of toileting. It’s important to take the puppy to the same place each time to eliminate fluids and solids. This will cement in the dog’s mind that this is the toilet area.
When toilet training goes wrong
You should be prepared in case your puppy soils your home. Make sure you remove any rugs or soft furnishings which may be affected and that you puppy proof a room where you will house the puppy when you are not around. This will keep soiling to a minimum and ensure you are able to deal with it hygienically should it occur. Puppies are often nervous and excitable and as such, prone to accidents. If soiling occurs It’s important to act swiftly.
Positive re-enforcement and calmness will help to build a loving but firm bond between you and your pet. Raising your voice and punishing a puppy when you are toilet training is definitely not recommended as it engenders fear and will make your puppy nervous making it more likely to soil not less. Excuse any accidents and re-instate the routine of positive reinforcement and treats. Remember the process takes time and trust is a big part of that process. Usinging an enzymatic cleaner to remove odours rather than ammonia based cleaners will remove odours and stop the dog being attracted back to the same spot in future.
Positive reinforcement, Praise and reward
When your puppy eliminates in the correct area, it’s important to lavish some praise on your pet and provide a treat. A rewarding walk around a favourite spot is also a good way of positively reinforcing good behaviour.
Signs that your puppy needs to eliminate.
A puppy will show signs of stress, such as circling, pawing at a door, whining and sometimes barking and generally trying to get yours or others attention. If you notice signs, its important to take the puppy out straight away.
Build a rapport
Building a rapport of trust with your dog is the single most important thing you can do in the early weeks. Most importantly make sure that your puppy gets regular feeding and exercise and use positive reinforcement at all times to ensure that your puppy is happy and content in their new home. Socialisation of animals in the first weeks is also very important when dealing with new puppies and ensuring they develop a healthy relationship in the first weeks. Ultimately it will be easier to house train a happy and well adjusted pet.