One of the first questions new dog-owners Google is, “How do I house-train my dog?” There are a ton of articles posted all over the internet saying this way and that way. The Pets I’ve Met team decided to ask Pet Fanatic and Foster Extraordinaire, Jeannette Macaluso. You may remember Jeannette from her post on dining out with your dog.
Jeannette has two fur-babies of her own and has fostered uncountable dogs through her local shelter (Centre County PAWS). She is convinced (and will have you believing it too) that house training is incredibly simple!
Here are a few tips Jeannette told us will easily help get your dog house broken in no time.
Know the rule of thumb.
Many pet experts say that a puppy can generally hold their bladder for 1 hour for every month old they are (so a 3 month old puppy can usually hold it for 3 hours tops). This isn’t a hard and fast rule but a good rule of thumb to avoid accidents! If you’re getting your puppy at a young age, make sure to carve out time in your schedule to set them up for success.
Protect your floor.
When you see your new furry friend wandering the house sniffing around, pick them up and take them out immediately. This will help you avoid accidents and limit the early-on frustrations of house training. This can be a lot of work but it will pay off in the long run.
Crate to build trust.
I suggest crating your dog initially until you can trust them to be alone in the house. As much as we love our new dog, we still do love our homes! Even after you can trust them, give them smaller spaces to be in (block off your kitchen). Then, slowly give them more space as they build your trust.
Build in breaks during play time.
Why did you get a puppy? To play with them, duh! Remember, as puppies play they forget they need to go. Make sure to build in potty breaks; stop the playing and take them outside or for a walk. Make sure they think going outside and on a walk is fun! So it’s not always ending play time to do something boring.
Set up the morning routine.
The first thing you should do when your puppy wakes up is take them outside. Even if they were just out 15 minutes ago (yes, we understand how many times you have to wake up with a puppy!). Plus, this allows your pup to start their day off being successful!
The after-meal schedule.
However often you feed your puppy, make sure to take them outside within 10 minutes of finishing their meals. Eating starts the digestive process and since puppies are so small they can’t hold much (see the first tip)! This will also pay off in the future if your dog is trained to go out immediately after a meal.
Set an alarm.
On days you are home all day with the dog, set up a routine where you take your dog outside every 2 hours to go to the bathroom. We all lead busy lives so a gentle reminder is beneficial. Plus this allows you more quality time with the new puppy!
Give love outside when you get home.
When you get home from running errands, work, or any other reason you have to leave, immediately take your puppy outside. They will be excited to see you (and you them) so the puppy will start to associate that great feeling with being outside and going to the bathroom. This will also continue the process of setting up a routine to help your dog become successful!
Reward good behavior.
Your new pup will quickly learn to associate the outside with going to the bathroom. Sooner than you know it, they will go to the door to let you know they have to go out. Make sure you reward that behavior with a treat, love, or whatever your pup goes crazy for!
Know yourself and your options.
House training a dog can be very frustrating and time consuming. If you know you may not be able to give the right amount of time to get your puppy off to a good start you can always take the easy route and adopt a dog that is already house broken! Or even a senior dog!
We hope these tips help you house train your new puppy. Let us know in the comments what tips you have how it goes for you and your fur baby!