Successful toilet training is
really a management issue. Nowhere is good management more helpful than during house
training. Until your puppy or dog is trained, it is your responsibility to make sure that
he is never left unattended in an area that you do not want him to eliminate in.
Intelligent use of your puppy's crate will greatly improve your success. If your puppy
considers his crate his bed, he will be more reluctant to soil it.
This can be a simple process. Bear in mind,
your puppy is going to eliminate! It is up to you to teach it where to go. That means you
need to be absolutely aware of where your pup is and what it is doing at all times.
Don't punish your pup for
"accidents" if you're not paying attention. By following some simple guidelines,
potty training your puppy can take a short time:
- You must reward/praise your
puppy every time it does its "business" in the appropriate area. This
will communicate your wishes to the pup.
- Any time your are unable to
watch your puppy, it should be in it's crate. This will prevent the pup
from having an accident in the house.
- If, and only if, you catch your
puppy squatting in the house, stop him/her by making a loud noise (clap
your hands, slap a wall or table top, etc.) and immediately take your
puppy (happily) outside to the desired area and encourage him to finish.
Once he has finished lavish him with praise and "cookies." If after ten
minutes your puppy has not gone, take him into the house and put him in
his crate for about 30 minutes and then take him out again. If he goes,
reward and play for a few minutes. If he doesn't, back to the crate for
another half hour.
- Take your puppy to the desired
area frequently during the day. Take him out after each meal, a nap,
after a period of activity and when you see him sniffing (cueing)
Keeping your puppy on a consistent
schedule will also go a long way to help the process. Feed, water (what goes in on
schedule, comes out on schedule) and exercise at the same times daily. Use a high quality
food formulated for puppies and don't change it. Sudden dietary changes can cause
intestinal upset and ruin training efforts. And remember, PAY ABSOLUTE ATTENTION
TO YOUR PUPPY!! Prevention of accidents is the key. You must be present when your
puppy needs to "go."
Puppies vary greatly in the length
of time it takes them to become reliably house trained. If you have one that is slow in
getting it, you'll need to be more diligent and patient until he gets the idea. Also if
you leave your puppy home alone all day, training will take longer. It is also important
to mention at this time that you need to maintain your puppy's weekday schedule during the
weekend. It is not uncommon for our office to receive calls on Monday and Tuesday from
clients that were making progress and suffered some regression because they were letting
the puppy out several times a day and altering the feeding schedule over the weekend.