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  • Writer's pictureKaaya Sharma

House training a new puppy

One of the first things that goes along with welcoming a new puppy into your home is figuring out how to best house train it. Potty accidents are one of the top reasons why people give up their pets. Effectively house training a puppy requires patience, consistency, praise, and understanding that every dog has a unique personality and different needs. This influences how fast and easily they can be trained. Generally, this process takes around four to six months but can last up to a year or more depending on your puppy’s age, size, breed, and upbringing. Let's look at some steps you can take to make this process as smooth as possible!

1. Create a schedule

It is best to start house training your puppy when they are about twelve-weeks old since they have more control over their bladder and bowel movements by this age. When beginning the house training process, it is very important to create a regular feeding schedule. Do not leave the food out between feeding times and only give your puppy the recommended amount based on their size and age. This will prevent accidents between the day. In addition, designate a specific time and place when you take your puppy out to do their business. For example, it is usually a good idea to take your pup outside after eating, napping, playing, or chewing a bone, as well as first thing in the morning, last thing at night, and once every hour or two depending on how often they need to go.


Typically, puppies that are less than nine-months old can hold their bladder to a length corresponding to their age. For example, a three-month old puppy can hold their bladder for about three hours and a six-month old for about six hours. Remember that the first couple of weeks will be experimentation. You need to personalize a schedule for your puppy based on their age, behaviors, and needs. Eventually, they will get used to this schedule and it will become second nature!


2. Utilize their crate

When first starting with the training process, a crate can be a very effective tool. The principle behind using a crate for house training is that dogs usually don’t like to soil the areas they live in. Make sure the crate is big enough for your puppy to move around and stretch, but not too big allowing for them to do their business in one corner. Initially, keeping them in a crate for a shorter period at a time, like an hour or two, will allow the puppy to get used to staying in the crate for a longer time gradually. It will also give you a chance to better understand their behaviors and what signs they exhibit to show when they need to go. When they start whining, scratching, or displaying other anxious behavior, it could be a sign that they need to go to the bathroom. Take them out right away! You don’t want your puppy to lose control in the crate because then they’ll feel it’s okay to soil their living area. If you have to be away for more than four or five hours, then arrange for someone to take them out for bathroom breaks. As time passes and they have more control of their bladder, they will enjoy being in their crate for a much longer time without any accidents. Remember, not all tactics work for every puppy. Experimentation to determine what works for your puppy is key and takes a lot of patience and time!


3. Reward them for good behavior

Most dogs love a yummy treat, playtime with their favorite toy, or a quick walk around the block. As your puppy progresses with their house training journey, remember to reward them for good behavior. This will encourage them to exhibit that behavior more and it will eventually become a part of their routine. For example, every time your puppy does their business outside, give them a treat or bone to chew on. You can even reward them with a simple praise, hug, kiss, or belly rub. They will eventually begin to associate house training with these awesome rewards, making them more willing to continue these good behaviors in the future!


4. Positivity is the key

House training can be a long and difficult task. Although there will be setbacks, keeping a positive mindset is extremely important. Getting extremely angry and frustrated at your puppy for soiling your carpet will not be constructive. Just clean up the mess with a cleaner that eliminates odors and scent so your pup will not use that spot in the future. A lot of times they are unable to connect your anger to their actions, so all it will do is make them fear you, which is the last thing you want. In case you catch your pup doing business in the house, immediately pick them up and take them outside. If they do their business outside - awesome! A great opportunity for you to give them a reward and a lot of praise. Remember that this process takes time, patience, and effort. So, remain calm and continue to take baby steps. Although it may seem extremely tough at times, I assure you all your hard work will pay off in the end and the outcome will be totally worth it!

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