Friday, April 13, 2018

6 Tips on House Training Your Puppy

House-training a puppy can be challenging, to the point where many owners simply resign themselves to just cleaning up wherever their canine companion leaves its doings. But house-training has more to offer than just allowing you to spend less time cleaning up after your puppy: it also helps them become a more well-mannered and disciplined pet, one that you can depend on to look after themselves on the occasions that you have to leave them unsupervised or in someone else’s care.

With that said, here are some tips that should make house-training your puppy an easier affair.

1. Get your puppy a good collar and leash. Contrary to the belief that you should let puppies go collarless until a certain age, it’s in fact to their benefit that you get a dog collar for your puppy as soon as possible. This not only allows them to get used to wearing one earlier, but also helps you secure them to a specific location when you’re not around to supervise them - thus protecting them from any danger their curiosity may put them into. A collar and leash is also definitely mandatory whenever you take them out for walks. Yes, we know that it’s irresistible to want to just carry them everywhere, but puppies need to be active.

2. Use the fifteen-minute rule to your advantage. A puppy’s digestive tract is very active and very small, so they’re very likely to need to go to the bathroom within five to fifteen minutes of doing pretty much anything: eating, drinking, exercising, or even waking up from a nap. You can take advantage of this regularity to teach them where exactly they can do their business. Bring them every time to this exact spot and they’ll soon remember it. You can also reinforce this lesson by rewarding them with a snack every time they eliminate in that spot.

3. Don’t punish accidents. Accidents can and will happen, especially when you’re house training a puppy. While it’s tempting to discipline your puppy for going where they weren’t supposed to go, either with a gentle hit on the nose or a chiding lecture, many trainers agree that it’s a very counter-productive move to do so.  Instead, simply clean the area where they eliminated as much as possible, enough that they won’t be able to smell any trace of themselves when they return to that area. Puppies and dogs are more comfortable eliminating in areas that they can smell their own urine and feces on, so in cleaning up their accident thoroughly they will be discouraged from returning to that place. You can then proceed with your training of your puppy as normal.

4. Always keep in mind your puppy’s ability to hold their bladder. As a rule of thumb, a puppy can hold their bladders for as many hours as they are how many months old, plus one. So a month-old puppy can hold their bladder for two hours maximum, a two-month old puppy can hold theirs for three, and so on. Keep this time limit in mind whenever you do activities with your puppy – letting them hold onto their urine for too long may not only cause them to have accidents but also make them feel comfortable about reveling in their own filth. It’s imperative that you don’t allow this behavior to take place by being mindful of their limits. 

5. Don’t rely on pads and newspapers. One of the most tried-and-true ways of house training is to train your puppy to eliminate on puppy pads and newspapers. While it’s possible to wean your pet off of them when the time comes, it may just complicate matter further and confuse your puppy in the long run. By training them to eliminate on a specific spot outside as soon as possible, you make things easier on both your dog and yourself.

6. Get a professional involved. If you’ve tried everything and it just doesn’t seem to be working out, remember that you can always ask for a professional’s help in house-training your puppy. However, this should only be your last resort, as having someone else house-train your dog in another location could obviously make it difficult for your puppy to get comfortable with eliminating when it needs to.
House training may seem like it’s more trouble than its worth, but by taking the time and effort to do so will instill important self-discipline in your pet, as well as ensuring their happiness and healthiness in the long run. 


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