Housetraining your puppy requires time, patience, and positive reinforcement, but the rewards for both you and your pup are good habits and an even closer bond. It can take around four months to get things absolutely perfect, but be prepared for some stumbling blocks along the way. Persistence pays off in the end; we hope these tips will help stop your dog from being “naughty” on your nice carpet.
Rule #1: Work To A “Go Toilet” Routine
The best way to create a routine is to identify key moments in your puppy's day and make sure that he is taken outside to use the toilet. Anytime he wakes up, fifteen minutes after he eats or drinks, and whenever he comes to the end of a play session are examples of key moments where a toilet break can be added in. The great thing is that one of these key moments should be happening every 2-3 hours, which fits with his natural toilet needs.
Rule #2: Establish a Reward System
Like any type of training, it is a good idea to reward him when he does something good — in this case, taking care of their business in a desired location. Always remember to bring a treat with you when you go outside with him for potty time and watch him carefully. When you see him go, give him that treat.
Once your puppy begins to learn the routine and, for example, he immediately goes to the door after eating, you should start weaning him off the treat system.
Rule #3: No Punishment! (Accidents happen)
When you are housebreaking a puppy, accidents are going to happen. They will find a corner and drop one or mark all over your chair leg. It is very important that you do not lose your temper, as punishment at this point usually teaches the dog not to go to the toilet in front of you. This is not ideal for housetraining. Instead of reprimanding your puppy, just take him calmly outside and reward him if he finishes his business outside.
In the event that you find a soiled floor and no puppy around, it is even more important that you do not reprimand him. Just clean it up and carry on with your day. Puppies have extremely short attention spans, so will not be able to associate your reprimand with the event. Punishment after the fact will confuse them and make them nervous around you.
Rule #4: Clean Up Accidents Thoroughly
When an accident happens, make sure you clean the area using an enzyme-based product such as Nature's Miracle. Any residue or smell left by not cleaning the area properly will act as a marker for your puppy that this is a good place to use the toilet. After cleaning, try to close off the area to your puppy for a few days to ensure that no further associations between this place and the toilet can be made.
By following these essential rules, you will be able to housebreak your pet successfully and move on to the next training steps for your pup.