by: Samantha Abbott
House training is one of the most important things you can do for both you and your puppy. It is imperative that you begin your puppy's housebreaking as soon as you bring him home.
It is natural for a dog to relieve himself where ever it is. You must teach your puppy to relieve himself outdoors. Keep in mind that the younger the puppy is, the less control he will have over his bladder and bowels. A very young puppy can seem like a pee and poop machine! Puppies can also mark and urinate when they are submissive or afraid.
Dogs are relatively clean animals and will typically want to eliminate in an area separate from the main living area. Keep an eye on your puppy for signs that he needs to go. You may notice him sniffing the floor, going into a room away from all the activity, or staring at the door. Some puppies will be more obvious, such as running between you and the door, jumping on you, or barking.
Designate a place in your yard specifically for your puppy to eliminate. This area should be kept clean of feces. Take extra care to keep the area clean from feces and safe from other dogs until your puppy is fully immunized.
Take your puppy outside to the designated area frequently. Develop a routine and take your puppy out on a regular schedule. Do not go more hours than your puppy is months old without taking him out. For example, if your puppy is three months old, do not go more than three waking hours without taking him outside. In addition, you should take your puppy to the designated area approximately twenty minutes after meals or long drinks of water.
If you see your puppy eliminating inside, immediately take him outside to the designated area. Don't fall into the temptation of sticking his nose in it and telling him, "no!" This will not help. It will just confuse him as he will not understand why he is being yelled at and it will make him nervous and scared around you. Ignore the unwanted behavior and reward the good behavior.
Take your puppy outside on a leash. Give him five minutes to eliminate. If he doesn't go in five minutes, take him back inside and put him in his crate. Ten minutes later, take him back outside again on the leash. Repeat if necessary.
When your puppy begins to eliminate, give him a command such as, "Do your business." Say it continuously while he is going. Praise your puppy after he voids in the designated area. Reward him with something he likes. Many puppies are happy to be off the leash and have ten or fifteen minutes of play time outside with you.
It will take a few weeks to fully house train your puppy. Consistency is the key to success. When your puppy's training is complete, he will eliminate on command when you tell him, "Do your business."
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