Housebreaking Your Puppy
House Training Tips to Help Your Puppy Succeed
Help! My Carpet Can't Take Much More of This!
When it comes to house training
your puppy sooner is definitely better! So what can you
do to help your puppy succeed with potty training? First of all
don't be in a rush. I know I said "sooner is better"
but it's still going to take some time.
If you are in a rush you are likely to get frustrated. If you
get frustrated you are likely to get angry with your puppy and
we don't want that.
The most important factor in successfuly house breaking your
puppy is YOU! You will have to provide your puppy with the guidance
she needs to learn. Once you have your potty training plan you
will have to make sure it is followed and that it is followed
Take Advantage of Your Puppy's Den Instinct
Dogs are generally clean
and don't like to soil where they eat and sleep. This
is called the "den instinct". You know your whole house
is your "den" but to your puppy it is a huge place full
of many perfectly good spots to go to the bathroom.
Start by making your puppy's world a smaller place. Enclose an
area where your puppy can enjoy her time eating, sleeping and
playing. This should preferably be on a flooring surface that
is easy to clean in case of accidents. You may even place sheets
of newspaper down in part of this area as a designated bathroom
Encourage your puppy to go on the newspaper when you see they
have to go. Here's a housebreaking tip. When you clean up the
newspapers don't take them all out and replace them with fresh
ones. Leave a sheet or two that has the urine scent as dogs generally
will go in the same place they have gone before. Just place a
few fresh sheets on top to keep it clean.
However, don't rely on the newspaper to house train you puppy
for you. This is only a temporary measure with the real goal being
to teach your puppy to go outside.
Know What Your Puppy is Doing at All Times
This is where you come in. You have to pay close attention to your puppy's needs when you
are housebreaking. Did they just eat or drink? Have they just
been playing for a while? Did they have a nap and are waking up
now? They are going to have to relieve themselves soon.
Take them to the place in the yard you would like them to use.
This is a tip that many people may overlook. When you take them
to "the spot" always follow the same path. This will
begin to create an association between the path and what happens
at the destination.
Once you have arrived you may have to patiently wait for your
puppy to do their business. Choose a command word or phrase and
repeat it so this also becomes part of the familiar pattern. When
they do finally go praise them lavishly immediately. Aussies are
smart and will quickly associate successful completion of their
mission with good times and the positive attention from you.
It doesn't really matter what command you settle on just make
sure it isn't something too embarassing to say when the in-laws
come over for a bar-be-que. Just make sure you use the same phrase
Repetition, Repetition, Repitition...
Consistency is the key to
success with housebreaking. Repetition is the way we
learn and it's the same for puppies. Hand in hand with consistency
is attentiveness. You have to know before your puppy does that
she has to go outside to the spot. Get into a routine that starts
first thing in the morning.
You know your puppy will have to go then. Don't be to affectionate
when you first see your puppy in the morning. (I know that will
be hard.) Just wait until after you have taken her out and she
has gone in the right place. Then you can praise her and let her
know what a great job she did.
Now you can go inside and it's time for breakfast. After breakfast,
guess what? Back to the spot, success, more praise. Time for a
nap. She wakes up. Back to the spot. Praise, praise and more praise.
Your puppy will soon like going the that spot and it won't be
long before they "get it".
This approach to housbreaking relies on you being aware of your
puppy's needs. Always know what they are doing and where they
are. Don't let her run around the house unsupervised. When housetraining
you want to maximize successes and minimize mistakes.
Oops, I Did It Again!
Remember, if there are mistakes
it's usually your fault. So no punishments for
housebreaking mishaps. No yelling. No jumping up and down.
Besides your puppy won't understand what your problem is anyway.
They won't make the connection with your anger and peeing on the
carpet 20 minutes ago. If they do make a connection with your
anger and bathroom functions you will likely cause a setback and
delay housebreaking. Your puppy may then hide or sneak off to
do their thing if you have created an association with fear.
If you catch them in the act of going in the wrong place or they
come to where you are and just start going on the carpet you can
say "NO!" in a stern voice to let them know that what
they are doing is not appreciated. However, you should immediately
pick them up and take them outside. Get them to walk the path
to the right spot if possible. If you caught them quick enough
and they still have to go more be sure to praise them when they
Forget about the mistake, it's done, get back to success and
praise. Just be sure to clean up the mess thoroughly as dogs will
tend to return to an area that still smells of urine.
You Are The Key to Your Puppy's Housebreaking Success
The more attentive you are
and the more successes your puppy has the quicker the
housebreaking process will work. Another approach to housebreaking
is crate traning. It is similar to this approach but the enclosed
area is smaller where the puppy is confined to a crate for
short intervals. Crate training can be very effective but care needs to be taken to ensure that
it is being used properly and humanely as a training tool.
There is no substitute for you. You are the center of your puppy's
world and they are more than happy to try to please you. It is
your job to show them how. It's up to you to repeat the lessons
until the pattern is set. Housebreaking might be a bit of work
at the beginning because puppies really need to go to the bathroom
a lot, but your persistence and patience will pay off.
Be attentive to your puppy's needs, be consistent, use lots of
repetition and reward success with enthusiastic praise.
Best of luck to you, your pooch and your beleaguered carpet.
For further reading:
Housetraining Your Older Dog
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