Housebreaking your new puppy:
You will want to start as soon as you get your puppy home. You will also need to keep them on a feeding schedule. There are a couple different techniques you can try:
- Crate Training, from my experience, it has always worked best. Why? Dogs do not typically like soiling the place they sleep. Crate training is also good for keeping them confined when you are away at work without worrying about them getting hurt or tearing up things. Do not use the crate as a punishment though, they need to know that it is a safe place, it will make the time you are away from them easier.
- What I have always done was get a crate, about twice the size of your puppy, and put a potty pad in one half and a bed in the other. The reason for the potty pad inside the crate is because puppies have small bladders at a young age and if you are gone all day, they will not be able to hold it in. They will also get use to going on the pad, so eventually you can have pads laying around and they will use them if they can not hold it and go outside.
- I would feed and water them outside of the crate, and once they were done, I’d always say, “lets go potty”. (You want to use the same phrase every time.) When you take your puppy outside, take them to the same place, the smells from previous times will help them learn faster. After they potty, offer a treat.
- Puppies need to be let out frequently during the day (if you are home). If you are gone most of the day, be sure to let them out right before you leave, and as soon as you get back home, and definitely let them out right before bedtime.
- Eventually your puppy will be able to build up its bladder, and might even be able to hold it in all day without needing to use the potty pad. Just don’t give up, puppies need patience. Also, try to get a schedule down and keep it, it will help with the potty training process.
- Bell Training. This has become a pretty common way to potty train puppies, I myself have never tried this, but I have heard great things about it. What is it? Well, it is a bell attached to a strap, that hangs on your doorknob, on the door that leads to where they will do their business. So they ring it? After some training, yes, they will ring it on their own to let you know that it is time.
- So of course, first thing would be hanging it on the door you want them to go out of. Show them the bell as soon as you hang it. Tell them “bell”, and ring it. Once they figure out it rings, your next step will be getting them to ring it.
- If they are too scared to ring it, try putting peanut butter on the bell. Start by saying the word bell and encourage them to touch it, every time they ring it to the word “bell”, reward them. The goal is to get them to start ringing the bell on cue so then we can start incorporating that the “bell means potty”.
- Now we start teaching them to only ring it when it means business, literally. Head to the door and say “bell”, when your puppy rings it, say “lets go potty”, and take them outside. Your puppy will eventually associate bell to outside, but they need to know that it is for pottying only. When they go outside, take them to the same spot. After a few minutes, if they potty, reward them and go back inside. If your puppy just wants to play after a few minutes of waiting and nothing has happened, then take them back inside, do not reward them for wanting to play.
- Remember, bell means potty, not play, and repetition is key when it comes to your puppy!
- You can purchase these bells at your local pet store, or at www.chewy.com/bellpottytrain.
- Treats play a big part in the first few months of having your puppy. Why? Because you are constantly using them in the training of your puppy. I was given advice from a dear friend of mine, you are going to think it is crazy, but it actually makes sense…. Instead of buying these expensive treats for training, buy a box of Cheerios. Yes, Cheerios, boxed cereal. It is cheap, but it works and it is something we eat on a daily basis that is pretty healthy so makes sense, right? A whole box will last you forever, all your puppy needs is one every time you hand out a treat, they will love it!