Dogs will instinctively do their toilet business away from the place where they sleep and eat. This instinct, however, will not stop a dog from going inside the house. There can be many reasons for this and you have to make sure first of all that your dog does not have a medical problem causing them to lose control of their ability to hold it in. Another problem may be with unneutered males who instinctively mark their territory with urine as a hormonal urge and has nothing to do with house training.
If your dog or pup has none of the above issues and is still going toilet in the house, it is time for some house training basics.
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House Training Basic Principles
Start by picking an area where you want him to go and stick to this one area. If you keep changing it will only confuse your dog so put some thinking into this before going firm. For most dogs, this area should be outside in a fenced yard. If you live in an apartment and have no outside area you may chose to pick a spot inside the house and paper train your pet.
You will need lots of patience and consistency and also time. Some people even take a few days off to spend just on re-enforcing house training rules. You may be successful and succeed straight away, but depending on the age and breed that you have, it may not be possible to fully house train a puppy with no accidents now and again until they are 9 months of age.
Get a comfortable size crate.
The first lesson is that while your canine is in training, he/she must most certainly not have the run of the whole house. Get a comfortable size crate and keep them confined in or near the room they need to make their toilet.
Don’t expect too much.
Remember that a puppy can only hold it in for so long before they have to go. A general rule of thumb is that a puppy can only hold on as long as he is old; so in other words, a four-month old pup can only go four hours without a trip to the toilet.
Watch your dog carefully
Give your dog a regular meal schedule and remove any food that he or she doesn’t finish. Do not leave any water out at night time. It will take some time for your doggy to learn which signal to give you to let you know it is time for a trip to the toilet. Some leave the room and sit in front of the door, some scratch at the door, some start barking, others turn in circles; whichever signal your dog chooses to use, when they signal you should take them out immediately and give high praise if they manage to hold out till they are on the right spot. Take your dog out to the same spot all the time.
Regular does it
While your dog is still learning, you can schedule regular times to take them out until they are able to signal you. For example, you can start by taking them out every hour and then in between after a meal, after a play session and again after a nap.
What not to do
If you do catch your dog in the act, do not shout and rub their noses in it. This does not work and does not help at all with creating a positive reinforcement method.
Don’t smack or kick or even pat the dog with a newspaper. We do not want to punish, we want to reward good behaviour
Instead make a loud noise to shock them into stopping and immediately put them outside in the toilet spot.
Screaming and smacking will only stress your dog out and put negative connotations to toilet training which may derail the whole training process.
Process For House Training A Puppy
The primary requirements for housetraining a puppy are patience and a stoic outlook! But there are some other practical considerations.
Whilst there are ways of varying the process of housetraining a puppy, following basic principles will prove the most effective for the majority of young dogs. Praise for positive behavior rather than drawing too much attention to negative aspects work best with most puppies, especially on this most basic training.
- Depending on when you acquired a puppy, training indoors will be required if it has not completed its early vaccinations. If it has, indoors is actually the more practical route initially.
- Keep your dog in one area of your house until it is housetrained. It can be allowed to roam later; this entire process usually takes a few weeks at most.
- If you are at home during the day, then you can observe your puppy and possibly permit some roaming, if the other pointers are being followed.
- Establish a daily routine for elimination that your puppy will soon recognise. This has many benefits, especially if you are not at home during the day. In this case, the routine would be early morning and when you come home.
- Especially with a puppy, put newspaper down in a specific area consistently and encourage the puppy to use it at every opportunity without being excessive. Stay calm; this avoids unnerving your pet.
- Ensure that the puppy uses the paper and after a few accidents, the puppy will recognise the designated area, mainly through scent.
- If your puppy has eliminated in a wrong area, clean and disinfect the area to remove scents that will cause it to repeat the process in the same spot again.
- Watch for the puppy getting ready to eliminate in the wrong area and move it to the designated area immediately. This is the single most effective measure, from which it soon learns; the other pointers reinforce and speed up the process.
- When the puppy is familiar with the indoor routine, take him outside instead using the newspaper.
- Reinforce the above with a regular feeding schedule and a regular, routine schedule. These can be varied later, but in the initial phase these routines will definitely help.
By following this process, your puppy will soon start going to the door when it needs to. Mission accomplished!