You just brought that cute little puppy home. Five minutes later he has an accident in the middle of the carpet and stands there smiling up at you. You decide you need to start housebreaking your puppy right away before this becomes a regular occurrence. Where exactly do you begin? Housebreaking your new puppy isn’t as hard as you think it might be but you need to understand that at times it is more about training you than it is about training him. You need to show your new puppy where it is that you want him to go, you need to show him encouragement when he goes there, you need to understand that his feeding schedule will determine his bathroom schedule, you must never punish him for an accident, and you will need to set up an area in your home that is just for him.
1. The first thing you need to do is put your puppy on his leash and take him outside. Lead him to the location where you want him to do his business. He won’t be able to find the location on his own. He needs you to show it to him.
2. When he does his business in the right location, make sure that you give him lots of praise. It is this show of encouragement that will let him know that he has done it correctly and he has made you happy. You new puppy wants nothing more than to make his new master happy. Use that to your advantage and help instill in him the proper habits.
3. When you feed your puppy is going to dictate when he needs to go to the bathroom. Most dogs will need to their business 2 or 3 times a day, usually about 20 minutes after they have finished eating. This is in addition to their needs for urinating which begin as soon as he wakes up. If you have encouraged him enough when he does it properly it won’t be long before he will give you a more than fair warning that he needs to go outside.
4. If he does have an accident in the house, do not punish him. More often than not it was your fault, and even those times when it isn’t he didn’t do it on purpose. Yelling at him or, even worse, sticking his nose in it will not solve the problem. Negative reinforcement never works.
5. If you do not have a crate for your puppy you should consider setting up a small area in your home just for him. Use your furniture or some barricades like those used for babies to set up a small area that can contain him. This may help in your housebreaking efforts as most dogs will not go to the bathroom where they sleep.
There you have a simple five step process to housebreak your new puppy. Show him where to go, encourage him when he does it correctly, understand his schedule, never punish him for an accident, and set him up in his own little sleeping area. He will be eager to learn and to please you. It will be almost as if you are the one being trained not him.