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Tips for House Training Your Dog

Bringing home a new puppy can be exciting but also requires a lot of work and patience. House training a new puppy is important and takes commitment and consistency. Pretty much all puppies will have accidents at some point and this is to be expected.

When you are consistent with house training your puppy, it will normally take less time for them to learn acceptable behavior, though smaller breeds sometimes take a bit longer to train.

Create a Consistent Routine

When trying to house train, puppies do best on a regular schedule. In general, they’ll be able to control their bladders one hour for each month of age. This means if your puppy is three months old, they can probably "hold" it for about three hours, and if you wait longer to take them outside, they are almost guaranteed to have an accident.

Puppies should be taken outside frequently, approximately every two hours in addition to when they wake up and after eating or drinking. When training, try to pick one spot outside and take your puppy there each time they need to go out and each time your dog eliminates outdoors, reward them with a treat. It’s important to give your puppy the treat outside as soon as it has "gone potty" as this will reinforce that they are expected to go outside.

Placing your dog on a regular feeding schedule can often help with house training. Puppies usually need to eat a few times a day, and when they are put on a schedule, it’s more likely they will eliminate at somewhat consistent times. It’s also a good idea to pick up your puppy's water dish before bedtime so they don’t drink from it; that will help reduce the chances of an accident during the night.

Puppy Supervision

You don't want to give your new pup any opportunities to have an accident in the house so it’s important to keep a close eye on them. Watching your puppy diligently will make it easier to spot signs that they need to eliminate.

Some of the signs that they need to go outside include scratching or barking at the door, sniffing around, squatting, or circling. If you see any of these signs, grab a leash and immediately head outdoors to the designated bathroom spot.

Don't Get Angry Over Accidents

When you bring a new puppy home, you should prepare for a few accidents in your house. If your puppy has an accident, don't punish him or her. Yelling or rubbing your puppy's nose in the area will only make them scared and afraid to relieve themselves in your presence.

Punishment often causes more harm than good. Instead, clean up the soiled area, ideally with something that will get rid of the urine scent as puppies will often continue soiling in areas that smell. If you find your puppy in the middle of relieving themselves, take them immediately to their bathroom spot outside so they can finish eliminating there.

It may not always be possible to take your puppy outdoors to eliminate when necessary so paper training may be necessary. If your puppy must be left alone for periods of time, it’s important that he/she is confined to a space within the house that contains an area to eliminate. The area should be covered with paper, and should be cleaned up as soon as possible.

As long as you’re consistent and have patience, your puppy will be house trained in no time.

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