The process of housebreaking a new puppy is one that can be complicated and trying at times: without the ease of language to help your puppy understand the rules, training can be frustrating, and your puppy will inevitably make many mistakes in the process. However, once training is complete, you can rely on your pet to respect the space inside your home. Though it takes time to establish a reliable pattern of behaviour in your pet, it is far more effective to go through the process with a patient, positive attitude, knowing that the end result will make living with your canine far more enjoyable – and a lot less messy.
Puppy-Proof Your Home: Preparations for the Housebreaking Process
The first and perhaps most important rule for a dog owner to follow when going through the process of housebreaking a puppy is to accept responsibility for what is under his or her control. Simply put, any treasured or valuable belongings, surfaces, and furniture should be protected with plastic, or moved away from where the puppy has access.
Keep a Record: Documenting Your Dog’s Schedule to Discover Patterns
One of the most helpful tools for dog owners to control the process of housebreaking a puppy is keeping a journal of a puppy’s daily schedule. By noting when (and what) a puppy eats each day, when the puppy goes outside, when the puppy eliminates, and any accidents or successes of the day, you can discover critical patterns about your puppy’s development, and learn what tactics have been most successful in connecting with your canine.
The Nose Knows: Using a Scented Spray to Deter Your Dog from Defecating Indoors
Often, the most frustrating part of potty-training a puppy is the damage that occurs to your prized possessions in the process. By spraying a scented spritzer on the floor or furniture that you want your canine to keep away from, you can ensure that your puppy will not go near the items that you value most. You can either purchase a scented spray, or make an all-natural version of dog deterrent yourself at home.
Patience is Key: Leave Frustration and Anger Behind
Like potty-training a child, housebreaking a young puppy is a difficult task that requires a long-term effort. Puppies that are punished for their mistakes with yelling or any violence become even more anxious about the process, and continue to make mistakes at an increased rate.
Interrupt Mistakes to Help Your Puppy Learn From Them
Mistakes are not a time for punishment, but are a good learning opportunity for your dog. A good rule of thumb is to use a simple, empathetic command, such as “Oops!” so that your dog can understand that a mistake has been made without yelling or anger associated with it. After establishing the mistake, encourage your dog to immediately come outside with you to an area where it is appropriate, and reward your puppy when he or she finishes going to the bathroom outside with a treat and positive praise.
Critical Clean-Up: Products that Prevent Future Mistakes
To ensure that any mistakes are properly cleaned up and that all scents are removed, follow up with an enzymatic cleaner that is designed specifically for pet accidents. By removing those lingering scents, your puppy will not have mixed messages about where it is appropriate to go.
Manage the Situation: Have a Back-Up Dog Walker Handy
If a pet doesn’t have a caretaker nearby to bring him or her outside, how can an owner expect a day to be accident-free? When going away, or even if you can’t make it home from work for a lunch break, have a friend or hired dogsitter visit your puppy and make sure that your canine gets much-needed outdoor time. After all, leaving your puppy home alone for more than 4 hours at a time is cruel, and is a surefire way to ensure that accidents will happen.
Establish a Consistent and Nutritious Feeding Habit for Your Puppy
It’s a scientific fact: unless illness plays a factor, dogs that eat on a consistent schedule must eliminate on a consistent schedule. This kind of regularity helps pet owners to be able to predict what time a puppy will need to go outside for a walk, preventing accidents from occurring. Another key part of establishing a consistent feeding schedule is focusing on regularity within your puppy’s diet. By feeding your puppy food with high nutritional value and great taste from AAFCO-certified brands, such as Royal Canin, you can ensure that your puppy will be eager to eat properly – staying far away from the furniture.