House training? How hard can it be? You’ve just acquired your new puppy and the fun begins! House training can definitely be a stressful time so here are some tips to help achieve success. It can be a good idea to set aside time off work when you bring your new puppy home, to allow these routines to become established. Remember to take your pup out before you leave the house even if it’s just for a short period of time.
House training is something that puppies need to learn so they understand it isn’t ok to eliminate in the home. Puppies, at this age do not have proper bladder or bowel control and as a result require more frequent trips outside.
Good house training can be accomplished with a reward such as a treat, toy, praise or even play time when the pup successfully eliminates in the appropriate, designated spot. House training should begin the very day you bring your new puppy home.
All puppies learn at different rates, and some grasp the concept of house training faster than others. Most puppies are usually completely house trained by 4 months of age, but others may take a little longer ~ 1 year.
A schedule and consistency are important aspects of house training. You should establish certain times during the day so your puppy can rely on those times to empty his bladder and have a bowel  movement. (Some puppies can have as many as 8 bowel movements a day)!  Your schedule may require hourly trips outside during the day, and for most puppies once during the overnight. Just because a pup can hold it for 4-8 hours overnight doesn’t mean he should be expected to do so during the day at this stage.
A feeding schedule also helps so that you can gauge when your pup will need to go out. Most pups will need to relieve themselves 5-15 minutes after eating. Watch your pup’s body language for clues that he needs to be taken out. Whining, circling and sniffling can all be signs of needing to go to the outside.
When a successful mission has occurred it is very important to reward the pup for appropriate and good behaviour.  Puppies thrive on positive reinforcement.
If you are planning on using a crate to assist with house training, and we suggest that you do, do not get a crate that is too big to start. If the crate is too big, your pup may eliminate in one end and sleep in the other (see our blog on crate training for more tips).
If you catch your pup ‘in the act’ in an inappropriate spot, a shout or clapping of the hands may help to interrupt the offense. Pick your pup up immediately and take him outside to the designated area. Once he finishes  outside, offer the reward and praise, praise, praise!
Raising and training a new pup is a huge commitment. With a consistent routine and positive reinforcement, your new friend will be house trained in no time!