The golden rules of house-training include setting up a daily routine and praising your dog for a job well-done! Read the following guidelines, then check the sample schedule.
Patience - Remember to be patient: house-training is not a process that happens overnight. Give your dog some time to adjust to the new setting and his new daily routine. Keep in mind that puppies under 5 months of age cannot physically hold their bladders for more than 6-8 hours(if that!). Do not expect your dog to "hold it" if he is not allowed to go out regularly.
Routine - Establish a daily routine of going outside after feeding, after naps, after long playtimes, as soon as you get home, at bedtime and first thing in the morning.
Yard Areas - Choose one area of the yard to be used as the dog's toilet area and use this area all the time.
Praise - When your dog does eliminate at the right time and in the right spot, give him a great deal of praise! By encouraging your pet with praise he will want to repeat that act over and over again for you. Consistent praising will help make the house-training process go faster!
Be Alert - Keep a watchful eye on your dog for signs that he wants to eliminate. These signs include sniffing, circling, and squatting. If the dog starts doing these things, take him outside to his spot right away.
Good Commands - Using a special phrase such as "hurry up' will reinforce the house-training process for your dog. Use the command when you take him out and then give praise after he is done. If you do this every time, your dog will "hurry up" right away when he goes outside.
Accidents - If you catch your pet in the act indoors, do not spank him! This adds to the confusion and will set you back in your training. Instead, give a voice correction, such as "NO!", and then immediately rush him outside to his spot. Use vinegar to clean up any indoor messes to remove all odors. Make sure that you remove all the odor because an elimination reflex can be set off when the dog smells that spot and he might repeat the act.
Waiting - If you take your dog outside and he does not do anything, then stand around and wait, repeating the good command. If after about ten minutes the dog still has not done anything and you have a fenced yard, try leaving it alone while you watch from inside. If he still does not do anything, return him to the house but continue to go out every five or ten minutes until he completes the job.
Confinement - When you cannot watch your dog in the house, or while you are out of the house, make sure that the dog is kept confined to a kennel or crate (see the information sheet on crate-training) or to a special room so that he does not have the opportunity to soil the whole house. Every time you take him out of the crate or room, take him outside immediately. If you are using a special room to keep your puppy in while you are out, use newspapers to cover the floor so that clean up is easy. Gradually make the newspaper area smaller so that soon only one small space is papered. After 3 months of age, train the puppy to outdoors only.
Nighttime - At night, make sure that you remove all water about two hours before bedtime. Take your dog outside before bed and then put her in the crate. Make sure that you take her outside first thing in the morning.
Water - It is dangerous to restrict your dog's water supply to discourage urination! Especially in warm weather, this practice could be deadly.
- First thing in the morning, take your dog out to his same spot.
- Give your dog his morning food and water.
- Take your dog out after eating, and once again before you leave the house.
- Confine your dog to his crate while you are out.
- Go home at lunch to let your dog out to his spot.
- Take your dog out to his spot immediately when you get home. If possible, it is best to do this at the same time each day.
- Feed your dog his dinner, and then go outside again.
- Always take her outside to his spot after playtime, after his nap, and always just before bedtime!
- Remember: have lots of patience, stick to an established routine, and always give lots of praise for a job well-done!