Quick Guide to Housetraining Your DogPublished December 15, 2008
How to housetrain your puppy in 6 easy steps! Puppy potty training has never been so easy.
Having a puppy is wonderful, except for one fact: he's not born knowing where and when to do his business. He needs you to teach him those bathroom basics through a process known as housetraining. Here are six steps to help your housetrain your new puppy!.
Select a potty spot.
People do their bathroom business in areas designated for that purpose, and so should your puppy. If his adult weight will be less than 10 pounds, a doggie bathroom can be inside the house either with a doggie litter box or on newspapers. Otherwise, find a grassy spot that's near your home and is easy to clean up. This is where you'll take your puppy each time he needs to potty.
Get a crate.
Dogs like having a den of their own, and for most dogs, that den consists of a crate that's made of either wire or plastic. The crate speeds up housetraining, because it builds on your puppy's instinctive desire to do his business away from his den.
Wipe his bottom.
The next time your puppy urinates, gently wipe his bottom with a paper towel. Then save that towel. On the pup's next bathroom break, place the cloth on the potty spot. The scent from his previous business will draw your pooch to the cloth - and next time, he'll know where he's supposed to potty without the help of the cloth.
Supervise your puppy!
Until your puppy knows where and when he's supposed to potty, you need to watch his every move - or, when you can't watch, to put him in his crate. When he's out and about, watch for signs that he needs to relieve himself. If he begins pacing, sniffing the ground intently, circling, or stops dead in his tracks, whisk him to his designated spot. Then, when he does his business, praise him extravagantly.
Use a schedule.
Taking your dog to his potty at the same times every day helps him learn to regulate his bathroom urges between those times. Start by taking your puppy out as soon as he wakes up in the morning or after a nap, after he eats, and after he plays. A dog under 4 months of age might need a dozen trips to his potty spot each day. An older puppy could get by with six to ten trips. Dogs over 1 year of age need three or four bathroom breaks each day.
A puppy needs time and patience during housetraining. Consistency and repetition will help him understand what you want, and time will help him develop the physical control he needs to hold his water (and the other stuff) between pit stops. If your dog is over 6 months of age and hasn't had an accident in a month or so, you can consider him a housetraining graduate!
Award-winning writer Susan McCullough's books include Housetraining For Dummies, Senior Dogs For Dummies and Beagles For Dummies (all, Wiley). She lives with her husband, daughter and Golden Retriever in Vienna, Virginia. Visit her website at www.susanmc.com.