House training a puppy is one of the more burdensome tasks of bringing home a furry friend. Even with all the training techniques, instructor-led classes and reinforcement toys, the success of house training lies in your own strategy and its execution. In fact, training a puppy starts with you devising a plan before your puppy sets foot in the home.
There are many different techniques for training a puppy and it’s important that you read up on the various methods so that you can choose a style that fits with your lifestyle.
Remember that many dog training techniques are outdated or inhumane, so choose a training method that is positive, respected by trainers and has successful results. The most common form of house training is positive reinforcement, which is rewarding the dog for good behavior.
For example, when you bring your furry friend home, take him outside to his special spot for going potty. If he uses it, reward him with a treat. If he doesn’t use the potty, continue to take him to the spot at consistent intervals.
At first, house training will feel like a full time job. Knowing the expectations will allow you to clear your schedule ahead of time, take off work and be home as much as possible. If you can’t be with your puppy, put her in a confined area such as a playpen. Give her food and water, and as soon as you’re able to, take her outside, let her sniff around and encourage her to go potty.
The two most important factors that go into house training a puppy are consistency and structure. Set a schedule that you know you’ll stick to so that your puppy will quickly learn what’s expected of him. Feed him, wake him and put him to sleep at the same time every day. Accompany him to the potty and send lots of positive encouragement. This way, you know that your pet is using the time to try to go potty and not play or explore.
To keep your own sanity during the house training process, start by giving your puppy a potty break at these times of the day: first thing in the morning, ten minutes after eating or drinking, immediately after playing, every two to five hours during the day and every four to five hours during the night. This only needs to be done until the puppy is about 12 weeks old and sleeping through the night. By this point, your furry friend will have an established routine, know what is expected of her and be successful at the house training process.