You want to house-train your puppy?

How do I go about house-training him?

Here are 9 tips to help you achieve that goal :

1. Take your puppy out every time he wakes up, after every meal, after each play time and just before he goes to bed for the night.

2. Always use the same door and always bring him to the same place when going outside.

3. Reward him right away when he does his business at the right place. Give him treats, hugs, cuddles and congratulations. Be very enthusiastic. Make a big celebration out of it.

4. Do not return immediately in the house afterwards. Your puppy might think he's being punished.

5. During the day, let him drink water only during meals until he is house-trained. Except when it's very hot or he is exercising. In these situations, you have to let him drink as much as he wants.

6. Remove bowls of water and food at night *, unless your veterinarian says otherwise for medical reasons.

7. In the house, keep an eye on him at all times. This way, you will be able to intervene quickly if he makes a mess.**

8. Never allow him to do his business indoors unless you want him to use a "pee pad". ***

9. If you catch him in the act indoors, take him outside quietly to the designated place and congratulate him (as you did with Tip # 3). Even if there are stools or urine on the floor to pick up, even if he defecates or urinates on the way and even if when he is there he does not seem to feel the need to pee or pass stools anymore (he just stopped doing his business and it's still fresh in his mind).

* During the night, your puppy must sleep in a cage. The cage must be just big enough so that he can change position but can’t move away from the mess. Because he will not want to sleep in it, he will be less inclined to do his business in the cage.

** During the day, he must follow you everywhere in the house. To make sure he does, tie one end of a leash to him and the other end to you. Let a long stretch drag between you two. As soon as you feel him moving away and crouching to urinate or pass stools, take him outside. Do not talk to him until he's finished.

*** If you want him to pee or defecate on a "pee pad", instead of doing it outside, you can still use these tricks.

What NOT to do!

Of course, it's really unpleasant to find urine and stools on the floor or on our furniture. It's even worse to step in it!

Although our first instinct is often to scold the culprit or force his nose into the mess, refrain from doing that because all your puppy will learn is to be afraid of you. In addition, he may conclude that it would be better to go to another room or behind the sofa to do his business next time in order to avoid being caught.

Also, do not teach him to use a "pee pad" first and then teach him to go outside, and vice versa, because that may confuse him. Instead, you have to decide from the start if you want him to go outside or use a "pee pad", and stick to the decision you made.

Why is my new puppy not house-trained already?

Puppies need time to become house-trained. This is because their bladder is small and they have to learn to control their urinary sphincters (the muscles that prevent urine from leaking out of the bladder). Some puppies only need a few days to become house-trained, while for others it will take a little longer.

Even if it takes time for your puppy to become house-trained, it is very important to always take him outside when he asks for it, or put him on the "pee pad", no matter the time of day or night. Be indulgent and patient!

It is also feasible to teach adult dogs to be house-trained, but learning usually takes longer in their case.

You want your puppy to be house-trained as quickly as possible? Use positive reinforcement positive reinforcement and repeat, repeat, repeat.

Text created in February 2019