House Training a Puppy – Tips and Techniques

House training a puppy is easy! Here’s how!

When house training a puppy, the simple use of a confined area, or a puppy crate, in addition to plenty of rewards and treats for urinating outside, will allow for successfully house training a puppy in no time at all. Due to their natural instincts, puppies will not defecate or urinate where they must sleep or eat, unless you give them no choice. Canines are surprisingly naturally clean animals, and unless the new puppy has been confined for extended periods of time in dirty living conditions, then house training a puppy will proceed without a problem.

The first step to puppy house training is to understand how long the puppy can contain itself. The general rule of thumb is that when attempting to house train a puppy, they can store urine for one hour for every month of age. Therefore an eight week old (two-month-old) should be able to resist urination for a period of two hours. Because the puppy will be asleep at night, it will consistently stay drier during the night more than in the daytime. If you must confine the puppy for extended periods of time, the most effective way to house training a puppy is to use a baby gate and restrict the puppy to a larger area.

When house training a puppy, it should be walked outside to a well-defined urination and defecation area every few hours. Do not do this too often, as the puppy will become confused and perceive this as a walk or a game. A good way to house training a puppy is that once the puppy successfully urinates or defecates in the correct area, immediately reward with treats and affection. If the toileting attempt was unsuccessful, go back inside and placed the puppy on a leash near you for 15 minutes and then try again. Eventually the puppy will learn to associate outside with toilet procedures.

You should never use punishment when house training a puppy. As punishment is physically and mentally destructive in this instance, you should not use it when house training a puppy. If you observe the puppy toileting inside, a handclap is normally sufficient to distract them, allowing you time to move them outdoors to complete the toileting task. If the mess has already occurred, punishment will only serve to confuse the puppy, and will not serve to help house training a puppy anymore efficiently.

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First thing in the morning is the best time to start puppy house training. Taking the puppy outside on a leash, and encouraging it to expel all urine and feces, will teach it a very good habit. The leash will also serve as a barrier for your puppy to be distracted to some other more interesting activity. Additionally, taking the pup outside 15 minutes are the mealtimes will make house training a puppy that much easier. Note the different breeds will take less or more time for the gastrocolic reflex to occur.

Remember that the secret to house training a puppy is to ensure that the puppy knows, in no uncertain terms, that it has done something that meets with your approval. When it defecates or urinates outside, praise the puppy, pat the puppy, give it treats, or dance around. Make as much fuss as you can about this successful toilet trip. House training a puppy does not need to be difficult, but it does revolve around the puppy learning what is right and what is wrong. They can only do this through your body language and your demeanor.

Want to crate train your puppy? Check out our comprehensive guide to crate training your puppy!

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DISCLAIMER: The information on this site is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian or doctor. Should you think that your pet needs medical attention, please contact your local veterinarian.  
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