Congratulations on your new puppy! Getting a new pet is exciting, but it can also be overwhelming. It’s important to start training right away, and one of the essential aspects of that training is housebreaking. This can seem daunting at first, but it’s actually fairly simple when you break it into smaller steps that help you and your dog get used to their new roles in the household. If you follow these steps, your puppy will be trained and ready for anything in no time!
Establish a routine.
Your puppy needs to stay on a schedule. This will help him learn what to expect, and it will make your life easier as well. A good schedule might include:
- Feeding him at the same time every day (and preferably in the same location).
- Putting him in his crate for naps and nighttime sleep.
- Playing with him for about an hour each day (before taking his nap).
- Taking your puppy outside after he wakes up from his nap, before you play with him again, after playing with him again, and before bedtime. Establishing this kind of routine makes it easier for you to housebreak your puppy because he knows what comes next in the sequence of events each day.
Watch your puppy’s signs.
Pay attention to your puppy’s signals. Your dog is going to need you to know when he or she needs to go outside. When a puppy is ready, they’ll show you some of the following signs:
- Excitement: A puppy who is ready to go outside will often run around and bark, much like they are playing with another dog. However, this isn’t usually play behavior—it’s actually a sign that your pup wants out!
- Restlessness: If your puppy can’t sit still for more than 30 seconds at a time, it may be time for them to relieve themselves outdoors. The act of relieving itself could also account for why he/she was restless in the first place—because their bladder was full!
- Anxiety: If after each trip outside when coming back inside from being let out there’s a noticeable change in behavior (like whining), then it might mean that something else is going on besides needing more potty breaks!
Create a safe space.
The safe space will be your puppy’s designated bathroom area. To keep it clean, you should regularly sweep and mop the floor, and wipe up any messes with a paper towel or cloth. The walls and floor of the safe space should be made of non-porous materials that don’t absorb liquid, so your pet can’t smell its own urine or feces when it pees in the same spot repeatedly.
The safe space should also be safe for your puppy: no furniture legs that could hurt her feet or entrap her beneath them; no cords for her to chew on; no rugs for her to trip over; nothing sharp that might cut into her paws; nothing toxic or harmful if she were to eat part of it (like paint chips from freshly painted walls).
Be consistent during training and after.
Consistency is one of the most important things for training and housebreaking. If you’re not consistent, your puppy will become confused about what to expect and may make mistakes. Then you might be unhappy with your puppy and it may begin to act out because it doesn’t understand why it’s being punished or praised. It will also likely have accidents in the house when they’re trying to communicate that they need relief from their bladder or bowels (depending on how old they are).
The best way to avoid any confusion or potential problems is by being consistent while training—and after! If you want your dog to go outside every two hours during the day, then do so even if he hasn’t had an accident yet today.
Following these steps can create a solid foundation for housebreaking your new pet.
The most important part of housebreaking your puppy is consistency. If you are consistent with training, it will be easier for your puppy to understand what is expected of him/her.
It’s also important that your new pet feels safe in his/her new surroundings. It may take some time for the puppy to adjust from the shelter or breeder environment into his/her forever home, so give him/her some space and let them explore at their own pace!
If you follow these steps, you’ll be well on your way to housebreaking your puppy. The process may take some time and patience, but it’s worth the effort in the long run—after all, you’ll end up with an obedient dog who’s happy and healthy! And as they say: what doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger.