If you follow me on Instagram, (if not, why not?) you may have seen that we’ve recently got a puppy! Having a puppy is such a wonderful thing to experience but if you don’t train them properly it can lead to all sorts of problems when they are older.
House training a puppy requires patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to house train your puppy:
Create a Designated Toilet Area
Choose a specific spot in your yard or outside where you want your puppy to go potty. This consistent location helps your puppy associate that area with bathroom breaks.
Establish a Feeding Schedule
Feed your puppy at consistent times each day. A regular feeding schedule will help you predict when your puppy is likely to need to go outside.
Monitor Your Puppy
Keep a close eye on your puppy, especially during the early stages of house training. Look for signs that she needs to go, such as sniffing, circling, or whining.
Take Frequent Toilet Breaks
Take your puppy outside to the designated potty area:
After waking up in the morning,
After eating or drinking,
After playing or exercising,
Every 1-2 hours, especially for very young puppies, and
Right before bedtime.
Use a Command Word
Choose a command word or phrase like “go toilet” or “do your business.” We personally use “clean girl”. Use this phrase consistently when you take your puppy outside to help her understand what’s expected.
Give your puppy ample time to do her business. Some puppies might need a few minutes, while others may take longer. Be patient and wait quietly.
Reward Good Behaviour
When your puppy eliminates outside, immediately praise her and offer a tasty treat. Positive reinforcement helps your puppy understand that going outside is the right behaviour.
Supervise and Confine
When you can’t actively supervise your puppy, keep her in a confined space, such as a crate or a small, puppy-proofed room. Dogs typically won’t soil their sleeping area.
Gradually Extend Freedom
As your puppy becomes more reliable, gradually increase her freedom indoors. Start by giving her access to one room at a time until she can be trusted throughout the entire house.
Remember that every puppy is unique, and the time it takes to house train them may vary. Some puppies catch on quickly, while others may take longer. Stay patient, celebrate successes, and continue the training process with love and consistency.