Bringing a new puppy into the house is a fun and exciting experience. They forget to tell you the joys of house breaking puppies! Puppies are loving, playful creatures and can immediately light up a household. Housebreaking a puppy is usually the most challenging aspect of dealing with this new family member. It isn't hard to do, but it does take some patience.
This is something you want to do right, or it can become a long-term problem. Just remember that a dog, like any animal, will naturally go to the bathroom when it has to. Housebreaking is an artificial practice that humans introduce to puppies. It's necessary, but it's something they have to be taught. There are three commonly used methods.
With this method, you confine the puppy to a room and cover the floor with newspapers. You praise the puppy for using it to eliminate. Of course, he has no choice but to go in the right place, but he doesn't know that. You gradually remove newspapers, leaving the area nearest the door covered. Your objective, of course, is to get the puppy to relieve himself outdoors. Take him out first thing in the morning, after every meal, and after playing. Always praise him for eliminating outdoors. When you finally remove the last of the newspapers, your puppy will likely have learned that the best place to go is outside.
The puppy is confined to a crate, which is not too large. You want it to be small enough that he isn't comfortable eliminating there. If it's a very large crate, he will just find a corner to use. You take him out frequently and, again, lavish praise for everything he does on these walks. The crate is a little simpler than the newspapers, and it completely leaves out the “going on the floor" stage, which is a good thing. Remember that a puppy under 12 weeks old should not be left alone for long (either at home or in a crate), preferably no more than 2 hours.
The Outdoor Method
With this method, you simply take your puppy out frequently -upon rising and every hour and a half during the day. Gradually you can increase the time between walks. A good general rule is to take the puppies age (in months) and add one. This will be the number of hours he can wait between outings. So if you have a three-month old puppy, he should be able to go four hours between walks.
One thing to keep in mind, whatever method you use, is that the puppy should be praised with enthusiasm when he relieves himself in the desired place. He should be scolded (but not too harshly) if he does so in the wrong place, but only at the time you catch him doing it. It does not good to scold him for something he did, even a few minutes ago, because puppies have very short memories. The praise can be more gentle as time goes on. Another thing to know is that you should deodorize the areas of any “accidents, " so the puppy doesn't think of this as his place to relieve himself.
Following these steps with patience will allow you to quickly housebreak your new puppy.
If you like the way your comfy shoes feel or the way your couch looks without the legs all tore up I suggest you take the time to learn about house breaking puppies right now!