As mentioned in our previous article, puppies have no idea what we are saying, they have never heard the English language before, and are still learning. They dont understand the rules of living with humans in a house.
So the question is, how do we house train a puppy?
There are many theories surrounding this, such as rubbing the puppies nose in it to locking the puppy outside. I honestly have no idea how either of these are meant to reinforce that the puppy should not do their business in the house. Rubbing their nose in it is a negative punishment. This will only cause anxiety after they have gone on your nice new fluffy carpet, however they will not consider this before they do it. I can understand why leaving the dog outside can help, but only when plenty praise and rewards are given as soon as they go to the toilet outside.
Remember that the puppy will not understand English so we must teach them where they need to go. Luckily for us, puppies are extremely predictable. If we set times for giving the puppy their dinner and playtime, we can usually predict when they will need to go to the toilet. Shortly after waking up or eating, the puppy will need to urinate. About 30 minutes after eating, the puppy will usually need to pass faeces. Other than that, a puppy will urinate every 2-3 hours or after around 30 minutes of playtime.
Keep a diary for the first week of having your new pup, this will show you the individual needs of your puppy. Always accompany your dog outside, give a quiet cue while they are doing they business and then reward verbally and with treat as soon as they finish, plenty of praise will mark their behaviour and tell them that it is a good place to go.
If the puppy does go inside, never reprimand as this will just encourage the puppy to go when you are not looking, it will not tell them that this is not a good place to go. Simply pick the puppy up and take them outside, if they continue going outside then reward and praise.
Be careful not to use ammonia cleaning products as this can sometimes give them a place to urinate as they smell similar.
Preventing mistakes is a lot easier than allowing them to happen, and will teach the puppy a lot quicker.
Using A Crate
Crates are great places to keep a dog while you are not there. If you correctly introduce the puppy to the crate (which will be in a separate article), then they will feel comfortable and safe in there. A clean dog will usually not like to go in their bed as they will then have to sleep in it and this can help teach them to hold their bladder. If an accident does happen, it is confined to their crate and easier to clean. Crates are also great for teaching a dog to be alone for short periods of times then eventually longer periods, without separation anxiety. Never use the crate as a punishment and put plenty toys in there. Encourage your puppy to use the crate to take naps.