Puppy Housetraining Tips

Puppy housetraining is one of the most important tasks in dog rearing. The experience of housebreaking a puppy can be a positive one for both you and the dog if you approach the situation with specific skills. This article will explore setting specific toileting areas, crate training, clicker training and working with a consistent feeding schedule. All of these issues can lead to greater success in puppy housetraining.

Set Specific Housebreaking Goals

Setting measurable goals in housebreaking will help you know when you've succeeded. You'll also be clearer in your communication with your puppy about exactly what is expected and what behaviors your are after. Set a small goal for how long you hope to go without any indoor accident. Once your dog goes three weeks without any accidents, he most likely is housetrained.

Designate one toilet area for your dog's elimination. The best place is outside in a specific area of grass or dirt. You can teach your dog that this is the place by taking him there at times when he probably needs to go and then rewarding him if he eliminates in that spot. Your puppy will quickly be drawn to that spot and will learn that going there is the way to get a treat.

Crate Training

A puppy carrier or crate can be a pivotal tool in training your puppy. can make housebreaking much simpler. Your puppy will feel safe and happy in his crate if you take the time to introduce him to it before enclosing him inside. If you use toys and treats and a familiar blanket, he'll consider it his own bed. Unless he's really ill, he won't go to the bathroom where he sleeps, i.e. the crate.

Keep the puppy in the crate just long enough that when he comes out, he'll probably have to eliminate. A puppy under 3 months of age should only be in a crate for an hour at a time. Then he can stay in the crate for an additional hour for each month older that he gets but never more than 4 hours at a time, 6 at the most. After the appropriate amount of time, if you take the puppy outside for 5 to 10 minutes, he will most likely eliminate. Then you can reward the behavior and play with him before returning him to his crate.

Clicker Training

Clicker training works as an adjunct to interrupting unwanted behaviors and rewarding desired behaviors. One sound on the clicker gets associated with negative consequences and thus tells a dog to stop what he is doing. Another sound gets associated with treats and rewards and thus encourages a behavior. In housebreaking, the clicker can help interrupt the dog when he is beginning to go in the house.

Coordinate Feeding With Housebreaking

A consistent feeding schedule can greatly help you succeed in puppy housetraining. A puppy will need to go to the bathroom soon after he wakes up in the morning and also about 20 minutes after he eats. If you are consistent with sleeping and eating times, you'll work with your dog's natural rhythms.

After you feed your puppy, put him in his crate. Then 20 minutes later, take him to the designated toileting area. As soon as he eliminates there, reward him with whatever he likes best. For some dogs this is a treat, and for others it's play or affection or a specific toy.