Housetraining a puppy can be frustrating at first.  When housetraining a puppy you can be sure to expect them to have a few accidents while they get used to the idea of going outside.  You have to be vigilant and patient when trying to housetrain. 

Observe your puppy and learn the signals your puppy uses to let you know when it needs to go outside.  It may take several weeks to housetrain, so you will have to be committed.  Consistency is the key when training your puppy!  A puppy is considered housetrained when it has not had an accident for 2-3 months.

You should take your puppy out on a regular schedule.  After naps, playing and eating are good times to take it out.  If it has an accident in the house, leave the soiled cloths in the spot you want it to use the bathroom.  This will be the bathroom spot, which shouldn’t be too far from the door. 

When you take it to the bathroom, immediately take it to this spot.  This will help reinforce to your puppy that this is the place to use the bathroom.  Use phrases like “go potty” to help enforce this to your puppy and playing with it after it goes is a good way to give it positive reinforcement that it is doing good. 

Rewarding your puppy after it goes outside is important because these actions let your puppy know that going potty outside is the appropriate behavior.  You can give your puppy a treat if you like, but it is important you praise it right after it goes and before your puppy goes inside.  That way you puppy understands why it is being praised.

Tips To Prevent Accidents

If you catch your puppy going in the house, make a noise or do something to interrupt it.  Take it to his bathroom spot and reward it if it finishes going there.  Most people make the mistake of rubbing their nose in it or punishing their puppy.  The simple fact is that your puppy won’t understand this; all this action will do is make it afraid to use the bathroom in your presence. 

Negative reinforcement is not as good as positive!  You will also want to make sure you clean up any accident spots very thoroughly, as dogs are inclined to continue using the bathroom in places that contain those smells.

If you can’t keep a close eye on your puppy, you should place it in a small enough space that it won’t want you use the bathroom there.  It should be big enough it has space to move and lie down.  Some good places are in a bathroom or perhaps a laundry room. 

If you have left your puppy in confinement for reasonable long length of time, such as two or more hours, then it is important you take it immediately to its bathroom spot.  This will help reinforce the behavior you want to develop in your puppy.  Supervision is key in trying to train your puppy.  The more your puppy goes in your house the more that behavior will stick with it.

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