Dog House Training in 7 Steps
When you adopt a new dog, it is essential that you introduce consistent potty training rules. Dog house training may sound difficult, but if you follow these seven simple rules, you will quickly have a house-trained dog.
STEP ONE: KEEP A JOURNAL
It is essential when puppy potty training that you know how often your dog needs to relieve himself. If your dog’s routine is stable, he will usually have a consistent bathroom routine. Record what time they went and what business they did. Figure out how long they are holding it. That is your baseline. It is important during this time that you feed your dog on a schedule. Don’t leave the bowl of kibble on the ground, or it will be difficult to predict accidents.
STEP TWO: USE YOUR CRATE
A crate is an invaluable tool for puppy potty training. Now that you have established a baseline with your journal, you know how long your dog can hold it. He can probably hold it longer through the night, but don’t expect a puppy to hold it longer than 4-6 hours.
STEP THREE: TAKE HIM OUT
When you are house-training your dog, you must always go outside with him to see that he goes. Walk him (don’t carry him) out the door you eventually want him to use to alert you. This will build a routine. Once he does his business, wait a few more minutes. Most puppies will go again almost immediately. You will learn your puppy’s routine. Any time he does his business outside, praise him and give him a treat or fun game.
STEP FOUR: HOUSE FREEDOM OR CRATE?
If your pup does his business, he may have house freedom. Of course, this should be supervised, but if he can hold it one hour, he should get 55 minutes of freedom playing with you or just following you around the house. If he does not, he must go back in his crate. Take him out in another half hour or so to try again. Once he does his business, he has earned house freedom.
STEP FIVE: REPEAT
Once that 55 minutes (adjust to fit your dog) has elapsed, it is time to start all over again. Take him outside and wait for him to do the appropriate business. If he does, give him a reward and allow him house freedom. If he does not, he goes back in his crate.
STEP SIX: PREVENTING ACCIDENTS
Your dog should never be running free in the house without you. If you cannot supervise, put him in his crate. You can’t punish for accidents after the fact because dogs don’t learn that way. If you see him start to show the signs, such as sniffing, turning in a circle or squatting, start clapping your hands and rush him out the designated door. Don’t get angry, just act urgent. Once he gets outside, reward him for going.
STEP SEVEN: PUTTING IT ON CUE
If you would like to hurry your dog along, put bathroom on cue. To do this, wait until he is going and give your command, such as “do your business.” Then praise and reward. Repeat this several times to give your dog the chance to associate the words with the action. Then give your dog the cue before he goes. If he does, give him a jackpot reward of several treats. If you expect your dog to relieve himself on walks, don’t start the walk until after he has done his business. Walks are a great reward!
As with most training behaviors, consistency is the key. If you follow these seven simple steps, your dog will be house broken in only a few weeks.