When it comes to housebreaking a new puppy, patience is key. Every pup learns at his own pace so keep that in mind when you first see him going to the bathroom on your carpet.
Dogs naturally want to keep their own space clean and this means they’ll do their best to stay away from their territory when they need to use the bathroom. This is an important reason why you shouldn’t give a puppy too much space to roam too quickly.
Here are some great housebreaking tips you can follow:
Using a crate to teach your puppy to wait to go to the bathroom outside is a great start. Buy a crate that’s big enough for them to be able to turn around and lie down so they’ll feel comfortable.
Accidents are bound to happen, but don’t be quick to punish your puppy when he makes that mistake. This will train the puppy to be afraid of eliminating when there are people around him and he’ll still go to the bathroom inside when you’re not looking. The moment you catch your puppy having an accident, clearly say “oops!” then take him to the proper area outside.
Clean the spots with enzymatic cleaners so your puppy won’t smell it next time and go to the bathroom there again.
- Rewards and Appreciation
Once you and your pup are outside for a bathroom break, take him to the same area each time. Make sure to offer treats and praise if he goes to the bathroom within a few minutes. It’s best to give the pup around 10 minutes of supervised exercise or playtime in a bigger space before bringing him back to his confinement area, because taking him back immediately can read as a punishment.
- The 15-Minute Rule
Within 15 minutes of waking up from naps, playing, drinking or eating, you should expect that your puppy would need to use the bathroom. Make sure they have the opportunity to go outside after any of these activities!
Generally, puppies can hold their bladders for an hour for every month of their age, plus one. If you have a three month old pup, he can wait up to four hours. This changes from dog to dog though and as much as possible, they shouldn’t be pushed to the limit of their maximum hold time.
- Nighttime Bathroom Breaks
It’s normal to have to get up multiple times at night to take your puppy outside. When frequent accidents happen while you’re asleep, you need to adjust and take him outside more. This is to prevent your pup from being comfortable being in the same spot as his own filth and it’ll make housebreaking much more challenging.