Housebreaking Puppy 101

Housebreaking your new puppy can seem like a daunting task. But with a bit of insight into dog psychology and these proven puppy-training tips, your new puppy will learn quickly.

And if your adult dog isn’t fully housebroken, don’t give up hope. If your dog has accidents daily, weekly or monthly, you’ll find it’s best to treat him like a brand-new puppy that hasn’t been housebroken.

Follow these steps to housebreak puppy:

1.    Select the site. Designate a specific area of your yard for your dog’s “business.” Before your new puppy enters your house, introduce him to this area. He’ll soon associate it with bathroom breaks.

2.    Visit the spot often. It’s best to take your new puppy outside about every two hours as well as upon waking, after playing and feeding, and before going to bed. In addition, be alert to signals like sniffing and circling that might indicate he has to go.

3.    Use a crate. When you can’t be there, crate your dog. Your puppy will respect his new den and will avoid soiling it. If you purchase a crate that’s large enough to accommodate your dog’s adult size, you can partition off part of the crate so he won’t go in a corner.

4.    Be kind. Accidents will happen. Remember that shouting, scolding and punishment serve no purpose and will only confuse your new puppy. Even if you catch your pup mid-act, simply say, “No!” and immediately take your new best friend outside.

5.    Praise your puppy. Lavish praise on your dog each time he goes outside in the assigned spot. Speak in an upbeat voice, smile and reward your pup with treats after he does his business.

When Accidents Happen

When you’re housebreaking your puppy, be ready for accidents with the right cleaning supplies. These steps will make for quick cleanups:

  • Soak up urine with paper towels and remove feces with a plastic bag.
  • Treat the soiled area with a mild detergent solution.
  • On carpeting, blot the stain — don’t scrub — and work from the outside toward the center.
  • To neutralize odors, use a veterinarian-approved spray product that’s safe to use around pets.
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