Owning a brand new puppy is a really exciting time! There’s so much to enjoy when it comes to having an adorable dog around your home. However, it’s also a big commitment. Especially when your puppy is young, it’s important to dedicate all of the necessary time and attention to their training. This will help ensure that they grow up into a happy, well-rounded adult dog and member of the family!
For many people, one of the most daunting things about puppy ownership is house training them. Of course, encouraging your pup to go to the toilet in the right place is a lifelong skill, and so it is an essential part of training. In fact, it can’t be overlooked, and is often one of the first things that new puppy owners look to tackling. But, many new owners worry about it being difficult, and encountering issues. Here at Royvon, we know all about these sorts of concerns. During our 60 plus years in business, we’ve seen it all! So today, we want to share some tips for how to house train your puppy that should help make the whole process easier and as stress-free as possible.
If you have a new pup and you’re worried about house training, or you’re thinking about taking the plunge and want to know more before your new four-legged friend arrives, this is for you! Even if you have an adult dog who struggles with house training, these tips should help you to effectively combat it. After all, training is for any age of dog, and just because your dog is now an adult, doesn’t mean that all hope is lost and they can’t learn the basics!
We recently listened to Susan Garrett’s Shaped By Dog Podcast on this very topic, and found that it aligned well with our own training methods. She suggests that any dog of any age can learn basic house training with the acronym HOT. This stands for Habits, Observation, and Timetable. We’ll be using the same acronym today to talk about our house training tips and tricks!
Develop good habits for house training, including taking your pup outside and not en
When you’re training your puppy or adult dog, from basic house training to advanced tricks, you’ll get the best rate of success by creating positive habits. To develop these habits in your dog, you need to make it easy for them to work out what the good behaviour that you want is, as well as the incorrect behaviour that you don’t want them to display. When it comes to how to house train your puppy, there are five habits that you can encourage so that they learn to go to the toilet in the correct space. Let’s take a closer look:
- Control their environment by introducing a crate for your puppy, that’s just big enough that they can lie down and sleep comfortably, but not so big that they can learn to sleep in one place and toilet in another. Secondly, a small and portable ex-pen is also a good idea, so you can create your puppy’s own area around your home. And, barriers that you can use to block off other areas of your home, so there’s a small area where your pup can reside. Essentially, it’s about creating a small and comfortable space for the puppy to be in.
- The next habit is to ensure that your pup’s small area is close to where you want them to toilet- probably outside. This is so you can get them outdoors quickly to do their business.
- Once they’re outside, the puppy also needs privacy. When starting to house train your dog, take them outside every hour on their, to the same place you want them to toilet each time. Once you’re out there, give your dog ‘privacy’ by staying quiet and not interacting with them, even if they’re jumping up at you. Over time, this should build up the association that going outside is a time to do their business, not play time. Let them do their business, and praise them quietly once they do. Don’t rush them, and give them another minute after they’ve done their business to make sure that they are finished, but don’t engage in another activity such as play while you’re out there. If nothing happens after a few minutes, take them back in and put them in their crate. The next time they come out of their crate, repeat this process. This ensures that their environment is being controlled.
- Every time you take your dog out to do their business, make sure that you take them out on their lead, at least for the first couple of months. This just makes everything a whole lot easier for you, as you’ll never have to chase them around the garden to get them back inside.
- The final habit is to do a bedding check at least twice a day. Take all of the bedding, including towels and mats, out of the crate to check for accidents. If there has been an accident, reduce the bedding. This is because, if the bedding absorbs their accidents, the dog doesn’t tend to mind as it’s still dry in their bed area.
When it comes to how to house train your puppy, all of these habits will help them to learn that they have to go outside, to the same area each time, in order to do their business, get praised, and then go back inside to a controlled environment.
Up next is Observation. Essentially, this involved monitoring your puppy closely to figure out what they do just before they go to the toilet. This could be anything from moving in a certain way, to sniffing. Look out for what they do, and keep a note of them. It’s important to continually observe your pup too, so that you quickly realise if these tell-tale signs are changing. Then, if you do see one of the signs in the house, you can quickly take them outside. This will help them to learn that when they need the toilet, they need to go outside!
Puppies learn best when their owner is a consistent trainer. So, when it comes to how to house train your puppy, you need to be watching for these tell-tale signs all the time, to really minimise chances of them doing their business indoors. And, you need to consistently practice all five of the habits outlined above to also increase your chances of success!
Keep a timetable, such as taking them out once they’ve eaten!
The final part of the acronym is the timetable. It’s important to devise a toileting timetable for a puppy, based around when they eat (and so they’re more likely to need the toilet). It’s a good idea to take them out after a nap, overnight, after playing, and so on, as well as shortly after eating or drinking. You should soon find out how soon after eating and drinking you should take your pup out, as it’s different for every dog. It could be 15 minutes after, or an hour and a half after. Keep watching for those tell-tale signs and adjust your timetable accordingly. With young puppies, it’s a good idea to take them out immediately, and increase the length of time as they get older.
By establishing good habits, observing your pup, and sticking to a timetable of taking them out, your dog should soon learn what’s expected of them when it comes to toileting habits. You need to be consistent, but by establishing clear expectations and a routine, house training your puppy should be a fairly straightforward experience. Of course, you may find that adopting a slightly different strategy actually works better for your dog. After all, every dog is different. These are just some of the house training basics that are good to implement as soon as possible, in order to increase your chances of success early on in yours and your puppy’s lives together!
How to house train your puppy: conclusion
If you’d like more tips, or you’re struggling with how to toilet train your puppy effectively, Royvon can help! We offer both virtual online training sessions, and face-to-face sessions at our physical locations. We have many years of experience in training dogs encountering all sorts of issues, from house training to severe behavioural problems. To find out more about us and how we could help you, please visit our website or get in touch today to discuss your individual needs.