Thursday, April 14, 2011

Quick Housetraining Checklist

  • Your puppy should be let out for a washroom break immediately after he/she is let out of the crate, had something to eat or drink, woken up from a nap, finished with a play session or done chewing on a bone.

  • A pup should be given the opportunity to relieve themselves outside regularly while the are awake and enjoying time to roam in the house (every half hour is recommended

  • Watch your pup when you let them out to do their business to be sure they did.  If they don’t do anything keep an extra watchful eye until their next outing  

  • If you catch your pup having an accident in the house, abruptly lead them outside to finish.  DO NOT punish the dog!  It will not teach them to go outside but rather make them afraid to go in front of you! 

  • If you find an accident and the dog is no where near it, clean it up and go about your day.  Dragging the dog to it and ‘rubbing his nose in it’ will not help in the housetraining process and only makes you look a little crazy to the dog.

Housetraining Basics

Puppy season is here!  So now that your puppy's home first things first lets get them doing thier business outside...

Puppies will want to pee and poop wherever they have done so before.  Your job is to make sure your puppy learns to prefer the outdoors – not your carpets!  Whenever you are unable to supervise your puppy with 100% attention, you need to place him/her in either a short term or long term confinement area.  To choose the appropriate confinement area, you need to know how long your puppy can wait between opportunities to do his/her business.  A puppy can generally hold it for as many hours as their age in months plus one during the day, and 1.5 times that length overnight.  So, take the age of your pup in months, add one, and that is how many hours they can hold it during the day.  Multiply that by 1.5 and that is how many hours they can hold for overnight.
Daytime holding limit: # of months for age + 1 hour (eg. 3 month old pup = 4 daytime hours)
Overnight holding limit: 1 ½ times the daytime limit (eg. 3 month old pup can hold for [1.5 x 4 hours] = 6 hours overnight)
So, your pup can be placed in a short-term confinement area such as a crate for this length of time.  The purpose of the crate is to keep your pup out of trouble while you are unable to supervise them. It will also help you predict when he/she will have to go so you can take him/her straight outdoors and give a reward for doing it in the right place.  The crate should be big enough to stand up, turn around and lie down comfortably, not so big there that is room for both a bedroom and a bathroom!

Puppies will naturally have the urge to eliminate after a nap, a meal, a drink, exercise, excitement, or time spent in confinement.  Give you puppy the opportunity to do her business outdoors at these times.  When your puppy does her business in the right place attach a command such as ‘hurry up’ or ‘go potty’ and offer a special treat.  This will speed up her housetraining.
Punishing a pup for soiling in the house after it had happened is counter productive.  If you wait more that a few seconds after your pup has eliminated to express your disapproval, he/she will not know why they are being punished.  If you catch your pup about to pee or poop in the wrong place, clap your hands and say ‘Ah-ah, Outside!’ and swiftly scoop him/her up to the outdoors to continue.  Do not hold a grudge; it will not help with housetraining.
If you would like your pup to poop promptly when you take him/her out, teach them that a prompt poop is the ticket to a walk around the block or play time in the backyard.  This will encourage your pup to poop quickly when you let them out.  If you do the opposite by taking your pup for a walk only when he/she takes too long to go, and heading back home as soon as he/she does go, you are teaching your pup to delay pooping!