Congratulations!! Owning a puppy is going to change your life! They are the sweetest, cutest little bundles of 4-legged joy…as long as you properly house train them. House training is one of the most important things you will do with your new puppy. Do it right, and you will save yourself from many years of accidents (also known as poop and pee on your most prized possessions and expensive oriental rugs). Do it wrong, and you will need Stanley Steamer on your speed-dial.
Here are the top 3 tips for quickly and properly house training your new best friend:
1. DO NOT use wee-wee pads
This is a big mistake that many new dog owners make. It seems so convenient to just put an absorbent pad down on the floor so little FiFi can cop a squat there, instead of on the rug, right? WRONG! Unless you want your dog doing their business INSIDE your house, and you plan on buying wee-wee pads in bulk for the next 15+ years, you don’t want to start house training with them. Believe me…I made this mistake about 14 years ago…and guess who’s still buying wee-wee pads? This girl! The purpose of house training is to teach your dog to go outside, and if you start off by letting them go inside (even on a wee-wee pad), you are going to have a hard time breaking them of this habit.
2. Buy a crate and — USE IT
I know, I know…it seems so mean to put a brand new cute little furry baby in a cage. All you want to do is cuddle up with that adorable little baby in your bed, all night long. But trust me, invest in a crate and put the puppy in there at night, and also whenever you leave the house or aren’t able to keep an eye on the little darling. He/She won’t be very happy about it at first, but hold strong and I promise that they will eventually love that space as a safe and cozy place of their own. I crate trained my German Shepherd and not only was she one of the best dogs I have ever owned (and solidly house trained), but she LOVED her crate.
As far as size goes, make sure that the crate is just large enough that your puppy can turn around, stand up and lay down. The reason it needs to be just big enough, but not too big is because most dogs will not potty where they sleep or lay. You don’t want too much room because then they are able to do their business in the crate and lie down in the extra space, avoiding their accident.
Also, in the very beginning when your puppy is just learning about house training, don’t put blankets or towels in their crate. These items can absorb pee and then they can avoid being near their accident. I had a puppy once who would go potty on the towel I put in her crate and somehow roll it up and push it to the front of the crate..then she would sleep behind it, staying nice and clean!
Know that the crate is not something you have to use forever, but I would highly suggest using it on a consistent basis until you know that your puppy is pretty solidly house trained. Once your puppy is a little older and has more bladder control, start phasing the kennel out. Leave them for a little time alone (in a safe place in the house). You can gradually increase the time you leave them alone for until you don’t need the crate at all anymore.
3. Take your puppy out frequently and at key times
Getting your puppy outside before they actually go is key! In order to do this, you have to recognize the times they most likely need to go potty and the signs that they have to go. My rule of thumb is to always let them out in the morning, when they awake from sleeping (during the day), after they eat or drink, and at night before they go to bed. Also, if you see your puppy sniffing around a lot, that may be a sign that they have to go…so get them outside right away. If they do go outside, give them lots of praise or even a little treat…just until they get the idea that they are supposed to potty outside. And if they do go in the house, don’t get too upset. If you catch them in the act, just say “No!” and quickly get them outside. If you find an accident in your house randomly, unfortunately there isn’t really anything you can do (other than clean up the accident).
4. Hire a professional pet sitting company like Angel Pet Sitting
If you are like most other people, you probably work outside your home for 8+ hours a day. This is a tough situation for a puppy because they typically need to be let out to go potty at least 2-3 times during the hours that you are at work. In order to keep your house training routine going strong, hire a professional pet sitting company like Angel Pet Sitting. A professional pet sitter will be able to get your puppy out of their crate for some exercise, make sure they go potty, and give them a little extra TLC and socialization when you are unable to. Utilizing a professional pet sitter will allow you to do what you need to do, when you need to do it, but still make sure your little fur-baby’s needs are being met.
House training will happen! Don’t stress! If you are consistent and follow these three tips, you will be on your way to having a happy, healthy and house trained puppy. Good Luck and feel free to share your house training tips and success stories in the comments below 🙂