Everyone dreads housetraining their new puppy, but this can be a relatively easy task if you devote the appropriate amount of time and patience to the task.
First, your puppy needs to know where to go. Accompany him outside each time he is let out. Start somewhere simple, like right outside your back door. Over time, your puppy will become familiar with this designated area as he recognizes the smells he has left behind during previous trips. Praise sniffing and other pre-elimination behavior, like circling. Offering a treat after elimination in the proper area, or even just an energetic cheer can reinforce the behavior you want repeated.
Input = Output. You can control your puppy’s elimination routine by controlling his feeding schedule. Most puppies will need to go outside within an hour after eating, so it’s best not to feed your puppy shortly before confinement (bedtime, when you leave for work, etc.).
Preventing accidents indoors is the most challenging aspect of housetraining. Your puppy will need constant supervision. When direct supervision is impossible, confine him to a crate or other small, safe area. Be sure to take him outside right before you isolate him.
How long can you leave a puppy confined? A good rule of thumb is to figure an hour for each month of age + an additional hour to determine the frequency of potty breaks your pup needs. No dog should be left crated for more than 8 hours at a time.
Do not attempt to teach your puppy to urinate on newspaper or puppy pads inside the house. This will only cause confusion for your pet.
If you catch your puppy in the act of eliminating in the house, correct him with a mild, startling distraction such as clapping, and then take him immediately outdoors. Never rub your puppy’s nose in a mess. Overly harsh punishments will only make him afraid of you!