House training a new dog or puppy really comes down to four simple concepts: supervision, reward, correction, and schedule. We highly recommend crate training when it comes time to bring home a new puppy or adult dog unless you have all day and night to dedicate to supervision. House training itself is not hard but the level of responsibility it places on you, the owner, is pretty high.
Anytime your puppy is out of the crate in the house he needs to be supervised. This is the only way you’re going to be able to catch a “potty sniff” before the accident happens. It is easiest to either tether your puppy to you with a 6′ leash or to use baby gates to keep them confined to the same room with you. So many owners give their puppies way too much freedom in the house. How are you going to know if your puppy needs to potty if they’re in the laundry room while you’re watching tv on the couch?
Anytime you see your puppy starting to do the “sniff” get them outside immediately. Have a treat ready to go and as soon as they have finished pottying outside say “Yes!” and give them their treat. Make it a big deal! Do a happy dance! Make it seem like pottying outside was the most amazing they could have ever done ever. The more fun you make it the more likely your puppy will want to repeat that behavior in the future.
Again supervision is very important. If you don’t catch your puppy in the act then you cannot correct your puppy. I’ll repeat, if you don’t catch your puppy IN THE ACT then you cannot correct your puppy. If you walk in even 2 or 3 seconds after it happened, you’re too late. This is why you have to supervise your puppy. If you catch your puppy in the act don’t be cruel or harsh. Just clap your hands loudly and say NO! then snatch the puppy up and get them outside to potty. As soon as they finish pottying outside do that happy dance again to let them know pottying outside was the right choice.
Set your puppy up to succeed. Have scheduled feeding times so you can approximate when your puppy will need to go out. If you have food out all the time your dog’s potty schedule will be unpredictable. Along with that, don’t keep water down after 8:30pm. With just a few simple little changes you can make house training easier on both you and your puppy.
These four steps are very simple but many owners won’t keep their puppy supervised and that is where you find issues. If you follow these steps you should have no problem housebreaking your puppy. If you need more help training your puppy click here.