Your new puppy should have some idea of his schedule now. You want to make sure that you wake him up at the same time each morning and get him straight out to his designated potty spot. The more you stick to a strict housebreaking schedule the easier it will be to housetrain him. If you find your puppy is having accidents then you are not keeping him on a frequent enough housebreaking schedule. As soon as he has finished make sure to mark the positive behavior with a “Gooood” and give him a treat. If your puppy is still adjusting to his collar and leash you can clip them on now and have some playtime with him to help him make positive associations with his equipment. It is also a good time to work on his “sit” and “down” obedience training.
Small, soft, tasty treats are going to be your best bet when it comes to puppy training. Most often we use hotdogs and Zuke’s Minis brand treats. To train the down command place the treat in front of your puppy’s nose and let them sniff it. Then slowly bring the treat down to the ground and out away from their face. Most puppies will follow the treat on down and as soon as their elbows and butt are down say “Yes!” and give your puppy the treat.
Some puppies will struggle with this a little bit more and it will take more time to get them into a down position. Remember, BE PATIENT! Your new puppy is just learning, and getting frustrated will definitely now help. Just be patient, and in some cases, more stubborn than your puppy. If you move your hand downward too fast some puppies will give up and not even try to follow it so make sure you move it down very slowly. If your puppy is still struggling after you have tried many times you can lightly apply a little gentle pressure on their should blades to help ease them into position. As soon as they go down say “Yes!” and give your puppy the treat.
Sit and down commands are two of the easiest obedience commands to teach your puppy from a young age. When your puppy is just learning these commands do not expect them to hold the positions. As soon as they have gotten themselves into position say “Yes!” and reward them. This is both a marker word to let them know they have performed the correct behavior, and a release so they know they have permission to get back up. As your puppy becomes more and more advanced you can ask them to hold the positions for longer periods of time, but in the beginning you will want to mark the behavior and reward right away so your puppy wants to perform the behavior as quickly as possible.
If you start asking your puppy to hold the position for long periods of time right away they will have no motivation to quickly sit or quickly down because they know the reward won’t be coming for quite some time. However, if they know that the second they sit or the second they down they’re going to get a tasty treat they will be much more motivated to do it right away.
After you have spent some time working on puppy obedience commands you’re going to want to get him back outside for a potty break. Take him back to his designated area and as soon as he’s finished tell him “Goood” and give him a treat. Make sure you always take him out the same door and to the exact same spot to potty each and every time. This is going to help make housebreaking him much easier on both you and him.
Stick to your puppy’s schedule for the rest of the day, always feeding, pottying, playing, and exercising at the same times each and every day. Your new puppy will thrive on a strict schedule, and if your puppy is having any issues in their housetraining you will know when and what needs to be adjusted in his schedule.
As always, NEVER leave your puppy unsupervised unless he is in his crate. If he is given the opportunity to chew something he shouldn’t, bolt out the door, get into the trash, or have an accident that is your fault. He does not yet know the difference between what is right and what is wrong, and he can’t be expected to make good decisions on his own yet.