So, you’ve brought a new puppy into your home and it is certainly a time for excitement! Maybe you have children as well, and they are excited about helping in the process of making this puppy a well-behaved member of the family. The process of housebreaking can be daunting, and that excitement can quickly turn to contempt if housebreaking is not performed correctly.
That having been said, house training is not an exact science, and some ways will work better than others. No matter what way you choose, it is important to be attentive and to ALWAYS be consistent. While there are a few ways to housebreak a dog, there are some dos and don’ts no matter what process you choose.
Here are some of the “Dos and Don’ts” of house training:
- Do: Closely supervise your dog. Limit the dog’s run of the house to one room or area. Keep your dog where you can see them at all times. Watch for a dog’s signs of needing to go potty. These usually include sniffing, circling, and/or walking with stiff back legs. If you see one or two of these signs, it is time to rush your dog to the outside designated area as fast as you can.
- Don’t: Let your dog roam. A dog that has free-roam of the whole house will leave surprises all around the house, and it will be near impossible for you to keep track of her in order to get her outside on time.
- Do: Give her lots of praise when she gets it right. Some people want their dog to use a puppy pad, while others want their dog to go outside. Either way, when your dog does use the bathroom where you want him/her to, be sure to give them plenty of praise, affection, and don’t forget the treats!
- Don’t: Rub her face in it! Rubbing a dog’s face in their excretions does not tell them that you are upset about the soiling of indoor flooring, but that you are unhappy that they used the bathroom at all. It only adds a fear of you, and not to the act of messing inside, which will only result in your dog attempting to hide when he/she needs to relieve him/herself.
- Do: Clap, whistle, or make a noise to interrupt. If you catch your new puppy in the act of going potty in the house or in an area they’re not supposed to, it is okay to interrupt them by making a short noise to startle them. This will give you a chance to scoop him/her up and hopefully make it to the designated area but be sure not to yell or raise your voice. This will only make your dog afraid to pee in areas that you may find them.
- Don’t: Yell at or spank a dog for a PREVIOUS mess up. Scolding a dog after they have finished going potty, even if it is only a few minutes old, will not help the dog learn to not go outside the designated area(s). A dog won’t understand why they are getting in trouble. It is best just to clean the mess up and try to keep a better eye on the pup.