Housetraining Puppies: 3 Best Ways
Dogs make wonderful pets for people of all ages. What child doesn’t benefit from the experience of caring for an animal? What adult doesn’t benefit from the companionship and unconditional love of man’s best friend?
Getting a new puppy isn’t all about games, food, and walks, though. To become the best friend and companion possible, a puppy needs training. Housetraining is the most critical skill for any pup to learn.
No one likes a doggie accident in the house—it smells, looks horrible, and is unhygienic. Housetraining a puppy to signal when it’s time to go and wait to go outside is essential for the happiness of pet and owner.
The three best methods for housetraining a puppy are:
1. Crate training. It’s not cruel to keep a puppy in a properly-sized crate for periods of time. Dogs are den animals and naturally seek a place of comfort. A crate can easily serve that purpose.
Crates also are useful for teaching a dog to signal when it needs to go outside. A dog won’t want to urinate or defecate in its sleeping area. A puppy kept in a crate will quickly learn to whine or scratch when it needs out, rather than go in the crate.
2. Frequent trips outside. Puppies are small. Water and food travel through their bodies very quickly. A good rule of thumb is that a puppy can wait the same number of hours between trips outside as it is months old. For example, a three-month-old puppy can wait three hours. Also, be sure to praise the puppy for waiting to go outside. Punishment for doggie accidents inside the house can backfire.
3. Paper or pad training. If taking the puppy outside frequently isn’t an option, training it to use a paper or pad can be a necessary substitute. Hopefully, once the dog is fully matured, it will be able to wait to go outside.
However, this type of training can confuse a puppy and make it harder to train to go only outside. This should only be done in situations where the puppy absolutely can’t be taken outside often enough.
Ideally, a housetraining regimen will include periods of crate training interspersed with frequent trips outside. Focus on staying consistent. This will help the puppy quickly develop the idea that it needs to signal when it’s time to go, especially if reinforced with praise.