Everyone wants a clean home that runs like clockwork, right? Well, if you have a dog in your family, you know that can be a real challenge! (Add to that, a couple of kids and domestic chaos may be more like it!) Still, having a well-trained dog can make a big difference!
Unfortunately, many dog owners don’t have much of a clue about house training their dogs. Luckily, learning dog potty training basics isn’t all that difficult. We’ve put together some tips here to get you started. (You’ll have to look elsewhere for tips on how to handle the kids!)
House Training Tip #1
The first rule of thumb when house training your dog is to stick to foods his system is already accustomed to. Feeding your pup rich foods, in particular, can make it difficult for him to control his bowels. By keeping your dog on a regular eating schedule that includes foods he knows and portions he is used to, house training him should go more smoothly and predictably.
House Training Tip #2
Not only is it important to feed your dog foods he is accustomed to but it’s also very important to feed him at roughly the same time each day. Doing this makes house training easier for both you and your dog; for your dog because it helps him establish a regular pattern of elimination. And for you, because you can use that pattern to your advantage when it comes to potty training your pet – quickly and efficiently.
House Training Tip #3
You’re probably already getting the idea that schedules are a good idea when it comes to house training your dog. Well, here’s another piece of the puzzle. Set up a strict schedule for taking your puppy outside to do “his business”. Get in the habit of taking him outside as soon as you get up in the morning and right before you go to bed. Then make a point of taking him out every few hours throughout the day.
By doing this, you will help him understand that his business should be done outside. The sooner he learns this, the better. If you can help it, you really want to avoid letting your dog eliminate inside. Not just because it’s a pain to clean up but because the scent is almost impossible to get rid of and will keep drawing your puppy back to the spot again and again!
House Training Tip #4
Of course, no puppy’s perfect! It’s only to be expected that your dog will an accident now and then during potty training. When this happens, clean up the puddle right away. Remember, animals tend to return repeatedly to spots where they can smell urine or feces, so you want to be sure you clean it well – especially carpets! If you notice your puppy gravitating to the spot and squatting down to do his business again, pick him up quickly and carry him outside. You may also want to check with your local pet store for something to help you get rid of the odor.
House Training Tip #5
Do you speak “dog”? No? Well, understanding your dog’s body language is the next best thing! Dogs tend to behave in a certain way when they feel the need to eliminate. House training your puppy is much easier when you keep a watchful eye on him and are prepared to escort the little guy outside as soon as you see the first signs that he may have to go. So keep your eyes peeled – it’s always better to make a mad dash with him out the door then find yourself mopping up the mess…again!
House Training Tip #6
You may want to look into crate training your puppy. You wouldn’t want to sleep in a mess and your puppy doesn’t, either. With a bit of time and training, he’ll learn to do his business where he should. The key here is to make sure to let your puppy out of the crate (and into the yard!) often.
House Training Tip #7
Praise good behavior – don’t punish it without thinking. What?!
Well, when you take your puppy outside, don’t plop him on the grass and go back inside. If you do that you’ll actually be teaching your dog that doing his business outside is synonymous with being left alone! Put a positive spin on the whole potty training experience. Praise the little guy while he’s doing his business, then invest a few minutes in quality play time. He’ll learn faster and you’ll both be happier!
House Training Tip #8
It’s never nice to come home to a puddle on the floor (or worse!) but if you don’t actually see your puppy making the mess, then forget about trying to punish or scold him for it. Fact is, dogs just don’t understand the concept of cause and effect. Scolding your dog about his mess after the fact, will only make him fearful of you or the mess, itself. He just won’t understand why you are so upset. And in some cases, it might even lead your dog to start eating his waste because he senses its presence makes you angry.
If you catch your dog eliminating in the house, just tell him “no!” using a strong, firm voice. Then take him outside immediately.
Hopefully, this article has helped you see how training your dog properly can make it much easier to keep your home clean and tidy. Be consistent with your training and you’ll not only be rewarded with a well-behaved dog, you’ll find it much easier to maintain a happy home as well!