Merritt Milam | February 1, 2021

2020 was a big year for new puppies. With people staying at home more, adding a furry family member became a good way to provide a sense of comfort and security. Providing the proper care for these pets starts with a good house-training plan. Here are the top house-training tips to help you handle the task like a pro.

Make Frequent Trips Outside
Puppies are known for their tiny bladders. Because they can’t wait as long to relieve themselves as older pets, making frequent visits outside will help them associate the trip with their potty break.

If you work, prioritize arrangements (bringing your pup to the office, hiring a dog walker, or taking them to Wags Day Care) to keep that schedule. The sooner they learn there is an approved place to potty along with places that are off-limits, they become a trustworthy best friend.

Crate Training
The thought of crate training might be a turn-off to some people, but this is actually one of the best ways to house-train your new puppy. With a little patience and effort crate training will quickly provide a safe means of pet travel, rest, and vet visits.

The concept of crate training is based on pets being clean creatures who don’t like to sleep or lay near their urine or poop. When your pet needs to go they will let you know by whining or scratching on the crate. Once this happens make sure you respond quickly. This will help reinforce the task.

Watch and Manage
Keeping an eye on your new puppy while they play and interact in their new environment will often help you determine when they need to go outside for a potty break. Usually, after playtime and high-energy activity, they will need to take a break. Observing their habits will provide the signals you need to make a quick trip to the yard. In time, your dog will usually learn to head towards the door when they need a bathroom break.

Pee Pads
Using a pee pad to house-train your puppy can be difficult and problematic. Training your pet to use a pad indoors may send the signal that it’s okay to urinate in the house. Make sure the pad is removed often and your pet is taken outside frequently. Pee pads may be necessary if you need to leave your pet while you work. Another good option is dog daycare. Pets get lots of exercise and a safe place to stay. For more information contact Wags ‘n Whiskers or visit our website.

Good Dog!
Dogs love praise and positive reinforcement. Using this tactic for house-training can go a long way to help your dog connect proper actions and behavior with praise and rewards. Your excited voice, loving back rubs, and small treats as rewards – can help shape your pet’s house-training behavior in a positive way.

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), the following training schedule is recommended for young puppies.

• First thing in the morning
• After playing indoors
• After spending time in a crate
• After eating
• After drinking
• Upon waking up from a nap
• After chewing a toy or bone
• Last thing at night

Whether you got a new furry family member last year or not, house-training is an important responsibility for all pets and families. Handled correctly, pets can be house trained positively and effectively. How long it takes will depend on several factors like the pet’s age, activity, and you/your family’s commitment to the process. The important thing is it works!