Patience and consistency is the key to achieving the golden moment of when your puppy stops peeing and pooping inside the house!
Like in most things every puppy is different but it typically takes 4-6 months to fully house train a puppy.
Newborn puppies are not able to go to the toilet on their own, it takes the mother to stimulate them by licking around their genital area causing the puppies to wee and poop and then cleans this up by eating and drinking this from each puppy. Thank goodness we as humans don’t have to do this! When the puppies reach approximately three weeks of age the puppies are able to wee and poop for themselves and there is no need for stimulation from the mother. It is a natural instinct, like so many things, that just kicks in.
The mother will continue to clean them and keep the area that they are sleeping in as clean as possible. They still have limited movement at this age so remain within the nesting area but as soon as they start slowly moving in that very unstable way out of the nesting area, the mother sees the puppies squatting for a wee so will then instantly tell him off, in quite an aggressive way for doing so in the nesting area, and force him to continue out of the sleeping area and into the other play area of their pen.
When they are left alone with their mothers to do the house training, this would normally be completed within about three months but due to human intervention, it takes longer as we go about it in a slightly different manner than their mother.
When to Begin House Training Your Puppy
12 to 16 weeks old is the best time to begin house training your puppy because, at this time in his little life, he has enough bladder and bowel control to learn how to hold it. There will always be setbacks but the key is to get to know the minute that your puppy needs to go and to get him outside and reward him when he achieves the goal.
Key Steps to House Train Your Puppy
- It is recommended that your puppy remains in a confined area, for example, a crate or a room until he learns that he needs to go outside to do his business.
- Take your puppy outside first thing in the morning, after meals and last thing at night or if you are popping out for a short while and when you return.
- Encourage him to wee and poop in the same area every time as his sent will encourage him to go again in this place.
- It is best to stay with your puppy until he has gone so you can give him ample praise for doing so and a little reward e.g. a treat or walk or a cuddle to encourage him that he has done a good, positive thing.
Get a Routine in Place
Obviously, the first thing to do when you get up is to let your puppy out into the garden and put him in an area that you wish for him to use all the time. You must also do this regularly at intervals during the day and then again the last thing at night before you go to sleep. It is good practice to let your puppy have the whole area to explore, as sniffing will stimulate him in going to the toilet. If you are using puppy pads or newspaper during the night time then it is always good, initially, to put the soiled pad or paper in the area you wish him to use as this will encourage to go there.
Stay with your puppy whilst he is looking to go and gently encourage him with words like “quickly” or “go for a wee” they will in time associate this with going to the toilet and will stimulate them to do so. Always stay out with your puppy until he has been as leaving them outside will increase their anxiety to get back to you and so disrupting their focus on the job at hand! This also goes for making it a playtime before they have been as again the focus is detracted but by all means encourage rewards such as play, treat or cuddles when they have been for them to associate this with something good.
If he takes longer than approximately ten minutes to go then bring him back inside an repeat the process and he will eventually go.
Understanding Your Puppy
You have chosen the breed that is right for you but each breed will have very different characteristics and this also relates to house training in the way that if you have a chihuahua then obviously he will want to go to the toilet more often than a Boxer because their bladder will be so small, therefore requiring more frequent trips out into the garden.
Keeping a close eye on your puppy at all times will allow you to notice all the signs that they will develop when the call of nature happens. The most common are sniffing, scratching, circling, barking and becoming a bit more frantic and moving around the room quicker. When you see any of these signs then put them straight out into the garden and if they go then reward them gently and well.
Making it a Relaxing Rewarding Time
House training your puppy should be a relaxing and rewarding time and for you to enable to encourage your puppy to hold and wait until you are ready to let him out for example, first in the morning, when you get home from popping out etc. This obviously takes time but consistency and patience will encourage this to occur sooner rather than later.
Once he is fully inoculated as is able to go out on the lead for walks this should both be a time to relax and reward him when he wees or poops. This can be by a small treat, a good rub or by saying that he is a good boy.
Accidents Will Happen
There will more often than not be accidents in the first few months of having your puppy and trying to house train. Due to their very small bladders and all the new smells and distractions that a new home and family brings, who can blame them.
The importance of not frightening them by telling them off and punishing them when an accident occurs is key as this is counterproductive and will only confuse your puppy. The puppy does not know that he is doing anything wrong and he will not remember why he was punished and this will possibly make him scared of you and associate this with going to the toilet. This will only encourage to hide from you when wanting to go.
When an accident happens just quietly clean it up and place him outside in the designated area.
It is important to clean it up straight away to get rid of the smell of ammonia which will encourage him to go there again in the same place.
Giving Your Puppy Limits Within Your Home
Keeping a close eye on your puppy makes it easier for you to notice the signs of him wanting to go to the toilet. Sectioning off a room or limiting him to the kitchen is ideal. This can be done by using baby gates and closing off doors.
The kitchen is ideal as it will normally have a door straight out into the back garden and the floor will be easily cleanable for those accidents that may occur.
What To Do If You Have To Pop Out
Ideally, it is best not to leave your puppy alone but everyday life doesn’t normally let you have this luxury.
Always leave them in the area that they are most comfortable with and are used to. Giving him enough room to move around and play and always making sure water is readily available for him. Puppy pads or newspaper is a good idea to leave just away from his bed or near to the back to which leads to the garden.
Using A Crate
Some people swear by crates and this is a personal choice. If you chose to use one for your puppy to have it as his sleeping environment then make sure that it is big enough for a comfortable bed and space for him to be able to stand and stretch his legs. Puppies should be limited to less than four hours in a crate as they are unable to hold their bladders for any longer when they are only a couple of few months old.
Patience and Consistency
Patience and consistency are key to successfully house training your puppy. Your chosen routine will need to be continued for several months but this is only approximate as all puppies are different. Keeping a good eye on him whilst in the house and making sure that the signs for him wanting to go are all picked up and acted on should lead to success.
When your puppy matures then the time between wanting to go out increases and you’ll notice behavioral changes in the way he lets you know.
House training is hard work and time-consuming.
You require a lot of patience but if you stick to it you will see that all your efforts will pay off!