Housetraining a Puppy Outdoors
Bringing a new puppy home sounds really exciting, but we can’t forget that there is also a lot of responsibility that comes along with it - such as housetraining. It is very important to start properly training your dog at an early age to start doing their business where they are supposed to, as one of the many reasons why dogs are surrendered and taken to the shelter is because of improper training. It will take a lot of consistency and effort to fully house train your dog, but within a couple months they will begin to associate eliminating their waste with the outdoors. However, each puppy will learn at their own pace, so please be patient with them!
Just like a human child, when dogs are young, they won’t understand where and when to go potty. They will relieve themselves whenever they feel the need to. This is where you teach them that urinating or defecating in the wrong places, like indoors, is not okay. If you catch them doing their business inside the house, stop them with a stern voice or loud clap to get their attention. Then, bring them outside to show them the appropriate location to potty. They might not understand the concept the first few times, but do not give up! Don’t forget to clean up their mess thoroughly with quality product like Nature’s Miracle to eliminate urine odors.
Because puppies are still very young, they will need to take frequent potty breaks. Take your dog out to do their business once in the morning when they wake up, after their meals, and before going to bed. Ideally, you want to take them out at least once an hour if possible. If you see them sniffing the floor and turning in circles, it might be a sign that they need to go. The more frequently you take them out, the less likely they will make an accident inside the house, and the quicker they’ll learn! Tip: Taking them out to the same place to urinate/ defecate can increase the chances of them remembering that this is the place to go.
Positive reinforcement is key!
When your dog urinates or defecates outdoors, praise them verbally and with treats (if possible) to let them know what they did was correct. Playfully pet them and smother them with love, so the next time they’ll know that they will receive the same reaction from you. However, it is very important that you praise them immediately! If you wait too long after they’ve finished, they won’t understand why they are receiving positive feedback.
If your dog happens to make an accident inside, do not punish them! The last thing you want is to have your dog fear you. Accidents are bound to happen and it is all part of the learning process. House training normally takes about 4-6 months to learn, so patience is key!