You have decided to give a puppy a new home? The joy of the new addition to the family is great. However, the first task comes with the animal's arrival: the puppy should be house-trained and do its business outside as soon as possible. Read in this guide how you can successfully housebreak your puppy!
How to housebreak your puppy
A new puppy will change your everyday routine and you will also need to make some changes to your home to accommodate your puppy's needs.
For example, you should put away any carpets or rugs until your puppy is a little older and house training has begun. House training your puppy takes time and patience, but these 5 tips will help make the process easier.
Your puppy will show signs of needing to go by such things as restless behavior, whining, excited sniffing, and frequent spinning around. Before your dog gets loose, you should be able to carry him out of the apartment and bring him outside the front door. In order to be able to react in time, you must keep a close eye on your lively pelt-nose and always be attentive. Even at night, your puppy will let you know that he needs to do his business by whining and possibly scratching at the puppy gate or door.
Our tip: You don't have much time from the first signs that your puppy needs to relieve himself to when he actually does it. Therefore, to avoid accidents, have your shoes, jacket, and a front door key ready before you go to bed. At the first sign that your puppy needs to go, go outside without detours to the desired place.
2. Observe times
Especially in the first months, keep a set rhythm and reliable times during the day and night that your dog can orientate himself to. After a small siesta of your puppy, after he has eaten the delicious food in his bowl or even after extensive romping and playing with you, he will urinate or defecate and should be taken outside in time.
In the evening, fixed rituals will help you prepare your puppy for the night ahead. Always feed your dog at about the same time and take him for a last walk just before he goes to bed, also at a regular time.
Then take your four-legged friend directly to his sleeping place - in your bed, his basket, the puppy box or the puppy gate.
How many times a day does a puppy need to go out?
The rhythm of how often your puppy needs to go out during the day or night is about 1.5–2 hours for puppies under three months of age. Puppies between three and six months old need to go out once every three to four hours to do their business.
Stay close to your puppy at all times and accompany him as he explores the apartment. Stay available for your dog, even at night. If he has to sleep alone in the kitchen or hallway with the door locked, the loneliness will make him anxious.
Anxiety means inner turmoil for your puppy, which disturbs his sleep and thus can lead to nervous behavior and uncontrolled emptying of the bladder and bowels. Diarrhea is also not impossible due to stress. Do not punish your dog in case of a mishap, but think about how to change the situation in the future and adapt it to his needs.
Our tip: Of course, the adventures and new impressions make your puppy hungry too. You should also allow yourself time to cook food and take a relaxing shower or bath. While you are away, limit your puppy's range of motion with a puppy fence or a puppy crate.
You can also help your little dog become housebroken by choosing a fixed environment or specific spot outside to do his business - a sort of regular spot.
In addition, a "code word" that you designate will help your puppy understand it as a request to get loose. Suitable code words include short commands such as "Go pee pee!" or "Do your business!".
5. Praise instead of scolding
If your puppy urinates in the house on occasion, it is never the result of deliberate pollution or a mistake by your dog. Reprimands or punishments, e.g., holding your nose in the puddle, are absolutely taboo! Your scolding will not produce the desired result - instead, your puppy will learn to secretly retreat to hidden nooks and crannies in the future, escaping your punishment for his natural need.
If you catch your pet in the act, pick him up immediately and carry him out of the apartment without comment. If he gets loose again outside, praise him effusively. Without noticing or reprimanding your puppy, wipe up the puddle on the floor in the house afterwards.
Our tip: If you need to remove a small or large business, it is best to use strongly scented cleaners or vinegar mixed with water. This will reliably mask the odor and will not tempt the puppy to do its business in this place again.
How long does it take to housebreak your puppy?
Patience is the magic word. Puppies can control their bladder and digestion from the age of four months, i.e., around 17 weeks of age.
The length of housetraining thus depends on how well you manage to keep a close eye on your little treasure between its 9th and 16th week of life and to consistently carry out housetraining.
If you have already made sure from the beginning that your furry friend understands how to do his business outside, you will reach your goal in a few weeks.
What to do if the dog is not housebroken?
If your puppy is not housebroken even after several weeks or more than four months, shows no signs of needing to disengage, but continues to urinate and defecate uncontrollably even after prolonged training, do not let this discourage you and consult a veterinarian to identify or rule out physical or psychological causes.
Physical causes can usually be resolved very quickly with medication. You can also quickly get to the bottom of psychological causes with professional help and increase your puppy's well-being. So your training can soon continue without complications.