The 4 Dos and Don’ts of House Training a Puppy

by Anne-Marie Smith

Getting a new puppy is one of the most enjoyable events in life. Whether you brought your puppy home on a whim, or found him and daydreamed about the day he’d be ready to join your family, nothing beats the excitement of puppy breath and snuggles. Of course, your new furry friend will need to learn how to use the bathroom outside instead of your living room floor. While there are multiple theories on house training puppies, below are a few tips that will put you ahead of the rest.

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Do Not Give Your Puppy Constant Access to Food and Water

It may be tempting to provide your new family member with food and water 24/7, but doing so will not help your new puppy with house training. Typically within minutes of a young puppy eating or drinking, he’ll need to relieve himself. Instead of providing your puppy with free-choice water and food, set meal times where he has both food and water. After he eats and drinks, plan on taking your puppy outside immediately.

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Do Treat Your Puppy Often

Most experts agree that the best type of reinforcement is positive. When you take your puppy outside, be sure to walk with him and when he uses the bathroom, be ready with his favorite treat and a hearty, “Good boy!”.

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Don’t Leave Your Puppy Unattended

When house training, the worst thing you can do is leave your puppy alone for long periods of time. Not only does it not give your furry friend a chance to let you know he needs to use the bathroom, but it also means that if he has an accident you won’t be there to correct him. Try to keep an extremely close eye on your puppy and if you can’t, consider starting the process of crate training him.

Do Develop Key Words and a Routine

It can be helpful to have a keyword to develop a command for your puppy to use the bathroom. This keyword can literally be anything, but some examples are, “Go to the bathroom,” “Go potty,” or any other phrase of your choice that you use every single time you take your puppy outside. Additionally, having a set routine for your puppy can be immensely helpful with the house training process. If you wake up every morning at 8 am, plan on a specific time, such as 8:30 am to feed your puppy. By sticking to a routine as closely as possible, you better set your puppy up for success.

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House training can sometimes be more difficult for certain breeds, but these tips should at least put you well on your way to house training your new family member.

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