If it is your first time to try training a dog, it may be frustrating. Deciding where to start may even be confusing. Nonetheless, knowing that your dog can be trained or housebroken should be enough to continue. You just have to learn a few techniques and you can be successful one day. It may just take some time, so you need to be patient and consistent.
The length of time it may take to housebreak a puppy depends on many factors. If you bought the puppy from a pet store, it might have developed some bad habits like defecating on the crate and some inappropriate eating habits. But with consistency, patience, and support from people around you, a puppy can be housebroken in four to six months. In some cases though, it may take longer than one year. But no matter how long you get there, you will surely feel very accomplished. Bear in mind that a trained dog means a better relationship with your pet in the years you will be together.
Here are some helpful tips to guide you:
Choose the Right Crate
A crate plays the central role when housebreaking a puppy. When you buy a crate you have to choose one that is not so big or not too small. A very big crate may give the idea to your puppy that it is its whole world where it can do all things like sleeping, playing, eating, and defecating. This does not help in your training. If the crate is too small, your puppy will be uncomfortable in it and would not relish the idea of letting it stay there. Instead, buy a crate where the dog is comfortable sleeping, standing, and circling. Make it warm and inviting.
There are many puppy crates that you can choose from. You just have to find one that suits your pet the best.
Pick a Nice Area for the Crate
The best location to place the crate can be the area near the door. This is to let your dog have easy access to the outside when it needs a bathroom break. In a condo unit or apartment, you can create a pen to mimic a yard. Potty pads are so useful in these kinds of environments where there are no backyards.
Schedule a Bathroom Break
Training your dog when and where to poop can be hard. However, if you are consistent, your dog can be housebroken on this matter. You can do this first thing in the morning by taking your puppy to a designated area with a leash. Make a verbal command, like ‘Poop now’ or ‘Do your thing now.’ Be consistent with your command until it gets familiarized with it. You can unleash your puppy, do a belly rub, and give a treat after the command is properly executed.
After its bathroom break and unleashing your puppy, you can provide supervised playtime for your dog. Give toys for your puppy to play with. You need to be there and don’t leave the area to prevent any trouble.
Get Back to the Crate
After the playtime, you have to bring back your puppy to the crate. Wait for about three hours and repeat the whole process.
Reduce Crate Time
If you see some progress with your puppy’s housetraining, you can start decreasing the crate time. Add the deducted time to your puppy’s free time. If you see no setbacks, removing crate time altogether is now possible. This can be a sign that your puppy is fully housebroken.
Adjust Break Time With Mealtime
Be consistent with the puppy’s mealtime even while doing housetraining. Just make sure to bring it outside the crate after each meal as a bathroom break can happen so soon. So that you will be spared from waking many times in the night for your puppy’s bathroom break, you have to stop giving water at least two hours before bedtime.
Don’t Punish Your Dog
There will always be mistakes and setbacks while housebreaking your puppy. When these happen, do not lash out at your fur baby. When your puppy still soils inside the house, leash it near the area. Dogs do not want to hang around their poops and urine.
Indeed, it may take a great deal of time and effort to housebreak a puppy. You may even have to wake up in the middle of the night if it needs to. But rest assured that when your puppy is fully housetrained, you can have your usual life again or even better.