Thinking of getting a new puppy, or maybe you’ve already bought your little bundle of fur home? New dog owners can often struggle with housebreaking their new addition. Hopefully these tips from Florida Dog Training School will help you understand what you need to do to be successful.
What to Expect in the Beginning
When it comes to puppies, a good rule of thumb to go by is that your dog should be able to hold in their pee and poop 1 hour per month old. For example, if your dog is 4 months old, he can only hold pee/poop for a maximum of 4 hours. At nighttime puppies tend to be able hold it longer because they are sleeping. Puppies hold their bladder better when there are no distractions and can be confined to a crate. When you are home, your pup will have to go to the bathroom more often. The reason for this is when you are home he is more active because you are moving around in the house. You should pick up his water bowl and only offer him water after a long nap, after you play or go for a long walk with him, and during his meals. Empty the water bowl only after he drinks and when he walks away from his water dish. When he is not drinking, try to keep the bowl empty. This way if the dog is thirsty he will lick the empty bowl and this will cue you to give him the water. Keep in mind that after he drinks he will probably have to go to the bathroom within 15 to 30 minutes.
Keeping a Close Eye on Your Dog
The key to housebreaking is supervision. It’s always important to supervise your puppy during outside bathroom time while he is attached to a leash. Interestingly, the leash is a very important tool for potty training. If birds or squirrels distract him, give him a little tug on the leash and say “Go Potty”. This will help teach your pup to focus on sniffing the ground and finding a spot to do his business. Always praise him when he goes to the bathroom outside and give him a treat after he finishes outside but before you go inside the house. If he is distracted and doesn’t go to the bathroom and you know that he has to go, you can put him in his crate or confine him in a place that if he messes on the floor, it is easy to clean up. Try to confine him in a place where he can be supervised so that if you catch him in the act, you can rush him outside to finish up his bathroom activities.
As your puppy grows and gets older his schedule will change. However, once the housebreaking is more consistent or when he no longer has accidents, you can cut down on the amount of bathroom walks. As an adult, most dogs should not be required to hold in pee or poop for more than 7 to 8 hours max. If you still have problems with housebreaking, or any other dog training, call us at (813) 951-4480 or contact us at Florida Dog Training School!