Article: Housetraining Your
Housetraining your puppy should be one of the easiest
feats to accomplish. There are only five rules to housetrain
a dog. If you don't break any of these rules you can
look forward to having a dog that seldom, if ever,
1. Be sure to go with your puppy to praise him for
doing his thing outside
Most puppy owners place their
unhousetrained puppy in the great outdoors and expect
the puppy to know why he
is outside. Even if fate were with you, and the puppy
does do his thing in the proper place and at the proper
time, there is no reward or positive reinforcement to
tell him this was the "right" thing to do.
The reward would cause the puppy to try to repeat this
behavior in order to receive the reward. With the absence
of a reward, there is no reason for the pup to try this
behavior again; apart from happenstance. Go outside with
your puppy and put him in the same spot and say the same
thing every time you go out. Keep repeating "go
potty," or if it's really cold outside keep repeating "H-U-R-R-Y
U-P!" As soon as your puppy does his thing praise
him very enthusiastically. It was the greatest thing
you have ever seen. Your enthusiasm is plenty. Don't
use food as a crutch.
2. Take your pup out at the right time
You do not have to frustrate yourself waiting for your
puppy to do his business outside. Puppies only do four
things: eat, drink, sleep, and play. That's it. Make
sure your puppy goes outside after doing any of the above.
It is guaranteed your puppy will urinate towards the
end or shortly after one of the previous activities.
Give the puppy approximately five minutes outside with
you. In the event your pup does not do his thing outside,
bring him back inside and confine him to a limited area,
and try again later.
3. Watch your puppy
Just as you must be present to reward the pup for urinating
or defecating outside, you must catch him in the act
for doing his thing indoors. Dedicate yourself for ten
to fourteen days. Watch your pup's movements through
a designated, confining area of the house so you can
catch him should he make a mistake. You must be consistent.
If you only catch the pup occasionally, you are bound
to have a confused pup and a frustrated owner on your
4. Don't over-punish
Due to our inconsistency in communicating what is desired
of the dog, many think the way to punish a puppy is to
rub his nose in the stool or strike it with a newspaper.
The pup only had an accident for Pete's sake! You didn't
A mistake is a learning experience
and should be treated as such. If you have never made
a mistake, you have never
learned anything. Simply startle the puppy with a shout
as he is making a mistake, get him outside to "his
spot," and use your phrase for doing his thing.
5. Confine your puppy
If your puppy is allowed to have
the run of the house or even a room, how are you going
to catch him in the
act for doing his thing indoors and to tell him that
it is "bad?" Keep the pup confined to a crate
or a cage when you are not available to watch him at
all times. He will grow to appreciate his own room and
will thank you for keeping him out of trouble.
reprint courtesy of Innotek Pet-Products