Below are the key rules for successful housetraining:
- When you are home, keep an eye on your dog to prevent any housetraining accidents. A good way to do this is to tie Fido’s leash to your waist so you are able to watch him carefully.
- When you are not home or otherwise occupied at home, put Fido in his crate. Keep the crate a fun place by having toys in there. Your dog should spend short periods in his confinement space. (To determine the amount of time your dog can stay in a crate without a break, take his age in months and add 1. That totals the number of hours you can crate him safely.)
- Your other alternative for confinement is an exercise pen that is configured into a long rectangle. There should be a bed and toys on one end and a pad on the way opposite end. This is a good confinement space for a dog you want wee wee pad trained.
- If a housetraining accident happens when you are not watching, remember to watch him more carefully or confine him next time. There is nothing you can say or do to reprimand your dog for an accident he had minutes or hours ago. Antiquated techniques like rubbing Fido’s nose in his feces or urine will only teach him to fear you and teach him nothing about where to potty.
- If you catch him in the middle of having an accident, stop him. Yelling and startling is not required. Just say, “Oops” and hurry him to his potty area (outside or to the pad). Some dogs won’t continue going after having been interrupted. Make a mental note that he still needs to finish pottying, so watch him carefully and take him to his proper bathroom area again shortly.
- Clean areas where he has had accidents very well with an enzymatic cleaner such as Nature’s Miracle. Do not use regular household cleaning products in addition to or in lieu of an enzymatic cleaner.
- Reward all successful bathroom efforts with lots of treats and praise.
- Your dog may need to go to the bathroom after eating, drinking, playing (lots of physical activity), or when just waking up. Make sure to take him to his bathroom area as frequently as needed (approximately once an hour for a puppy) and especially if he’s engaged in any of the listed activities.
- Closely monitor water and food intake. Leaving food out for grazing means you have no idea when he’s filling up, which means you cannot safely predict when he needs to go to the bathroom.
- Roll up soft surfaces such as area rugs. These are frequent accident spots. You may bring them back out when Fido is fully housetrained.
- Keeping a potty log where you note when he’s eaten, had a drink, peed, and pooped can be rather helpful in determining whether your dog’s body is following a pattern. If so, you can structure your potty breaks appropriately.
© Give Paw Dog Training LLC 2017