Over the lockdown period many of us decided to make new furry friends, and for those many it was a first time endeavour! Well fear not! We’ve been working hard with our dedicated dog expert to bring you a quick guide on how to ‘house break’ a new puppy! Without further ado, let’s jump right in!.
Why Listen to us?
There are a million-and-one guides on the internet on how to house train a new puppy. Some of them are wrong, some of them are right and some of them are plain silly! Our dog expert Shona has been working in Equipet for nigh on 7 years and has been a loving dog owner for even longer. She has a veritable wealth of information on the subject; not only from her own experiences but from the many training sessions she has attended while working with us. We always count on Shona to answer our queries and she has yet to fail us. So whether you feel overwhelmed by the amount of information online or you want a guide from a trusted expert, I implore you to read on!
The Right Frame of Mind.
Anger, frustration, irritation… These should not be part of house training a new puppy. It will take time and it will require patience, commitment and consistency. The most important thing is building a routine that your puppy can recognise and become used to, knowing he can go to the bathroom but not inside on your lovely kitchen floor. Of course it will annoy you and it will be frustrating, but you can never lose your composure with your puppy as this will create an atmosphere of fear which will destroy any hard work you’ve already completed. A common misconception is that telling your puppy off for toileting in the house will stop him or her from doing it, when in actual fact he or she will only try to hide it from you in future. Be patient, be calm and understand that we have had many years to get used to our human rules, so give your new pup at least a few months to get used to his.
What do I need?
While the obvious answer to that question is a Holiday in a warm country, in relation to puppy training; you will need a few important things if you’re really serious about this. Firstly, you will need a dog crate and puppy pads. The crate will give your dog a place to rest and an area to call his own. When he does want to go toilet he will then have to let you know, enabling you to bring him outside to do his business. The puppy pads should be used when your pup is un-supervised as they have special scents which are signals for your pup to go toilet on them, though Shona insists that you should use newspaper in the crate instead, as using puppy pads would be counter-productive. A Get Off Spray is also recommended if your pup has decided on the corner of your lovely fabric sofa as his favourite place to go toilet. This spray will deter him from toileting wherever you spray it, though liberal use can have a weakened response. Finally, a toy or enriching treat will keep your pup’s mind off of toileting in the house and can act as a reward for using the toilet outside correctly.
Timing is an important aspect of house training a new puppy. It is up to you to know when to bring your new pup outside for his business. This can include: First thing when he wakes up, after eating, drinking or even playing. This is where a routine becomes somewhat important, though your pup will display some indication of when it’s time for the toilet, such as: Excessive circling, sniffing or general restlessness. The goal is, of course, that when you open the back door your pup will immediately run out, do his business and then come back. That level of reliability will take time and a good routine. Being vigilant is key.
The Great Outdoors.
So you’ve managed to get your new puppy outside before he could manage to get down to business in the sitting room, good job! This is exactly what you want to be doing, weather depending of course! Continue to issue the 'go toilet' command and once your pup has completed his task, offer him praise and a high value treat! This will trigger the “I do this I get treats and toys! Pawsome!” response from your pup while showing him that when he completes the ‘go toilet’ command he receives a reward. Reward based training is the best kind of training! However, it is important that your puppy is not given free access to go outside; he will need to learn to ask first.
Never ever, ever, ever ever…
Spilled coffee? Bleach. Muck on the Lino? Bleach. Half head of highlights? Bleach. Dog pee? Stop. Never, under any circumstances, mix bleach with any accidents that your puppy caused. Bleach and Ammonia (the main ingredient in urine) react together to form Chloramine (an extremely toxic gas) which has the potential to turn into Hydrazine (another toxic gas and respiratory irritant). Chloramine in vapour form will cause headaches and dizziness before it begins to irritate your eyes and lungs. The same also goes for your new pup! If you do, by mistake, mix ammonia and bleach; leave the area immediately and return only when it is safe. If you have time, ventilate the area and then leave. Leaving that science lesson aside, let’s move on to some FAQ’s!
Frequently Asked Puppy Training Questions, As Answered by Shona.
My puppy goes to the toilet and then runs back inside and immediately goes again, how do I stop this?
Your puppy is getting too distracted by the sights and smells of the outside world and is not emptying his bladder properly. Allow a follow up period after he goes to the toilet to let him go again. Alternatively bring him back into the house and then straight back out again.
My puppy has chosen a certain spot to go to the toilet and nothing is working to deter him, what can I use?
If Get Off spray isn’t working, use Olbas oil on the area. Whenever you see him approaching this area intervene and take him outside.
My puppy is going to the toilet in his crate, how do I stop this?
The crate is most likely too big, or the periods in between him getting let out to go toilet are too long. Block off space in the crate and allow for extra toilet breaks. It takes time for them to build their bladder control so you are likely to get a few accidents.
Signing off on Puppy House Training.
We hope after all of the above that you have a better understanding of what it takes, how long it takes and what a puppy needs from you in regards to house breaking. If it was a perfect world, dogs would be able to speak and understand us clearly, but sadly this is not the case! However, with time, dedication and commitment, your new puppy will quickly learn to ask to be let out and you’ll have no more accidents to clean up after. Take it from Shona, they grow up so fast!
From all of us here at Equipet, we hope you and your new friend make many happy memories together.
Until next time Pet-Pals!