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Puppies learn surface (what) and location (where) preferences for elimination early in life. At About 7 ½ to 8 ½ weeks of age puppies begin to learn about different places to eliminate—essentially where and what to go on. By actively providing your pup with the correct place to eliminate at this age, he will learn where to eliminate properly. You have to show him where and give him a reason to want to go there.
How To House Train Your Puppy
Hints To Avoid Problems And Speed Up Learning
1. Give a young puppy frequent opportunities to eliminate (4-6 times daily). As the pup gets older, he will need to go less frequently. Pay close attention to important times:
2. Feed your pup no more than three meals per day. Free choice feeding can increase the need to defecate.
3. Make sure the pup is healthy and has no worms.
4. Watch your pup closely while inside the house.
5. If the pup is home alone each day for long periods, restrict it to a larger area such as a small room or exercise pen.
What if you catch him in the act of eliminating in the house?
This will inevitably happen when he is learning where to go. No pup has been house trained without a few mistakes in the process! If this does happen, clap your hands and say “No”. Immediately take him outside to finish. Use products that neutralize odor (Natures Miracle) when cleaning up around the house. Avoid ammonia containing products.
Remember, be patient, it will take some time but eventually he will learn.
Problems With Paper Training
Paper training has been successful in training many puppies. It’s main problems lie in the fact that you are teaching the puppy to eliminate on paper in the house. He can retain this behavior in the future. He doesn’t learn to go outside. It is usually successful because you eventually teach the puppy to go outside. Puppies are usually slower to learn to go outside using this technique.
Using a crate to house train a puppy has been around for many years but has recently become well recognized. The principle involves introducing a puppy to a crate as his den (or bedroom). Two important attributes of the den are helpful to the pup and owner. First, dogs feel comfortable and safe in their den. Second, dogs have a natural desire to keep the area in which they eat and sleep (den) clean. With a small amount of training, this crate becomes a place the puppy likes to return to and feels safe. He will not defecate in his “den” unless he has no choice.
Other benefits include:
Remember, the crate should be used as a positive retreat, never as punishment. See our separate handout on crate training your puppy.