Dos and Don'ts of dog training, Okemos Pet Training

Housetraining a puppy takes time and patience. While accidents are inevitable, our Okemos, MI, dog trainers urge you to consistently work with your puppy and develop clear expectations. Over time, your puppy will learn to use the bathroom outside.

Housetraining is a phase that’s well worth the effort. The more consistent your efforts, the more you’ll help your puppy thrive in their new home.

Take your puppy outside to use the bathroom:

  • As soon as you wake up
  • Once every 30 minutes to an hour
  • After meals
  • When they wake up from a nap
  • Right before you go to sleep

Housetraining: A Day in the Life

Here’s a snapshot of what a potential day could look like for you if you’re training a new puppy.

  1. Wake up and immediately take your puppy outside to use the bathroom.
  2. Walk your puppy on their leash to the same place they’ve relieved themselves before. The puppy will smell traces of their own waste and feel compelled to go in the same area.
  3. Say a consistent keying phrase such as “go potty” or “be quick.” This phrase will help remind your puppy when it’s time to relieve themselves.
  4. Wait until your dog is done going to the bathroom. Then immediately reward them with praise or a small treat.
  5. Pick up after your puppy.
  6. Play with your puppy and/or take them on a long walk.
  7. Feed your puppy their morning meal at their scheduled time.
  8. Once your puppy is done eating, remove their food and take them outside to use the bathroom. Puppies will need to use the bathroom between 5 and 30 minutes of eating.
  9. Continue taking your puppy outside to use the bathroom every 30 minutes to one hour. You should also take your puppy outside after their midday and evening meals.
  10. Take your puppy outside to use the bathroom right before you go to sleep.

What to Do if Your Puppy Uses the Bathroom Inside

Do NOT punish your puppy if they use the bathroom inside. This will only make them fear you.

Puppies don’t have the intelligence to connect your scolding with their accident on the floor. Also, do NOT rub your puppy’s nose in their waste or do anything else that you wouldn’t do to a human child.

Learn More5 Training Tips for New Dog Owners

Once the puppy has used the bathroom in your house, the only thing you can do is clean up the mess. Also, remember that mistakes are inevitable as you potty train a puppy.

Please understand that housetraining a puppy may take between 4-6 months. Some puppies may even need a year depending on what habits they may have picked up from their previous owners.

In other words, it’s unreasonable to expect to housetrain your puppy in one weekend. Patience and compassion are the key ingredients you’ll need as you housetrain your puppy.

Follow these steps if your puppy uses the bathroom inside:

  1. If you catch your puppy relieving themselves in your home, clap loudly to interrupt them in the act. If you only found the evidence after the fact, go onto step 2.
  2. Immediately take your dog outside by either calling their name or gently taking them by the collar.
  3. Walk your puppy on their leash to their usual spot outside.
  4. Use your chosen keying phrase, such as “go potty.”
  5. Wait until your puppy is done going to the bathroom, then reward them with praise or a small treat.
  6. Clean up after your puppy outside.
  7. Clean up any indoor “mistakes” with an enzymatic cleaner. Any lingering scent may attract your puppy to the same spot to relieve themselves.

Enroll in Our Basic 1 Obedience Class

Puppies need constant supervision as they learn to trust you, adapt to their new surroundings, and thrive. But we also understand that many people work outside the home and may need extra support.

As a puppy training and dog daycare facility, we offer a 6-week course to help the newest member of your family learn basic commands, such as “sit,” “down,” and “leave it.” We may add student requests to the course, such as potty training tips, on a case-by-case basis.

We also offer puppy daycare, which provides early socialization to puppies 12 weeks and older. Let us know what you’re looking for and our team will help you train your dog properly.

Start Puppy Training Today

Our puppy trainers in Okemos, MI, would love to tell you more about the programs we offer at Dog Gone Fun. Call us today at (517) 657-4300 or fill out our online contact form to get started!

This blog post has been updated.

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