Everyone loves a new puppy. A new member of the family to welcome in and spoil endlessly with cuddles, treats, toys, and more! One that will give you constant attention, loyalty, and company. What’s not to love?
For some, it’s the process of housebreaking. Along with your pup comes all of their basic needs, like using the bathroom. They can’t help it, of course. Your new dog isn’t quite sure where its designated spot for elimination is yet. But you can’t seem to help but prepare yourself to lose a couple rugs or shoes in the process! That’s why housebreaking at an early age is essential. You have to train your companion where exactly they are allowed to relieve themselves. This not only saves you a few pieces of furniture and extra time from cleaning up, but it helps your furry friend to become more obedient and respectful of the home.
There are a lot of different methods to housebreaking your dog. Training could last anywhere from two weeks to several months depending on your style and frequency of teaching. Regardless of how you choose to tackle the task, remember that both consistency and patience are key. Be consistent in terms of feeding schedules, bathroom break times, and verbal cues. Be patient enough to remember that even kids can take months to potty train!
But if you’re looking to make the process as efficient and effective as possible, you might want to pick up some of the following Housebreaking Essentials:
A crate is a kennel that dog owners use for several reasons, whether it be for travel, bedtime, and especially popular - housebreaking. Dogs have a need for den-like spaces that they can trust is completely their own. This is where crates come in. After they’ve gone through the crate training process, they’ll learn to love their crate and view it as a comfortable place that they can turn to for rest, sleep, or relaxation. They’ll love it so much that they wouldn’t even be able to imagine soiling it!
You can take advantage of their love for the kennel by using it to housetrain. Try placing your furry friend in the crate for certain periods of time, usually after meals. Because they won’t want to ruin their den area, they’ll hold their waste in and will be forced to wait until they are led out to a certain spot to use the bathroom. Do this by finding a crate that is roomy enough for them to turn around and stretch in, but not big enough that they can move to its corners and eliminate.
A wee-wee pad, or a pee pad, is a super useful, common tool used when first teaching your canine where to use the bathroom. These are square or rectangular absorbent pads that readily soak up your pet’s waste. While you do need to eventually transition your pup away from pee pads as they progress in housetraining, wee-wee pads help with the initial step of spot training your pup. For example, once you see the signs that your pup is itching to use the bathroom, the pad can teach them which spot you expect them to relieve themselves, whether you choose to place it indoors or outdoors. These pads should be placed in the same spot each time. After they use the pad, reward them with training treats. Once your pooch starts to understand that this is the spot they are meant to use the bathroom, you can begin to wean them off the pads.
There are a number of sprays designed to help your pet go to the bathroom. They usually have either one of two functions. The first type of spray, such as the Wee-Wee Puppy Housebreaking Aid by Four Paws, simply needs to be spritzed in the area in which you want your pet to eliminate. Similar to pee pads, it encourages spot training, and produces a scent that naturally makes them want to go. Other types of sprays, in contrast, eliminate the smell of urine from wherever your pet previously went. This discourages them from urinating in that area again, since dogs eliminate their waste wherever they have left behind a scent from doing so before.
Crates, puppy pads, and sprays are all the most common and popular resources used during housebreaking, but they’re certainly not the only tools you can use! Gates, playpens, diapers, etc are all great options that can help you to train your pup. However, the most important resource will always be a positive, patient attitude!