Guide to Housetraining Your Dog or Puppy

Housetraining is a huge part of every family’s time with their dog or puppy. It’s important for each family member to learn what it takes to make you're dog an obedient and happy one. Create a routine. And if you need to, hire a trainer or behaviorist to help establish the ground rules up front.

Let’s look at your dog’s elimination habits for example:

Housetraining Step By Step

The amount of time you need to housetrain your dog can vary. By applying schedules, establishing boundaries for where elimination is acceptable, setting verbal commands, praising and crate training, you should see progress over time. If you do not see progress, consult your veterinarian or other professional.

• Housetraining should be done in conjunction with crate training. Read more about Crate Training.

• Establish an elimination spot outside. That takes the guesswork out of most trips.

• When you think your dog is due to eliminate, or if your dog exhibits signs like sniffing an area or (once better trained) whining or going to the door, clip a leash to his collar and take him to an appropriate spot.

• Pick a phrase like "Go outside," then say it calmly whenever your pup is going. Praise your dog and give him a treat after he is finished. Over time, he will come to link your command words with the action of going.

• During the housetraining period, keep your dog in sight as much as possible. If he should start to eliminate in front of you, interrupt him and take him outdoors quickly. Praise him for completing the job outside.

• Through repetition, your dog will learn that there is one place where elimination is appropriate, and when he needs to go he will alert you.

• Maintain a regular feeding and elimination schedule. Make it a routine to take your dog outside to eliminate about 15 to 30 minutes after he has eaten.

• During this period, your dog should be supervised at all times. And note, puppies and young dogs usually eliminate shortly after they eat.

This is a process that involves everyone in the family. Know your roles, schedule routines together, and make sure everyone enjoys the growth over time.

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