House Training Your NEW PuppyHouse Training

The secret to successful house training is consistency and perseverance. A puppy only gets full control of his bladder between 6 and 8 months, so expect a few mistakes in the beginning.

You need to take your puppy out as often as possible at the start. Every 30 - 45 minutes if possible. You will need to take him outside after every nap, every playtime, after every meal, first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

When you take your puppy outside, decide on a word or phrase that will become his trigger to go to the toilet. "Do your thing" or "Go Pee" and two common phrases used. As you get outside, say the phrase/word and then wait patiently. Do not talk to your puppy while waiting as this will distract him from his business.

It's very important that after he has gone to the toilet that you praise and reward him with a treat. Food is the best type of reinforcement because at his young age, he already gets a lot of attention, so a nice treat will speed up the training process.

If you catch your puppy in the act, get his attention by gently clapping your hands or whistling, take him outside, say your phrase/word and wait. At the smallest sign of him going to the toilet, praise and reward.

A puppy cannot tell the difference between an inside room and the outside if there is a door that is always left open. The outside area becomes another room in the house and your puppy will always try to find a surface that is the most similar to what he grew up with. Grass/carpet/cement/sand/etc. they do not automatically know where they need to go to the toilet and have to be taught which "rooms" are acceptable to use and which are not.

Some of the signals that your puppy needs the bathroom are:

- Sniffing in one area
- Walking in circles
- Crying or whining for "no apparent reason"
- Looking uncomfortable
- Sitting or pawing at the door

Should you miss the signals and your puppy messes inside the house, do not shout and punish him. He has performed a natural function and all that will happen is that you will cause future behaviour problems because you will seem unpredictable, angry and a giver of pain. Rather clean up the mess without him seeing, making no fuss and always remember to use products that DO NOT have ammonia in them. Ammonia smells like urine and it will cause your puppy to go back to that area. Rather use dish washing liquid with warm water or white vinegar.

During the night, cover the puppy's entire sleeping area with newspaper. In the morning, clean up all the paper but keep one piece that has been urinated on. Put it outside to dry and that evening, when you put new paper down, add the used piece as well. You'll find that the puppy will start going to the toilet in the same area as where the used pieces of paper are. Slowly, once your puppy is using the same paper, you can move the paper towards the door, and eventually to outside. Your pup will learn that going outside is right, but inside is not.

Remember that the process is a slow one. Patience, perseverance and consistency!