Housetraining in three parts
This blog is devoted to everything you need to know to housetrain your puppy in three easy to follow sections. In sticking to a routine from the day you bring your dog home, you can be sure perfect housetraining to be achieved in no time. Without further ado, let's get to it.
Set up for success.
As you want to start the housetraining process as soon as your pup gets home, having the right equipment on hand and ready to go is critical.
1. Get a good crate! Lightweight, collapsible, and durable, you want a crate you can move from room to room, has an adjustable panel so that the space within can grow with your dog (if you have an adult dog, this is unnecessary), and big enough that your dog can stand up and turn around inside it. Anything bigger and chances are your unhousebroken dog may soil his or her rest area. Plastic crates are good for excitable or hyperactive dogs, and wire ones are great for dogs who like to see what's going on around them. Feel free to put bedding in the crate, but check it regularly. If it becomes soiled, take it out and replace it only when your dog is fully housetrained.
Crates are great.
To get your dog or puppy well adjusted to his or her crate, a few of these tricks can get you started. For puppies, stuff some hollow chewtoys with softened kibble and a few treats and place inside the crate for your puppy to enjoy. You'll find that in no time your puppy is begging you to go inside the crate. Some dogs prefer calm, quiet areas, and others want to be near you. Figure out what works for your dog - there is no wrong way to go here.
For adult dogs, the crate training takes a little more work. Lure your dog into the crate by tossing a treat inside and saying, "Go to your crate." Whatever you do, don't lock your dog inside yet. Soon, your dog will happily to go her crate and once this happens, you can sit alongside, talk, and pet her. Once your dog starts to relax, you can begin shutting the door for short periods while offering treats from outside. From here, to can start to gradually increase time inside the crate. Offer lovely chewbones and kongs to keep your dog busy.
Every hour on the hour, take your dog out on lead to the yard or outfront to a toilet area. Give your dog a few minutes to 'go' and the moment she does, praise her immediately and enthusiastically. Have a few freeze dried liver treats at the ready for every successful outdoor elimination to really bring the message home that going outside is good work! Once the business is done, it's time for a nice walk or playtime inside (depending on the age and vaccination stage of your dog - a subject for another blog post!)
Sticking to these guidelines will ensure you have a housebroken pup in no time at all. Good luck and have fun!
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Camille Salter is the founder of All Dogs Toronto and a certified, knowledge-assessed dog trainer (CPDT-KA). She is the author of two books on dog behavior: Pandemic Puppy, Decoding the Dog Park, and the Big Book of Dog Training.