House Training Your Puppy-One Method
All puppies have different personalities, social skills, and learning abilities thus training “rules” don’t necessarily apply in every case. However, in general we believe the best method to house train a puppy is to “crate-train” them.
- Puppies have a “den” instinct and do not eliminate in the crate
- Puppies are safe in the crate and thereby avoid injury in the home while they are learning
- Puppies do not damage your home by chewing or eliminating
- Puppies learn contentment and control of body functions
- Healthy puppies sleep 18-20 hours per day but while awake can be very destructive
- Key…when let out of the crate the puppy needs to relieve itself and is praised for doing so in the yard!
Do NOT paper train! For one they learn it is ok to relieve themselves inside. Secondly they then do so when they want and do not wait for the owner.
Each morning the puppy should be taken straight from the crate on a lead to a place in the yard where you wish them to eliminate. The same place each time! Given them a one minute opportunity to eliminate and if it does not then return them to their crate for 30 minutes and then return outside for another try. If it does relieve itself praise the puppy extensively (and include a “potty” treat) and return inside for breakfast. Follow the meal with supervised play time out of the crate for 20-30 minutes followed by another trip outside and then time for nap in their crate. Repeat this procedure at mid-day, again in the evening and of course prior to bedtime. By following this procedure you are giving your puppy an opportunity to eliminate outside in your presence, at your convenience and they getting lavish praise for doing so. By using the crate you have facilitated all of these positive training occurrences while preventing the negative factor of “accidents”. They will likely still happen but they should be kept to a minimum. It is important NOT to punish the puppy for an inside accident as this may cause them to avoid relieving themselves in your presence. They may associate the reprimand with your presence and decide to sneak away or totally avoid eliminating while you are around. As the puppy matures and shows more trustworthiness allow more and more free time. This whole crate training process can take as little as a week or as long as few months depending on your consistency and the ability of your puppy to adapt. Some breeds typically adapt quicker than others.
Note: Some puppies will not crate train. If accidents continue to happen in the crate after several days or they cry for more than an hour we’d suggest an alternative method.
Also please remember that crate training is a heavy responsibility for the owner and is not to be used as a “punishment” for the puppy. This is their safe and cozy home. They will likely continue to use it as such over their lifetime.