Sweet soft puppies, how quickly they turn into little poop and piddle machines! I wish I could give you the trainers’ hidden secret ending all puppy accidents, but the truth is, success of house training lies with you.
Start by selecting a designated potty area and accompany your puppy on leash to this area. Quietly wait until he does his business. Restricting his play prior to elimination teaches him the sooner he goes, the sooner he gets to explore. Immediately reward him with praise and a treat so he learns going in this area gets him a special goodie. If he fails to eliminate, place him in his crate for 10 minutes and try again.
Family time now includes taking turns watching the puppy and knowing where he is, attaching a bell to the collar will make this easier. If an accident occurs the puppy supervisor is responsible for cleaning it up. He will keep a closer eye on the puppy next time.
If your puppy eliminates in front of you, startle him by clapping your hands and immediately take him outside to finish, followed with praise and a treat. If your puppy eliminates inside when no one is watching, clean it up and repeat to yourself “I must supervise my puppy better!” Clean all soiled areas with an enzymatic odor eliminator to remove smells that draw a puppy back to the area.
Don’t swat your puppy or rub his nose in the mess he made. Punishing him will only cause him to fear you and perhaps avoid eliminating outdoors when you are present.
Feeding the puppy at set meal times will help adjust his body to an elimination schedule. Take your puppy to his designated area immediately upon his waking up, after vigorous play (watch him carefully, sometimes it’s during play), 10-20 minutes after drinking and 15-20 minutes after eating. If your puppy hasn’t been out for an hour or two, take him out. Young puppies do not have the bladder control of dogs! There will be times when you can’t watch your puppy. During these times confine him to an appropriately-size crate. A puppy’s crate is similar to a den and instinct will cause him to keep this area clean, so crating should be utilized during the house-training period. Never force your puppy to eliminate in his crate by expecting him to hold it longer than he is physically able or he may lose this natural instinct. The rule of thumb for maximum crating time is puppy’s age in months plus 1hour, for example a two month puppy can be expected to deal with three hours of crating while a five month puppy can handle six hours without eliminating.
The fewer mistakes your puppy makes, the faster he’ll learn and the happier everyone will be.