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Home Remedies to Help with Housebreaking

By Angela Morben
 

Overview

Housebreaking a puppy definitely takes a lot of time and patience, but almost any puppy is able to get the hang of it relatively quickly. The process is a bit intense in the beginning, but as you start to see some real progress in your puppy, you will realize how much your efforts have paid off.

Designate an Elimination Spot

Choose a spot near the house where you would like your puppy to eliminate consistently. Walk the puppy to this spot on a leash and give him or her a command that you will use repeatedly, such as "Go potty." Then allow the puppy to sniff the ground and walk back and forth for 10-15 minutes before calling it quits. If the puppy does eliminate there, immediately praise him or her and give a small treat as a reward (keeping treats handy in your pocket is always a good idea when training). If the puppy does not eliminate, go back inside the house, wait 15-20 minutes, and repeat the process.

Crates

Using a crate, or kennel, during housetraining is ideal. The purpose of the crate is to provide your puppy with security (a den, or nest; a safe, private place) as well as to prevent accidents in the house. The size of the crate should be big enough for the puppy to stand up and turn around, but not so big that it will be able to eliminate in one corner and lie down in another corner. As the puppy grows, you will need to increase the size of the crate. Crate size is important, but so is the length of time the puppy is confined. As a general rule, the number of hours a puppy can hold its urine and feces is its age in months plus one (a two-month-old puppy can hold its urine for three hours).

Housetraining Schedules

The ideal times when a puppy should be let out to eliminate are: as soon as the puppy wakes in the morning; 15-20 minutes after the puppy's breakfast; midmorning; 15-20 minutes after the puppy's lunch; midafternoon; 15-20 minutes after the puppy's supper; early evening; and just before bedtime. Basically, you will need to take your puppy outside every two to three hours. Be aware that some puppies, especially in the early stages, will not be able to make it through the night without needing to go outside.

Caught In the Act

If you catch your puppy in the process of eliminating (or just beginning the process) indoors, do not yell or show anger or frustration--this will only teach the puppy not to go in front of you. It won't teach the puppy not to go in the house. Instead, make a loud noise to quickly get the puppy's attention, then attach a leash and walk outside to the puppy's designated spot.
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