Some puppies are easier than others when it comes to housebreaking. If you got lucky with an easy one, congrats! But what about the rest of them? Whether teeny tiny with a small bladder or just plain stubborn, some puppies will give you a run for your money when it comes to not going in the house. Here are some tricks to help you accomplish your goal and save your floors.
First, make sure you are utilizing a crate. Crates are excellent tools that keep your puppy safe when you aren’t able to directly supervise, but they can also be used as a bed. When a puppy sees a space as a bed, most chose not to also use it as a toilet. Find a crate that is big enough for your puppy to easily stand up and turn around comfortably but is not so big that she can pee in one corner and lay down in another. Every time your puppy isn’t directly in your sight, she should be in her crate.
Secondly, use biology to your advantage. Animals (and humans) have a biological response to eating called the Gastrocolic Reflex. This means right after your puppy eats a meal, his body tells him to poop. Now you know exactly when to take him out! Every time you feed him, you should immediately take him out for a walk.
Finally, watch for cues, even subtle ones. Almost all puppies have a tell when it comes to needing to pee or poop. Don’t expect her to just hop up and whine at the door right away! She is more likely just to pause in her play and sniff around, or maybe try to wander into the next room. You may not get much time between her subtle cue and her squatting on the rug, so pay attention! If you find that you aren’t able to be as watchful as you would like, put your pup back in the crate until you are able to focus on her again.
House-training your puppy can be frustrating sometimes but the benefits of a good start are life-long. Don’t forget! If your puppy has been progressing well with housebreaking then suddenly starts having accidents, it may not be his fault. That may be a sign of a urinary tract infection or other medical condition. Give your veterinarian a call if something seems off. Good luck!