Tips for Housetraining Your Puppy

House training your puppy is about consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement. The goal is to instill good habits and build a loving bond with your pet.

It typically takes 4-6 months for a puppy to be fully house trained, but some puppies may take up to a year. Size can be a predictor. For instance, smaller breeds have smaller bladders and higher metabolisms and require more frequent trips outside. Your puppy’s previous living conditions are another predictor. You may find that you need to help your puppy break old habits in order to establish more desirable ones.

And while you’re training, don’t worry if there are setbacks. As long as you continue a management program that includes taking puppy out at the first sign he needs to go and offering him rewards, he’ll learn.

When to Begin House Training Puppy

Experts recommend that you begin house training your puppy when he is between 12 weeks and 16 weeks old. At that point, he has enough control of his bladder and bowel movements to learn to hold it.

If your puppy is older than 12 weeks when you bring him home and he’s been eliminating in a cage (and possibly eating his waste), house training may take longer. You will have to reshape the dog’s behavior — with encouragement and reward.

Steps for Housetraining Your Puppy

Experts recommend confining the puppy to a defined space, whether that means in a crate, in a room, or on a leash. As your puppy learns that he needs to go outside to do his business, you can gradually give him more freedom to roam about the house.

When you start to house train, follow these steps:

  • Keep the puppy on a regular feeding schedule and take away his food between meals.
  • Take puppy out to eliminate first thing in the morning and then once every 30 minutes to an hour. Also, always take him outside after meals or when he wakes from a nap. Make sure he goes out last thing at night and before he’s left alone.
  • Take puppy to the same spot each time to do his business. His scent will prompt him to go.
  • Stay with him outside, at least until he’s house trained.
  • When your puppy eliminates outside, praise him or give him a treat. A walk around the neighborhood is a nice reward.

Using a Crate to House Train Puppy

A crate can be a good idea for house training your puppy, at least in the short term. It will allow you to keep an eye on him for signs he needs to go and teach him to hold it until you open the crate and let him outside.

Here are a few guidelines for using a crate:

  • Make sure it is large enough for the puppy to stand, turn around, and lie down, but not big enough for him to use a corner as a bathroom.
  • If you are using the crate for more than two hours at a time, make sure puppy has fresh water, preferably in a dispenser you can attach to the crate.
  • If you can’t be home during the house training period, make sure somebody else gives him a break in the middle of the day for the first 8 months.
  • Don’t use a crate if puppy is eliminating in it. Eliminating in the crate could have several meanings: he may have brought bad habits from the shelter or pet store where he lived before; he may not be getting outside enough; the crate may be too big; or he may be too young to hold it in.

Signs That Your Puppy Needs to Eliminate

Whining, circling, sniffing, barking, or, if your puppy is unconfined, barking or scratching at the door, are all signs he needs to go. Take him out right away.

House Training Setbacks

Accidents are common in puppies up to a year old. The reasons for accidents range from incomplete house training to a change in the puppy’s environment.

When your puppy does have an accident, keep on training. Then if it still doesn’t seem to be working, consult a veterinarian to rule out a medical issue.

Do’s and Don’ts in Potty Training Your Puppy

Keep the following do’s and don’ts in mind while housetraining your puppy:

  • Punishing your puppy for having an accident is a definite no-no. It teaches your puppy to fear you.
  • If you catch your puppy in the act, clap loudly so he knows he’s done something unacceptable. Then take him outside by calling him or taking him gently by the collar. When he’s finished, praise him or give him a small treat.
  • If you found the evidence but didn’t see the act, don’t react angrily by yelling or rubbing his nose in it. Puppies aren’t intellectually capable of connecting your anger with their accident.
  • Staying outside longer with puppy may help to curb accidents. He may need the extra time to explore.
  • Clean up accidents with an enzymatic cleanser rather than an ammonia-based cleaner to minimize odors that might attract the puppy back to the same spot.

The Puppy Training Guide: Guest Post

Training Puppy the First Week

Puppies learn very quickly with proper instruction. The first few days at home are extremely important for puppies and the precedents you set now will last a lifetime. All family members must agree upon responsibility and rules for the new pup.

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House Training a Puppy

It’s normal for a young puppy to be a little ‘input-output’ machine. Since puppies are growing and developing rapidly, they eat food often, burn up lots of energy and seem to need to eliminate constantly! They also have not yet developed bowel and bladder control, so they can’t ‘hold it’.

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Crate Training a Puppy

Crate training can be an effective way to house train a puppy. Puppies do not like to soil their resting/sleeping quarters if given adequate opportunity to eliminate elsewhere. Temporarily confining your puppy to a small area strongly inhibits the tendency to urinate and defecate.

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Training a Puppy to Stop Biting and Mouthing

Biting and mouthing is common in a young puppy especially in play and while teething. Puppies must learn to inhibit their bite and normally, they would learn this from their littermates. But, because we take them away from this environment before this learning is completed, we must train our puppy they cannot bite us.

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How to Train a Puppy to Stop Whining, Crying, and Howling

Whining, crying and howling often result when a puppy is left alone. Puppies will whine and cry when separated from their owners. The puppy is afraid he is being abandoned by his pack and is sounding the alarm so that he can be rescued. At other times, a puppy whines, crys, or barks because they need or want something.

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Puppy Obedience Training

Obedience training is one of the best things you can do for your puppy and yourself. Although obedience training doesn’t solve all behavior problems, it is still the very best foundation for solving just about any behavior problem. Training opens up a line of communication between you and your puppy.

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Training Your Puppy to Come When Called

Training Your Puppy to Come When Called

To many a puppy, the command “come here” means, “quick, run the other way!” Your puppy is always learning whether you are intending to teach something or not. We often unintentionally train our puppy NOT to come when called.

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Training Puppy to Stop Jumping Up

Training Puppy to Stop Jumping Up

Jumping up can be dangerous as well as annoying. Young children and elderly people can easily be toppled over and seriously injured by exuberant, friendly dogs. Start now to teach your puppy not to jump up. Even little dogs can cause problems and injury to themselves and others when they leap and jump around.

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Training a Puppy about the Collar, Leash and Stairs

Training a Puppy about the Collar, Leash and Stairs

Introducing your puppy to his collar, leash and the stairs can be a challenge. If your puppy is trained properly, it will be simple, satisfying and successful. Always use praise and lures rather than force.

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Training Puppy to Stop Pulling On Leash

Training Puppy to Stop Pulling On Leash

Do not drag your puppy. Do not yank or pull on your puppy’s delicate throat and neck. Never use a choke collar on a puppy. Instead, teach your puppy to walk nicely on leash before he develops a habit of lunging and pulling on leash.

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Training a Puppy to Control Barking

Training a Puppy to Control Barking

Barking is a perfectly natural canine behavior. Puppies bark, whine or howl for many different reasons. Barking can be a blessing as dogs will alert to sounds and movement we cannot detect. Barking can also be a puppy’s cry for help! Here are some training tips to help you understand and also put limits on puppy barking.

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Submissive and Excitement Urination in a Puppy

Submissive and Excitement Urination in a Puppy

Submissive urination is a normal way for your puppy to demonstrate submissive behavior. Even a dog that is otherwise housetrained may leave dribbles and puddles of urine at your feet when greeting you. Excitement urination with a puppy is usually caused by lack of bladder control. The puppy is not aware that he is urinating; he’s just excited and any punishment will only confuse him.

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Puppy Socialization - Why Socialize A Puppy?

Puppy Socialization – Why Socialize A Puppy?

Socialization and puppy training are of utmost importance as puppyhood is the most important and critical time in your puppy’s development. What you do and do not do right now will affect your puppy’s behavior forever. A properly socialized puppy is well adjusted.

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Training Puppy to Chew Her Toys

Training Puppy to Chew Her Toys and Stop Chewing Everything in Sight!

Any area that the pup has access to must be kept clear and clean. Put out of puppy’s reach anything you don’t want him to chew or destroy. Do not allow your puppy to have unsupervised access to ‘unchewables.’ Do not chase the puppy in an attempt to take something away. Instead provide puppy with her own toys and teach her how to play with them exclusively.

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Training a Puppy to Overcome Separation Anxiety

Puppy Separation Anxiety

In some situations, a puppy will experience separation anxiety when left alone. They will often bark, chew, dig, scratch at the door, soil the house or destroy your home and yard. We often unintentionally will train a puppy to behave this way by causing over-dependancy in our puppy.

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Winning Your Puppy's  Love, Trust and Respect

Winning Your Puppy’s Love, Trust and Respect

Just as a child needs a caring parent; an athletic team needs a coach; your puppy needs a leader and a clear social hierarchy. If you do not take up the role of leader, your dog will; and you will end up with an unruly, disobedient dog. Many people try to win their new puppy’s love by letting the puppy always have its way. Buckets of affection is a wonderful thing for most puppies, but it must be tempered with respect.

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Puppy School – Puppy Training Classes

** COVID-19 update: All Puppy School classes are temporarily postponed until further notice due to current restrictions to essential services. Thank you for your patience and understanding. **

What will I learn at Puppy School?

PETstock Puppy School’s program is based on using a reward-based training method which teaches pet parents:

  • How to communicate with your puppy or dog
  • How to develop solid foundation obedience in all environments
  • The importance of socialisation, mental and physical stimulation
  • Ways to help curb any behavioral problems
  • How to find the correct equipment for your dog
  • The appropriate rewards for best results

PETstock provides a safe environment that will see you and your dog or puppy thrive together under the skilled guidance of our friendly, professional training team.

Skills/Topics:

  • Week 1
    • Bridge/marker and release word
    • Focus, sit and recall exercises
    • Building the bond wth your puppy
    • Toilet training, socialisation, nutrition information

    Week 2

    • Mat exercise
    • Down exercise
    • Social interaction
    • Sit for a pat
    • Health, jumping, digging information

    Week 3

    • Loose lead walking
    • Social interaction
    • Sit & Down stay
    • Complex skill
    • Training equipment information

    Week 4

    • Stand exercise
    • Social interaction
    • Sit & wait for food
    • Basic first aid
    • Grooming information

    Week 5

    • Graduation
    • Where to from here
    • Responsible pet ownership

Skills/Topics:

  • Week 1
    • Calming/massage techniques
    • Engagement exercises
    • Training techniques
    • Social interaction (all weeks)
    • Motivation information

    Week 2

    • Bridge/marker words/release words
    • Target training (Teaching phase)
    • Recall with wait
    • Mat exercises
    • Behavioural issues information

    Week 3

    • Stand exercise (stand stay for preschool grads)
    • How to check your dog
    • Loose lead walking with exercises
    • Targeting
    • Health requirements

    Week 4

    • Leave it/ food refusal
    • Stay exercise on and off mat
    • Party tricks – having fun
    • Give, take, fetch

    Week 5

    • Graduation
    • Q & A

Is my puppy or dog suitable for PETstock Puppy School classes?

To ensure we’re providing all Puppy School students a safe and healthy environment, your puppy or dog will need to be:

  • In good overall health
  • For level 1 and 2: Minimum C5 Vaccination.
  • For Puppy Preschool: Minimum C3 vaccination 10 days prior to class.
  • Currently flea and worm treated
  • Friendly towards people
  • Friendly towards other dogs

If you are unsure if your puppy or dog meets these requirements, please contact the Puppy School Trainer at your local PETstock store.

Need to get your puppy or dog’s vaccinations, flea and worming up to date? Visit PETstock VET.

What to expect from your dog at PETstock Puppy School

Just like humans, dogs learn at different rates and each dog will often behave differently to the others during class. You may find that you dog is active, a barker, shy, boisterous or even timid.

These behaviours are all normal and it’s likely your buddy’s behaviour will change as the program continues. It is important to concentrate on your dog’s development and not compare them to others in the class. Your trainer will ensure that each dog receives individual attention throughout the course.

What to bring to PETstock Puppy School

  • Your puppy or dog!
  • Your dog’s current vaccination certificate
  • Flat collar and lead
  • Mat or towel
  • Treat pouch and high value treats (in pieces which are no larger than your small fingernail)
  • Your dog’s favorite toy

Tip: To help grab your pooch’s continued attention, don’t feed your puppy or dog prior to class.

Keep in mind:

  • Arrive 10 minutes before class
  • Wear suitable attire and closed footwear
  • Family involvement in your dog or puppy’s training is highly encouraged! However please keep in mind that the minimum age for owner-trainers is 10 years old, and then only under full adult supervision
  • Keep your puppy or dog on their leash at all times, unless instructed otherwise by your trainer

The value of homework

Each week, our Puppy School trainers provide participants with recommended activities to complete with your dog before the next week’s class. The work you do at home with you dog is vital part of achieving success in PETstock Puppy School!

Attendance

We understand that occasionally, events beyond control mean you may need to miss a class. If this is the case, simply let your PETstock Puppy School trainer know and they can advise you on how to work on your skills at home with your dog and resume normal classes the following week. If you should miss more than three sessions, we ask that you re-enrol to complete the program at another time. No refunds will be given for non-attendance.

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