How to House-Train Your New Dog

House train your dog

House train your dog

Are you a first time dog owner? If so then you might be concerned about housetraining a puppy or perhaps housetraining dogs that are older. The good news is that this part of dog training is relatively simple once you have the basics down.

Dogs have a natural instinct to avoid eliminating in their home, so they are often fairly simple to train once they recognize your home as their home.

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Your mindset

Housetraining a dog is in large part about patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. The goal of any dog training is to instil in your dog good habits, and to establish a bond with him that will last a lifetime.

Stay positive, stay upbeat, and focus on being patient with your pup as you go through this early stage of dog ownership. It typically takes a few months for dog housetraining to be fully complete, so be patient with your pup as he learns.

When to start housetraining your dog

It’s recommended that housetraining a dog starts as soon as you bring him home. During those first few weeks it’s important to keep your expectations realistic. Puppies under the age of 12 weeks may not yet have sufficient control of their bladder, but you can still start the process of introducing him to housetraining.

If you have adopted an older dog then you may find that your dog has been eliminating in a dog crate or has already developed the bad habit of doing his business in the house. Housetraining your dog should start immediately, with the knowledge that you have to reshape his behaviours as a part of housetraining.

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Dog crate training

Dog crate training relies on your dog’s natural need to have a den of his own in which to sleep. The base idea behind crate training is to ensure that your dog sees his crate as his safe space. Crates should never be used to punish your dog.

The added bonus of relying on a dog crate is that dogs will eliminate in the place that they sleep. So the crate becomes an effective housetraining tool. For dogs under the age of 12 weeks make sure that you are setting your alarm to get up every few hours to give him a bathroom break. At this age he can’t yet hold his bladder all night, so it’ll help to reinforce housetraining steps to him if he’s taken out at intervals at night.

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Getting him on a schedule

One of the best things that you can do for your puppy, and for yourself, is to get him on a good schedule. Dogs tend to thrive when they have a routine and know what to expect.

This starts with keeping him on a regular schedule for his meals, and taking his bowl away so that he can’t graze between meals. Not only does this help to keep him from overeating, but it’ll help with housetraining efforts also. Dogs tend to need to eliminate within an hour of their meals, so that gives you a good window to work with for taking him outside.

Take your dog out to eliminate in the morning, after meals, and after he wakes up from naps. His routine will help learn to better control his bladder.

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Praise, positive reinforcement, and affection

Dogs have a natural need to please their humans. This can work for you when it comes to housetraining a dog. When your dog makes progress with his housetraining you should be sure to praise him and give him plenty of affection.

Positive reinforcement is the best way to train a dog. The more your dog picks up that he is making you happy the more he’ll be likely to continue with the desired behaviour.

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Wrapping Up

Whether you are housetraining a puppy or housetraining dogs that are older, the steps are all the same. The most important part of housetraining a dog are patience, consistency, and understanding what is realistic for the age of your puppy.