Early on (8-12 weeks) your puppy will need to go potty frequently. After eating, after napping, after playing, after drinking… you get the idea. Take your puppy out at least once per hour during the day. Here are some tips to make house training a breeze!
1) Feeding Schedule/Potty Schedule– First, get your puppy on a feeding schedule. Three meals a day until four months old is recommended. The added benefit of a feeding schedule is that what goes in on time, comes out on time. Rather than leaving food out all day for your pup to nibble on, feed them at set times and take them out for a potty break immediately after each meal. Take your puppy out at least 8 times per day.
2) Crate training – Crate training is the second component of your housetraining program. Dog naturally dislike pottying where they sleep. The crate quickly becomes your pup’s new den, and a place they don’t want to soil. During the night, and anytime your pup is unattended, he/she should be in the crate. Be sure not to leave your puppy in the crate for longer than 3-4 hours at a stretch and be sure he’s getting plenty of exercise and playtime when he’s out.
3) Umbilical cord training – Whenever your pup is out of his crate, but you are not directly interacting with him (i.e.: you’re on the computer, watching TV, making dinner, etc.) he should be attached to you by a short leash. This prevents the puppy from wandering off to another part of the house and leaving you a nasty surprise. It also allows you to learn your pup’s individual signals that he needs to go. These signals may include sniffing, circling, whining, staring at you, etc. Watch for these cues and when you see them, scoop your puppy up and take him directly to his designated potty spot. When he potties, praise lavishly.
4) Management – Don’t allow your new pup freedom to roam at will around the house until he is potty trained. Most dogs are reliable by about six months old. If you make a mistake, and leave him loose in the house, and he leaves you a mess, DON’T SCOLD THE PUPPY! He does not understand why you are angry. If you didn’t witness the accident, SAY NOTHING. If you catch the pup in the act, clap your hands, quickly scoop him up and take him directly to his potty spot.