Q. What’s the easiest/best way to housetrain a puppy? Should I use paper then graduate to going outside? About how long should it take until my dog is fully housetrained?
A. The easiest way to housetrain a puppy is to work on prevention, not correction. The common elements to successfully keeping your house clean are routine, consistency, patience, and perseverance. First, take your puppy to the veterinarian to ensure he’s healthy and parasite free.
If you have an area that other dogs have not been exposed to nor will be, such as a backyard, you can start housetraining procedures immediately. If you live in the city, papertraining may be needed until your puppy is fully inoculated. Speak with your veterinarian about inoculations and a consistent diet.
Puppies do not develop muscle control until they are at least 4 months old. Expect that your puppy will need to relieve himself after sleeping, eating, exercising, and drinking. Signs that a puppy needs to relieve himself include wandering away from you, restlessness, sniffing the floor, whining, panting and circling. If your puppy makes a mistake, look at what you are not doing that allowed it to happen. Clean all mistakes with an odor neutralizer. Skip corrections; they’ll only confuse the puppy.
Crate and Gate Training
Crate and gate training are invaluable tools that help speed the process of housetraining as well as keeping your puppy safe when he cannot be supervised. Feed your puppy in the crate to ensure he will keep the crate clean when taken out consistently.
Keep a Routine
What goes in must come out. Remember to feed your puppy at the same time every day with a measured amount of food. Leave food down for 15 minutes. Puppies need fresh water available all day or given throughout the day. Some toy breeds have special needs and some will need food throughout the day. Speak with your veterinarian about your toy puppy needs.
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