The novelty of a new puppy is wonderful – suddenly there is a new little spirit in the house that is loads of fun and very cute! However, the novelty starts to wear off a little when you realize that your pet pooch is not yet housetrained. Having a dog in the house that is not housetrained is pretty stressful – and if you don’t get them trained quickly you will end up doing a LOT of cleaning, bleaching, scrubbing and disinfecting. Housetraining is especially important to do if you have young children or a pregnant lady in the house because of the increased risk of toxoplasmosis – in fact it is advisable to only get a dog that is already housetrained if this is the case. Here’s our guide to help you effectively housetrain your dog.
The most important thing is to be consistent with your dog. Teach him that there is an area in the garden where he can go, and let him out plenty of times during the day in order for him to be able to do it. If he slips up (and he will) then give him a stern telling off, and if he gets it right then give him loads of praise and affection. He’ll soon get the message! While he is a pup it’s best not to let him out of your sight – he needs to be told off the minute he relieves himself somewhere he shouldn’t. Make sure he is let out after every meal, and also the minute you wake and the time before you turn in for the night. Giving him plenty of opportunities to go outside means he won’t be as likely to be caught short.
You need to accept that you are not going to get 100% success straight away – in fact sometimes it can take a few months for them to properly get the hang of it. Ask your vet for some tips if you are struggling – they will be able to advise you on where you may be going wrong. Don’t lose your rag with your dog and shout at him – you will only scare him. Even if you are really cross when he goes somewhere he shouldn’t, you should still remain consistent and deliver the usual message in the usual tone.
Spot the Signs
Dogs are very good at letting you know that they need to go. Watch your dog and start learning his signs for needing to get outside. Some dogs will sit by a door and whine, while other ones will pace round in circles, or sniff around looking a bit anxious. The more you get to know your dog, the more obvious the signs will be that he needs to get out. Help him wherever you can by giving him lots of long walks – and don’t forget the bags!
It’s really important that, when your dog has an accident, you clean the mess up properly. Use bleach to get every last scent out, because if the spot starts to smell like a toilet to him, then he will keep going back for a revisit.