How easy is it to house train a puppy?
The first and most important thing to remember is that your new puppy is going to grow up very quickly. Way faster than you are able to train him or her. And they are going to demand your attention more than you will imagine. So, like any child, please be patient and expect a bundle of fun with loads of energy that might get up to some mischief while growing up.
Small breeds tend to take a little longer than larger breed puppies and expect to have a fully house trained pup after only two years, yes only by then.
Here are the basic steps that you need to follow to help your new pup understand what is expected of them in their new home:
Step 1 - Be ready after each nap
When they are napping, make sure you are ready to take them out as soon as they wake up. Immediately pick them up and take them outside. Their bladder is not yet fully developed, so there will be no time to 'hold it in'. Do not punish your pup if they don't make it outside in time. This will come. They too, do not like to live in their own excrement and urine. (Using a nappy is defeating the object and your pup will never learn, so avoid this at all costs.)
Step 2 - Meals and Bedtime
After meals and before bedtime: Pick them up and take them outside. When they are older, they will learn and know to run for the door.
Step 3 - Texture Training
They need to feel the 'correct texture' under their paws to know when it is time to do their business. Like the sound of running water does for us humans, so do they need to 'feel' and the correct habit will begin to develop. Options to consider using for texture training are sand, grass, and artificial grass.
Step 4 - Routine
Routine is very important. (As for young children, so do puppies also learn what is expected with routine). They need to be fed every few hours, at the same time, in the same bowl, and on the same spot.
Step 5 - Provide paper
If you have to leave them alone for a period of time, make sure you put down a urine mat or paper. They will not mess on their bedding unless they have no other choice or alternative.
Step 6 - Avoid encouraging Separation Anxiety
Puppies will experience separation anxiety if you leave them alone for long periods of time. This leads to longterm problems like a barking adult dog, (or a chewer) and you could end up being unpopular with your neighbours in the future. Consider leaving your pup alone for short intervals at a time, and then increasing them over time. If you really have no other alternative, rather get them a friend for company, or send them to a puppy day-care.
Step 7 - No to Punishment
Punishing your pup is not good, rather reward them for when they do things right. Punishment creates fear-based reactions, and will again lead to long-term problems.
Step 8 - Music to the ears
Play soft classical music when you leave them alone. Classical music is known to calm them down and keep their mind busy with their own good thoughts. If they have to be left alone in dead silence, they will hear noises and sounds on the outside, and this could lead to anxiety and fear of not knowing what is going on.
Step 9 - Cleaning Do's and Don'ts
Clean up after your pup. A normal floor soap is fine to clean the area. Strong chemicals will leave a distinct odour, which will encourage the animal to 'cover' it - for their own sanity - with the 'their own smell'. Wash the grass or mat down with clean water, it does not need strong chemicals to do the job. Should you wish to discourage your puppy to chew on your clothing or furniture, or maybe you want to discourage them to defecate in a certain area, one can use Citronella oil or eucalyptus (like Vicks)
Step 10 - No short cuts
The Marathon. Be patient with your new pup, like you would be with any new family member. This is not a race, it is like a marathon. It will not be easy, it will not be fun, but the rewards, in the end, are worth every effort you make during this time and training.
Make sure you chose a puppy that compliments your life.
We love puppy breath, and we love the perfect little creatures that climb very deep into our hearts. It is no easy task to own a puppy, which is why we will always encourage you to think very carefully if you really have the time and energy for a puppy in your life. Make sure you compliment the nature of your new pup to your lifestyle, be that active or not. By doing proper research, before you get your pup, will help you make a lifetime commitment that you will enjoy for the rest of their lives.