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What To Expect During the House Training Process
Unless you can monitor your puppy 24 hours a day, don't expect the house training process to be completed until your puppy is at least 6 months old. It's normal for a young puppy to be a little 'input-output' machine. Since puppies are growing and developing rapidly at this stage, they eat more food, burn up more energy and seem to need to eliminate constantly! They also have not yet developed bowel and bladder control, so they can't 'hold it' as long as adult dogs.
House Training When You Are Not Home
Confine your puppy to a small, 'puppy-proofed' room and paper the entire floor. Put his bed, toys and food/water bowls there. At first, there will be no rhyme or reason to where your pup eliminates. He will go every where and anywhere. He will also probably play with the papers, chew on them, and drag them around his little den. Most puppies do this and you just have to live with it. Don't get upset, just accept it as life with a young puppy. The important thing is that when you get home, clean up the mess and lay down fresh papers.
Passive House Training or Paper Training
While your puppy is confined, he is developing a habit of eliminating on paper because no matter where he goes, it will be on paper. As time goes on, he will start to show a preferred place to do his business. When this place is well established and the rest of the papers remain clean all day, then gradually reduce the area that is papered. Start removing the paper that is farthest away from his chosen location. Eventually you will only need to leave a few sheets down in that area only. If he ever misses the paper, then you've reduced the area too soon. Go back to papering a larger area or even the entire room. Once your puppy is reliably going only on the papers you've left, then you can slowly and gradually move his papers to a location of your choice. Move the papers only an inch a day. If puppy misses the paper again, then you're moving too fast. Go back a few steps and start over. Don't be discouraged if your puppy seems to be making remarkable progress and then suddenly you have to return to papering the entire room. This is normal. There will always be minor set-backs. If you stick with this procedure, your puppy will be paper trained.
House Training When You Are Home
When you are home but can't attend to your puppy, follow the same procedures described above. However, the more time you spend with your puppy, the quicker he will be house trained. Your objective is to take your puppy to his toilet area every time he needs to eliminate. This should be about once every 45 minutes, just after a play session, just after eating or drinking, and just upon waking. When he does eliminate in his toilet area, praise and reward him profusely and enthusiastically! Don't use any type of reprimand or punishment for mistakes or accidents. Your puppy is too young to understand and it can set the house training process back drastically. Don't allow your puppy freedom outside of his room unless you know absolutely for sure that his bladder and bowels are completely empty. When you do let him out, don't let him out of your sight. It is a good idea to have him on leash when he is exploring your home. He can't get into trouble if you are attached to the other end of the leash. Every 30 minutes return your pup to his toilet area. As your puppy becomes more reliable about using his toilet area and his bowel and bladder control develops, he can begin to spend more time with you outside his room and in the rest of your home. Begin by giving him access to one room at a time. Let him eat, sleep, and play in this room but only when he can be supervised. When you cannot supervise him, put him back in his room.
Active House Training
The most important thing you can do to make house training happen as quickly as possible is to reward and praise your puppy every time he goes in the right place. The more times he is rewarded, the quicker he will learn. Therefore it's important that you spend as much time as possible with your pup and give him regular and frequent access to his toilet area.
Keys to Successful House Training
Consistency and Patience. Never scold or punish your puppy for mistakes and accidents. The older your pup gets, the more he will be able to control his bladder and bowels. Eventually your pup will have enough control that he will be able to "hold it" for longer and longer periods of time. Let your puppy do this on his own time. When training is rushed, problems usually develop. Don't forget, most puppies are not reliably house trained until they are at least 6 months old.