Perhaps the most important thing for your new pet to learn is where to eliminate and when. Without this basic skill, even the most endearing housemate can become unwelcome. When it comes to house training your dog, setting yourself up for success

is key and Godspeed Animal Care is willing to spill all of our best secrets! 

Success from the Start

If you are welcoming a new family member who needs to start from scratch, half the battle lies in being prepared ahead of time. As soon as you bring your new bundle of joy home, house training your dog begins. 

Learn to read your pup – If you pay attention, you will soon be able to pick up on signs that your puppy is ready to potty. They may paw at you, sniff, pace for a moment, circle, or even whine. Keeping your puppy close by during potty training can help you not miss these signs – you may even want to keep them on a leash during the early days and weeks of training.

Consider the crate – While crates have a bad rap, they really can be great tools when used right. Starting off crate training right and you will have a safe area that your pup instinctively doesn’t want to go potty in. Crating can help your pet gain some bladder control. 

Schedules are everything – Puppies need to potty often, so make sure that you work that into your daily schedule. Plan to take a trip outside every hour or so for awhile. Be sure to schedule potty breaks after exciting or triggering events like meals, wake up times, play time, or visitors. If you take your pup out before bedtime you should be able to hold it an hour per month old they are plus one. At about 3 or 4 months of age you will probably be able to get a full night’s rest. 

Positive praise – Praise your puppy for good steps towards house training. A small treat, affection, play, or even a special toy can make a good reward. Praise consistently and you will see progress!

Please remember that puppies may piddle when they feel excited or overwhelmed by greeting another person or pet. This submissive kind of urination can often be circumvented by moving more quietly and avoiding reaching over the head or leaning over your dog. 

House Training Your Dog When Things Aren’t Going Well

If you have a more difficult customer, such as an older pet who was never properly housebroken, you need to have a little more of a plan in place.

If your pet was previously house trained and now suddenly can’t hold it, please make an appointment to see us so that we can rule out underlying medical conditions. Urinary tract infections, kidney problems, anxiety issues, and cognitive dysfunction can all be culprits, among other things.

Start by taking your pet outside on a leash to an area that you would like to be their bathroom area. Give a command such as “go potty” and wait. Resist the urge to interact until the magic happens, then be sure to praise generously. Persistence will eventually pay off! 

Crate training can also be a helpful tool even in adult dogs. If your dog already has a negative association with the crate, you may have to start over teaching them how to enjoy the space

Keep in mind that punishment isn’t rewarding when house training your dog. Often it makes the problem worse as pets sometimes cannot understand why you are angry. 

House training your dog may take some time and patience, but typically the hard work is all worth it. Having a well trained pup can make your relationship all the more enjoyable, and that’s what pet ownership is all about!