House Training for Dogs
House Training for Dogs
Living in a House with a Compound
When you welcome a new dog into your household, whether it’s a puppy or an adult dog, you will need to train the dog to urinate & defecate in your compound.
You need to be patient and not get angry with the dog, as accidents will happen initially.
As a rule of thumb, puppies need to urinate every one hour x age in months. So if your puppy is 2 months old, you would expect him or her to urinate every 2 hours. Small dogs have small bladders and high metabolism so may need more frequent toilet breaks.
Take your puppy to the area where you want them to urinate/defecate (use a leash if possible) – be consistent, always take them to the same place. Stay with them. And always take them when they wake up and after eating. Also puppies can get very excited so after playtime, take them to their toilet area. Most puppies and adult dogs will need to eliminate very soon after eating.
While your puppy is urinating or defecating in the chosen spot, use the word you plan to use once they are house-trained to remind them what to do. Once you’re sure the puppy has finished its business, reward them verbally or give them a treat – do it immediately outside in the chosen spot, not once the pup is back in the house (or back in the area of the compound where the pup stays).
Watch for signs that your puppy needs to go – squatting, sniffing around, circling – then pick them up and take them outside immediately (use a leash if the pup is OK with this).
If you are unable to supervise the puppy for a while, it’s best to confine them to a small area (maybe use a crate) where they can stand and lie down comfortably but is small enough that they will not want to eliminate. This may not always work dependent on how long you are absent, but puppies will learn to hold it as no puppy or dog wants to mess its living area.
When accidents happen – and they will – don’t scold the dog. This will just make them afraid to eliminate in your presence. If they haven’t finished eliminating, then quickly take them outside to the chosen spot so they can finish. Clean the soiled location in the house well to eliminate any odours – if the dog can still smell urine or faeces where the accident happened they are likely to do it again in the same spot. If you use paper towels or cloths to clean up the area before using cleaning agents (use an enzyme based cleaner, it’s preferable to ammonia based ones), put those towels or cloths in the chosen area outside so the puppy recognizes the smell.
The routine should be the same for adult dogs, and its best to leash them to take them to the chosen spot.
Living in an Apartment with no Compound
If you live in an apartment, you will need to allocate an area where the dog should go. This could be in a bathroom or on a balcony – wherever you choose, it needs to be an area that the dog always has access to, even at night. You can use pads or paper/newspaper in the area.
The method of training is the same as for a compound – that is take the dog to the area as noted above.
If you are going to use paper products, you should note that the dog may consider any paper it finds on the floor as a suitable area – for example, if you leave a newspaper lying around on the living room floor, it may well get used!
For adult dogs in an apartment, it may be possible for you to take the dog outside the complex for walks frequently enough that an inside area is only used for emergencies or when you are not home. (Take poop bags with you to clean up outside.)