Housebreaking a new puppy or dog happens in stages. The dog owner training is what needs to happen first! Since your puppy or new dog is looking to you for guidance, I figured I would help you understand the basic philosophy behind the housebreaking concept.
Paws For A Minute® Housebreaking a new puppy Philosophy
Dogs are den animals and they love small spaces. Your first mission as a new dog owner is to create a small space within your home for your new pup. Use a baby gate to create an area. This can be achieved with a corral pen too. Within that gated space put a crate and keep the crate door open. This allows your new puppy to go in and out of the crate at it’s leisure and slowly learn to self soothe. It’s important for a new puppy to be able to learn to be independent from you while you are HOME and yet still see out. This helps establish a pattern and a system of being able to see you walk around the house yet still be in a puppy proofed space. Sure you can allow your puppy to have free time with you but while you are acclimating your new dog to your lifestyle and home it’s important to teach your puppy to be able to be alone and respect the boundary of a baby gate. Your puppy will quickly learn to relax in the gated area.
The gated area will ultimately help aid teaching your puppy to hold the urge to go to the bathroom and help create a schedule. However, the first stage of housebreaking is to teach a puppy to except the boundary of the gated space, learn to naturally den in the crate by allowing him to go in and out of the crate by himself with out shutting the crate door on him. The first week of owning a 8 week-week old puppy it’s okay to have puppy pads at one end of the gated area for the first few days.
Don’t stand over the gate or corral and talk baby talk at your new puppy. This will make him jump up on the the gate and eventually teach him to want to get out. Never shut a door on a puppy or a new dog. This creates anxiety. Even if that’s the end goal with a trained dog. More housebreaking tips to come…