The puppy is new and oh so cute.
You cuddle with it every day and love to chase it around the yard or play tug of war with the stuffed animal that, in a year will probably be missing most of its limbs.
However, all is not fun and games in the house with the new puppy. Now comes the hard part, house training the dog.
As the new puppy does one of two things to relieve him/herself in the middle of your new white carpet you find yourself wondering why it is so difficult for the dog to understand that you do not go in the house.
You think to yourself why would anyone, animals included, go to the bathroom where they live? Would they not want it as far away as possible?
You think your puppy must just be thickheaded, anyone with a dog has looked at their animal at this stage and said “you stupid dog”.
However, then you remember that for a couple of years after you were born you not only went to the bathroom where you live but actually in your pants and you feel slightly bad for being so frustrated with your dog’s seeming lack of intelligence.
House training a dog is without a doubt a frustrating process. I know!
You wish you could just throw them outside and they would figure it out themselves.
Unfortunately, it is not this easy; it requires a bit more patience and perseverance.
So you do a couple of things as you look at the seemingly hopeless situation that has the potential to turn very expensive if you are again forced to replace your carpet.
First of all, you remember that you knew house training a dog was not easy or fun,
Second, you remember that you are the idiot that bought new carpet two months before you decided to get a dog.
Now you suck it up and you go to the book store to get the newest book on house training a dog and hope that it has some enlightening information that will save you both time and money-discounting the $30 you just spent on the book of course.
You could House train your dog easily if you had the time to watch your puppy 24 hours a day.
But as you can’t watch them around the clock, don’t expect to train them all at once. Training can take up to about 6 months.
Puppies are growing and developing quickly at this stage. They eat more food and burn up lots of energy and consequently need to ‘go’ more often.
The most important issue in house training dogs should be teaching them to control his bowel. When he is still a puppy, he has not yet developed bladder control.
Training the dog…
House training dogs is hard when you are not home.
To begin the house training process with your puppy, you need to first determine a suitable place outside your house where he can relieve himself. Once you have found that place, give your puppy a little tour around to let him get acquainted with the new area.
The next step is to restrict his freedom inside the house. Your puppy is less inclined to relieve himself near his sleeping quarters.
By restricting him to certain areas in your house, he will be more likely to hold himself. However, do not make him wait too long. Even if your puppy is physically strong, he still has very weak control over his bladder and bowel movements.
If you do not find the time to take him outside often enough, and whenever he needs to go, then you leave him with no other choice but to relieve himself on your carpet.
Once you notice that he needs to use the bathroom, then you need to take him outside immediately and stay with him until he has finished relieving himself.
As soon as he is finished doing his deed, remember to reward him with praise and plenty of treats to let him know how pleased you are.
What to expect from a puppy...
Do not expect more from your Pit Bull puppy than he is physically able to do. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is that a puppy can hold his bowels for as many hours as his age in months. For example, a three-month-old dog can hold it in for about three hours.
There is, however, a limit to this rule.
It is sensible not to expect your twelve-month old puppy to hold his bladder or bowel movements for twelve hours.
If he is forced to stay inside the house for longer than you can reasonably expect him to hold it in, you are causing an accident to happen.
At the same time, you are teaching your puppy to go to the wrong place. Installing a doggy door is a very effective way to house train your puppy.
Once he gets the idea and becomes familiar with where he needs to go, he will usually let himself out to do his deed while you are gone.
When he relieves himself inside the house, he labels that area as his bathroom and will likely go there again.
If your dog does have an accident in your house, clean and deodorize the area thoroughly and then block his access to that area. If you catch him in the act, say “no” in a firm voice and rush him outside.
Punishing him for relief inside your house will not help him learn any faster and in fact, can hinder progress.
Your dog needs a lot of attention. Another way of training your dog is to confine your dog in a puppy-proof room with paper spread all over the floor.
Put his water bowls and food right next to it. The papers you have set on the floor may be dragged and chewed around his little den, but it’s important and helpful in teaching your puppy where to eliminate his waste properly.
There will be no reason for him to defecate elsewhere. Your puppy will ‘go’ on the paper, and you need to clean it up when you arrive home.
This may be an additional job for you, but patience is all it takes. Don’t worry because later on, he will move past this stage.
Paper training is a very useful and proven technique in training dogs. In this way, no matter where the dog relieves himself, he will still eliminate his waste on the paper because he has no choice.
Little by little, you will see some changes. Gradually reduce the amount of paper you have set on the ground. Start to move the paper outside the house.
Of course, as your puppy has become used to using the paper he will look for it. Once the paper has been moved to outside the house, your training is near its end. Move the paper about an inch per day.
Occasionally, you may discover that he has had ‘accidents’ inside the house again.
Don’t be discouraged. This happens.
What you need to do is repeat the training. But understand that it will not be as hard as the first time. House training your dog is key for both your dog and your sanity and sanitation.