Accidents part of house-training puppy
HOUSE-TRAINING a puppy requires time, vigilance, patience and commitment. Remember to expect accidents -- they are part of raising a puppy. The more consistent you are following house-training procedures, the faster your puppy will learn, although it could take several weeks.
Question: How do I establish a routine for my puppy?
Answer: Like babies, puppies do best on a schedule. Take your puppy outside at least every two hours, and immediately after it wakes from a nap, after playing and after eating.
Praise your puppy lavishly every time it eliminates outdoors. You can even give it a treat. Don't wait until it comes back inside the house. This step is vital, as an immediate reward is the only way it'll make the connection.
Q: Where is the best place to train my puppy?
A: Choose a location not too far from the door and always take your puppy, on a leash, directly to that spot. Take it for a walk or play with it only after he has eliminated.
If you clean up an accident in the house, leave the soiled rags or paper towels in the bathroom spot. The smell will help your puppy recognize the area. While your puppy is eliminating, use a word or phrase, like "go potty," that you can eventually use to remind it of what it's supposed to be doing.
Q: What if I catch it in the act?
A: Do something to interrupt it, such as making a startling noise. Immediately take it to its bathroom spot -- and praise it if it finishes eliminating there.
Don't punish your puppy for accidents. If you find a soiled area, it's too late for a correction. Rubbing your puppy's nose in it, scolding it or any other discipline will only make it afraid of you or afraid to eliminate in your presence. Animals don't understand punishment after the fact, even if it's only seconds later.
Cleaning the area is important because puppies will continue soiling areas that smell like urine or feces.
The Hawaiian Humane Society welcomes questions by e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org
. Indicate "Pet Ohana" in the subject line. Or, write "Pet Ohana," Hawaiian Humane Society, 2700 Waialae Ave., Honolulu 96826.