House Training 101 – The Basics on Training Your New Dog
From day one in your house as a new pet, you must begin house training your dog. Regardless of age, breed, or gender – the process is the same and consistency is key.
Step one is being able to recognize when your dog is telling you, "I gotta go!" Dogs very rarely just go potty out of the blue. There is always something specific before the act of going to the bathroom in the house takes place. Observe your dog closely and watch for whining, sniffing, circling or even just sitting and staring at you. Sniffing is the hardest to spot since dogs are always sniffing out things, but there is a pattern to "I gotta go" sniffing versus "I'm checking things out" sniffing. Whether it be sniffing in a circle or sniffing a spot where he previously had an accident, there is a pattern and you should be able to recognize it after seeing it a couple times.
Some pups prefer to go in private, and therefore will leave the room you are in, or go behind a piece of furniture. You will discover the accident later and by then it is too late to discriminate and correct the behavior since he will not understand what you are disciplining him for since the act did not immediately take place. If your dog is a private potty-goer, pay attention to when he leaves the room, then follow him and take him outside right away if he is headed back to his potty spot. Once his business outside is complete, make sure to give him a reward right away.
The best way to teach your dog when and where he can go to the bathroom is to be consistent with outdoor potty break times. When your dog realizes he will have access to outside at certain times, he will ever learn to "hold it" until the designated times.
If you work away from home all day, you may want to hire a dog walker to come and walk your dog at least once, so that his training is not all put on hold while you are at work all day. This is especially important if you have a young puppy versus a teenage or adult dog. If you are lucky enough to work from home, you will be able to keep the training consistent throughout the day.
The most important thing to remember when getting down the basics of house training, is that dogs are creatures of habit and they need a consistent schedule in order to master the art of going to the bathroom at designated times. Try to develop a potty schedule for your dog that is as consistent as humanly possible, even if your own schedule changes from day to day. Your dog will thank you for it, and so will your carpet!