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The key to housetraining your new puppy is consistency. With a puppy, be prepared to make outdoor bathroom visits ten to fifteen minutes after every meal for the first couple of months.
A puppy's baldder is not big enough to sleep through the night without going to the bathroom. It can be very tempting to simply lay down some newspaper so the dog can go inside or use training pads initially. This is a good idea for initial training, but many dogs trained on 'pitty pads' as puppies don't transition to outdoors later. Rugs around the house appear to be simply new or different version of the pitty pad long after they are no longer a puppy.
Accidents should be dealt with immediately if caught in the act, but NEVER use the old newspaper across the nose punishment. A stern 'OUTSIDE' command or 'let's go potty' in an excited voice and tone, followed by a quick trip outside gets the point across with time. A puppy does not yet understand where to go to the bathroom. It is up to you to patiently show the puppy that bathroom breaks happen outside - not on the closest rug.
Dog's noses can identify scents 40 times greater than human can. And urine scents are triggers for any puppy or dog (even a human's urine scent left behind somewhere). Children still wearing diapers and sitting down somewhere will leave the urine trigger behind. Use an enzyme product such as "Nature's Miracle" in a spray bottle to immediately neutralize the odor. For massive clean ups, use a 1 to 3 mixture of white vinegar and water (1 part vinegar, 3 parts water).
Be aware that household cleaners that contain ammonia will provide urine triggers long after their use. Contact a professional rug cleaning firm and advise them of the known spots on your carpet to be assured they use professional chemicals to reach down into the carpet's matting and carpet backing.
As a last resort and if you have time, use the umbilical training method. Keep your older puppy on harness and lead, attached around your wrist so that wherever you do, the puppy needs to as well. This is best done on a long 3-day weekend, for puppies will attempt to hide from you when finding the need to urine or defecate. This is impossible if they are connected to your wrist and will make you more aware of their internal potty schedules as well!
Be consistent and you will find it is relatively easy to housetrain your new pup!
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|