Puppies are mature enough to begin housetraining between 12 and 16 weeks old. Successful housetraining can take up to a year, with the average time taking between four to six months. Older dogs may require more time for successful house training.
Whether in a room or a crate, humane confinement, routine, patience and praise are the most popular combined housetraining methods. Confinement is usually restricted to your absence or while you’re asleep. When confinement is necessary, be sure the area is large enough for the dog to stand and turn around. If she will be confined overnight, be sure she has a comfy bed, and place training papers or pads on the opposite side of the dog’s bed. If she will be confined during the day, also include a bowl of water and hollow chew toys with small amounts of food inside.
Follow these rules the remainder of the time.
- Take the dog outside about every 30 minutes to the same location to teach her the routine.
- Praise her each time she eliminates in the desired location.
- Pay attention to cues that the dog may need to go outside especially if she didn’t use the bathroom on the last planned outdoor trip.
- Use a phrase such as, “Go potty,” each time you take her outside that she can use as a cue to aid in her housetraining success.
- Remove the food bowl once she finishes eating.
- Take her outside when she finishes eating and wakes up.
- Remove both the food and water bowls after the last planned trip outside for the night to avoid getting up in the middle of the night to let her out.
- Exercise plays a major role in housetraining your dog so allow time for that during outdoor bathroom visits.
Housetraining success relies as much on you as it does your dog. Patience, routine and common sense will eventually pay off.