It's your house. Your puppy has to earn his freedom in it. But there are some freedoms that are strictly off-limits - like relieving himself indoors.
Fortunately, housetraining is relatively easy, as long as you have patience. To teach your puppy the right way to relieve himself:
- Establish a specific place outside where he can relieve himself.
- Clip his leash to his collar and take him to the spot. Pick a command like "go potty" or "hurry up." Praise your puppy when he does as he's told.
- Take him inside for food and water. About 15 minutes after he's finished eating, go back out again.
- Maintain a regular feeding, drinking and bathroom schedule.
- Guard against territorial marking. Your puppy may vie to be the leader of the pack - which is your family. Whether you see this behaviour inside or out, step-up obedience training. Make sure your puppy knows you are the boss.
If you're still having difficulty, there are a number of things to keep in mind:
- Too much freedom too quickly is the most common reason for error. If your puppy has an accident or two, go back to earlier training steps - you may have taken him through them too quickly.
- Make sure he has enough opportunities to go outdoors.
- Providing a crate that's too big for your puppy may encourage him to eliminate in one end and sleep in the other.
- Don't put food and water in his crate. He'll fill up on both and be forced to relieve himself while in it, even if he doesn't want to.
- Changing your puppy's diet can cause digestive upset that can result in accidents.
- Late-night snacks and not enough exercise can also lead to accidents.
- Too many indoor accidents may be due to a bladder infection. Having your puppy spayed or neutered may help reduce the risk.
- Even well-trained puppies have accidents on occasion. Clean the area with a pet odour neutralizer so your puppy won't be tempted to repeat his mistake.