There are many ideas on how to house break your pup. You can train your pup to go outside, go on papers, or go in a litter box. We recommend you start by crate training your puppy. Dogs are den animals and actually feel secure and safe in a crate. They don't think of a crate as a "cage" but as their den and will try very hard not to soil their den. The crate can be plastic or wire. Buy the smallest size for your pup for the house training. If the crate is too large the pup may use a corner or one end for a bathroom area. It is possible to buy a larger size and either close off the end with a divider or stuff a pillow in the end to make it smaller until crate training is over.
A crate used correctly for house training becomes the dogs own private retreat or den. The pup will seek out the crate when it wants to rest undisturbed or to feel safe.
A crate's success as a housebreaking tool is simple, pups will not soil their sleeping area if they can possibly avoid it. But remember that a pup needs time to play and has a small bladder. Use the crate when you can't watch your pup, but don't overuse it.
Crates come in different styles and sizes. Choose one that will be large enough for an adult dog to lie down, stand up, and turn around easily. If you plan on traveling with your pup buy a plastic one with ventilation slits on all four sides.
Put the crate in a room close to other family members to lessen the pups anxieties. Move the crate at night to the bedroom so the pup will feel like a member of the family and so you can hear the pup if it needs to go out at night.
Remove the puppy's collar before placing it in the crate. For the first few times the puppy goes in the crate they may cry or whine. Give a treat when you put it in the crate, close the door, then leave the room but remain close by. At the first bark, whine, or howl intervene with a sharp "NO". Your pup should associate the reprimand with its actions and stop. It may take four or five tries, but it will eventually settle down and be quiet. Never take the pup out before she settles down or it will think all it has to do is keep making noise until you take her out.
Once the pup is quiet, keep it in the crate for 30-45 minutes. If it begins to cry, take it outside to relieve itself. Once that happens, praise the pup, give it a small treat, and take it back inside and allow it supervised free time outside the crate. If it starts chewing on something other than her toys, respond with a sharp "no", take the object away and replace with a chew toy.
After 15-20 minutes of playtime, put the pup back into the crate for a nap. Correct the pup if she cries. Your pup learns through association, so consistency should help it accept being in the crate after a few times. After about an hour, take it out again and repeat the process.
Your pup will need to eliminate directly on waking and shortly after eating or playing. Also, a very young pup will not be able to hold its urine all night, so be prepared to take it out during the night.
Put your pup on leash immediately after letting them out of the crate. Rush your pup to the door or carry them to avoid an accident. Watch to be sure they finish once you are outside.
Gradually increase the time your pup is allowed to play out of the crate after they relieve themself outside, but always supervise the puppy until they are reliable.
After house training is successful you may still want to use the crate when you are gone or sleeping so your pup doesn't get into any trouble when you can't watch them.
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