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  • Writer's pictureCheryl Hughes - Ignite Your Confidence

Practical Quick Tips: Puppy House Training

I was recently asked how to use Trust Technique for house training puppies. The biggest thing to remember is this can be a situation where humans don’t stay in a peaceful state of mind if there is an accident in the house. Your first feelings about finding a pile of pooh beside your bed, or stepping in a warm puddle, may not be particularly warm and fuzzy. Whether or not you catch them in the act, or find it later, if you share feelings of anger or frustration it will be very confusing for them. It may even make it worse. 

While some breeds are notoriously harder to house train than others, it doesn’t have to be that challenging.Most of the time (unless an upset tummy) accidents are human error.

Here is a list of common pitfalls that I see most often associated with accidents in the house.

  • Not taking them outside often enough. Whatever you think is enough, may not be. Aside from regular outside trips, always take out after they wake up from a nap, and shortly after eating or drinking.

  • Leaving unattended anywhere in the house - even for a minute. Puppies need to be in their pen/crate or even be attached by a leash to a person so they can't lose track of where they are. You need to have eyes on at all times. (Humans get distracted easily too:)

  • Using a crate that is too big which means they can go at one end and still be comfortable.

  • Reprimanding in any way for mistakes - Shared feelings of frustration or anger will completely confuse the pup.

  • Not crate training or having a penned area where they learn to have a small, peaceful, safe place.

  • Free run of the house too soon leaves lots of hidden places to go.

  • Giving them water and food too late in the day just before bedtime makes it less likely they will sleep through the night. 

Remember to take them out often. Reward in a calm manner after they have gone. They go to the bathroom, and then you reward calmly.  Don't bribe with a treat, bring a treat out early, or squeal with delight at their accomplishment. It will only get them excited and distracted and they will forget what they were doing.

You can also add a cue such as “go pee.” Say it calmly as they are peeing every time, and soon they will connect the words to the action. Then if you need to they will pee when you say it. 

I personally don't like the idea of pee pads. I don’t want to train my dogs to go inside at all, but that’s just my opinion.

If you take them out and they don't go, return them to their pen or crate for a few minutes and take them out again. Sometimes they are easily distracted and forget. :) Just because they didn’t go, doesn’t mean they don’t have to.

Some people like their dogs to go to the same area of their yard so that means always taking them there on a leash every single time until fully trained.

House training puppies is a great way to become more mindful. Staying focused on what you want and not getting distracted, being aware of the feelings you are sharing,setting up small steps and practicing often to create good habits.

Teach with kindness and compassion,


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