Between two to four months, a puppy’s instinct develops, telling them not to eliminate in their den. The place a puppy eats and sleeps then remains clean. A mother teaches the little puppy to do so. Just another reason to leave the puppy with the mother till minimum 3-4 months. Strong emotions such as excitement, fear and unease can make it hard for the puppy to control his bladder. It might take weeks and sometimes even months to get your puppy completely house-trained.
Best is not to look for temporary elimination spots around the house or on the balcony. Although all these options seem extremely tempting, especially when you have to wake up in the middle of the night, yet they will make it harder than to break the habit later on.
The process to do so is pretty simple. You prevent elimination inside the house and reward it when it happens outside the house. Well, I said it’s simple but simple might not always be equivalent to easy.
So puppies under 3 month of age generally need to eliminate every 2 hours, from 3-4 month every 3 hours and then when they are 5-6 months old every 4 hours. When a puppy awakes it might also need to eliminate shortly after. 10 – 30 min after eating, the puppy will need to relieve himself.
Positive reinforcement only
As hard as it sometimes is, do not punish your puppy for an accident. You do not want your puppy to associate bodily functions with a negative reaction. In that case try to stay calm and move the puppy to the place where he should eliminate.
Especially at night it is best to use a crate to house-train your puppy, use the above rule for duration vs. age and set your alarm clock. Take your puppy out and reward him when he goes. It is hard work, but if you stick to the rules, it will not take long and it gets better by the day.
Best two options are an enzyme based cleaner, or Vinegar.
Vinegar neutralizes the pee and poop stains and keeps your home clean and fresh. The problem with other disinfectants and cleaners is that they most probably will mask the scent. You need to destroy completely any remains of the accident so your puppy won’t eliminate there again. Vinegar helps you do this. Prepare a spray bottle filled with half water, half vinegar and a little dish detergent (optional). Click here to read about instructions on cleaning up with vinegar and other uses too.
TIP: Remember, puppies and later on adult dogs like routine. Setting a routine to the day will also help during the house training procedure.
Read more about puppies below 4 months of age here