Puppy Training – House Breaking
It is a good idea to find out if possible, exactly what the puppy’s environment was before you brought him home. This will tell you what the puppy was accustomed to messing on in the early stages of life. (i.e. was it a newspaper litter box style, sawdust or shavings as in a barn or pet store, cement floor as in a kennel run, or maybe a grass bottom playpen.)
This information will help to determine what will immediately work for your puppy. The most common method of house-breaking is paper training. When using this method, you will need to spread papers, a couple layers thick in a certain area of the puppies most used room in the house. Also, you will need to spread some newspapers in the area of the yard where you want the puppy to make his bathroom. (of course weather permitting) Weight these down with rocks or bricks in the beginning stages.
Try to not allow the puppy to have access to the whole house as this is just too much territory for him to be able to handle in the early stages. This only reinforces long term housebreaking. Gradually over the first 4 months, after you have brought him into your home, you can start allowing him access to other areas unsupervised. When you catch the puppy in the act, but missing the papers, gather him up in your arms, scold him with a growling “BAD PUPPY”, outdoors, take him outside to the designated bathroom area. Move quickly, so your body language gives the right message to the puppy as a sense of urgency. Set him down on the ground and repeat in a command voice “Hurry up!” “Hurry up!” You could use other words rather than hurry up, words of your personal choice, but hurry up sounds better than “pee pee”. Especially if you are in a public place.
When the puppy has done it’s duty, and only then, start to praise. “Good boy/girl!”, Outdoors -this is spoken in a praising tone. Even if the puppy has finished inside the house, praise him anyway. You are relaying to the pup that messing in the house is bad, messing outside is good. If your puppy doesn’t t do anything after 5 minutes, pick him back up and bring him back inside with you. Supervised housebreaking with proper correction and praise will be much more effective then if the puppy is left outside alone after an in-house accident has occurred. With the puppy out of sight, clean up the mess with paper towels to remove the access and then deodorize the area with an a neutralizer cleaner available at most veterinary clinics or pet stores. If the puppy is present during the cleanup, he will sense your hostility again and become confused. The positive reinforcement with praise outside could be lost.