Over the quarantine, many of you may have received a new furry family member (with teeny-tiny paws!). Well fear not! We’ve been working hard to bring you a quick guide on how to ‘house break’ a new puppy!
At Village Vets, we believe every pup deserves a good home. We also believe every pup deserves a good birth and proper care and treatment thereafter. We encourage you to first seek adoption shelters for your new forever-friend. However, we understand that the friend that’s right for you might not be available. When buying from a breeder, please make sure that the pup’s health and welfare is put first in your chosen source. We detest puppy farms and the mistreatment of animals in general.
Head over to our blog for more information on our puppy manifesto and to access our puppy contract. We also offer a free pre and post purchase consultation with our specialist teams. The pre-purchase consultation will explain the contract and discuss which type of dog would be suitable for your home and lifestyle while the post-purchase consultation is a free health check that should be done on every new puppy as soon as you get them. Now, time for the exciting bits!
The right frame of mind...
Anger, frustration, irritation... These should not be part of house training a new puppy. It will take time and it will require patience, commitment and consistency. The most important thing is building a routine that your puppy can recognise and become used to, knowing he can go to the bathroom but not inside on your lovely kitchen floor. Of course it will annoy you and it will be frustrating, but you can never lose your composure with your puppy as this will create an atmosphere of fear which will destroy any hard work you’ve already completed.
A common misconception is that telling your puppy off for toileting in the house will stop him or her from doing it, when in actual fact he or she will only try to hide it from you in future. Be patient, be calm and understand that we have had many years to get used to our human rules, so give your new pup at least a few months to get used to his.
What will I need?
While the obvious answer to that question is a Holiday in a warm country, in relation to puppy training; you will need a few important things if you’re really serious about this. Firstly, you will need a dog crate and puppy pads. The crate will give your dog a place to rest and an area to call his own. When he does want to go toilet he will then have to let you know, enabling you to bring him outside to do his business. The puppy pads should be used when your pup is un-supervised as they have special scents which are signals for your pup to go toilet on them. A Get Off Spray is also recommended if your pup has decided on the corner of your lovely fabric sofa as his favourite place to go toilet. This spray will deter him from toileting wherever you spray it, though liberal use can have a weakened response. Finally, a toy or enriching treat will keep your pup’s mind off of toileting in the house and can act as a reward for using the toilet outside correctly.
Timing is everything
Timing is an important aspect of house training a new puppy. It is up to you to know when to bring your new pup outside for his business. This can include: First thing when he wakes up, after eating, drinking or even playing. This is where a routine becomes somewhat important, though your pup will display some indication of when it’s time for the toilet, such as:
Excessive circling, sniffing or general restlessness. The goal is, of course, that when you open the back door your pup will immediately run out, do his business and then come back. That level of reliability will take time and a good routine. Being vigilant is key.
Ah, the great outdoors...
So you’ve managed to get your new puppy outside before he could manage to get down to business in the sitting room, good job! This is exactly what you want to be doing, weather depending of course! Continue to issue the 'go toilet' command and once your pup has completed his task, offer him praise and a high value treat. This will trigger the “I do this I get treats and toys! Pawsome!” response from your pup while showing him that when he completes the ‘go toilet’ command he receives a reward. Reward based training is the best kind of training! However, it is important that your puppy is not given free access to go outside; he will need to learn to ask first.
Never in a million years...
Spilled coffee? Bleach. Muck on the Lino? Bleach. Half-head of highlights? Bleach. Dog pee? Stop. Never, under any circumstances, mix bleach with any accidents that your puppy caused. Bleach and Ammonia (the main ingredient in urine) react together to form Chloramine (an extremely toxic gas) which has the potential to turn into Hydrazine (another toxic gas and respiratory irritant). Chloramine in vapour form will cause headaches and dizziness before it begins to irritate your eyes and lungs. The same also goes for your new pup! If you do, by mistake, mix ammonia and bleach; leave the area immediately and return only when it is safe. If you have time, ventilate the area and then leave.
We hope after all of the above that you have a better understanding of what it takes, how long it takes and what a puppy needs from you in regards to house breaking. If it was a perfect world, dogs would be able to speak and understand us clearly, but sadly this is not the case! However, with time, dedication and commitment, your new puppy will quickly learn to ask to be let out and you’ll have no more accidents to clean up after.
Always keep in mind: If you’re unsure of anything or need some advice, we’re only ever a phone-call away. And be sure to take plenty of pictures – they won’t be that small for long... But they’ll always be cute!