Puppy’s First Night Home
Get off on the right foot at the beginning!
Carry the puppy from your car to the yard. Set him on the grass or the area you are going to designate as potty central and let him stay there until he potties. When he does, tell him how wonderful he is, get excited and praise him with happy and upbeat voice, each and every time - yes, even at 3 a.m.! After bringing the pup inside, you can play with him for an hour. Plan on taking the puppy outside every two hours (at least) while he’s awake. Don’t wait for him to tell you that he has to go! The signs for gotta go are frantic sniffing and circling to find that special spot.
Feed the puppy his supper in his crate. Don’t let him out for half an hour and when you do, carry him outside to potty before you do anything else. Wait for him to have a bowel movement before bringing him back in. Some pups get their jobs done quickly, while others may take half an hour. BE PATIENT!! If he’s being slow, walk around the yard encouraging him to follow you. Walking tends to get things moving, so to speak!
Always take the puppy outside first thing when you let him out of the crate and always CARRY the puppy to the door. This is important. Puppies seem to have a reflex peeing action that takes affect the moment they step out of the crate onto your carpeting. If you let him walk to the door, he’ll probably have an accident before he gets there. Part of this training method is psychological- you want the puppy to feel grass under his feet when he goes to the bathroom, not your carpeting.
After another short play period , take the pup outside before bedtime, then tuck him into his crate for the night. If he cries during the night, he probably has to go out. Carry him outside to potty, then put him back in the crate with a minimum of cuddling. If you play with him, he might decide he doesn’t want to go back to sleep. Puppies usually sleep through the night within a few days. Housebreaking can be very quick or can take a long time.
Cleaning Up Accidents
If you’ve worked hard with this training method, you won’t have many! Put your puppy (or adult dog) away out of sight while you clean up a puddle. Dog mothers clean up after their babies but you don’t want your puppy to think that YOU do, too! Clean up on linoleum is self-explanatory. On carpeting, get lots of paper towel and continue blotting with fresh paper until you’ve lifted as much liquid as possible.
There are several home-made and commercially available “odor-killers” that are helpful. In a pinch, plain white vinegar will work to help neutralize the odor and the ammonia in the urine. (Don’t use a cleaner with ammonia – it’ll make it worse.!) Sprinkle baking soda on the spot to soak up moisture and to help neutralize odor, vacuum when dry. At the pet store you can find a good selection of products that may be more effective. A diarrhea stain on carpeting or upholstery can be lifted with a gentle solution of lukewarm water, dishwashing soap and white vinegar. If using a commercial product, the vet carries a product called Anti-Icky-Poo.
Puppies are attracted to urine odors and their noses are much better than ours. Even when using a commercial odor killer, a teeny residue will be left behind that our dogs can smell. Keep an eye on that spot in the future! This remarkable scenting ability does have an advantage – if you must paper-train your dog and he doesn’t know what newspapers are for yet, “housebreaking pads” are available at your pet store. They are treated with a mild attractive odor (too weak for us to smell), so your puppy will gladly use them!
Most important of all, remember to have fun and enjoy your puppy. If you need help or have a question, ASK!!
There is no question that is silly or stupid. We all start somewhere and we are here to help you.