- Housebreaking should begin as soon as your puppy enters his new home. How long the training must continue depends on both the puppy and you. Some pups learn sooner than others. Your dog wants to please you. But a puppy’s memory is short, so your patience is important. A home with a badly trained puppy is not a happy home for you or the puppy.
a) The puppy’s bed may be a box, open at one end and slightly larger than the puppy. If the bed is too large, the puppy, may defecate or urinate in a corner rather than go outside. If the bed is smaller, the puppy will do its “business” outside rather than soil its bed.
b) Enclose the bed in a small area, such as a laundry room. Cover this area with newspapers to be used at night, or when your pup is left unsupervised.
c) The secret to housebreaking is a scent post. A scent post is created when your puppy has an “accident.” The problem becomes one of locating the scent post in the place you want it.
d) To create a scent post, leave a smear of stool from the last “accident” or wet paper on the clean paper in the place you want it, and coax or scoot the puppy to that area. The same is true of an outside scent post, but without the paper, in an out-of-the-way place in the yard. This will solve the “mine-field” problem.
e) The first thing in the morning, the puppy should be scooted to the scent post. This is so he can learn his way to the door and the scent post. Let him sniff about. The moment he has relieved himself, pat him on the head and immediately bring him into the house. Do not let him play about. The toilet period and play period should be definitely separate in the puppy’s routine.
f) The puppy should then be fed. In a short while the puppy will become uneasy and walk in circles sniffing at the floor. The puppy should then be scooted and coaxed to the scent post as quickly as possible.
g) This routine should be repeated every hour or two throughout the day, especially after meals and naps.
h) When the puppy is taken out to play, it is wise to leave the house by another door and avoid taking him near his scent post. Never play with your pup until after he has been taken out and has eliminated.
i) There will of course be some “accidents” in the house. Never let one of these slip by unnoticed; punishment five minutes after the offense is too late. Scold (not whip) the puppy and rush him to the scent post. Then scrub the area of mishap thoroughly until all odor is gone. Sprinkle the area with red pepper or vinegar.
j) Positive reinforcement of proper urine and bowel habits is just as important as properly applied discipline. When your puppy urinates or defecates in the correct place, spend several minutes stroking and praising him.