At Aureate we raise our puppies with litter training to help ease the transition to housetraining. That means our puppies are used to keeping their area clean. At 8-20 weeks your puppy is still too young to hold its bladder overnight. That means we recommend you provide your puppy with a litter box (we use a box that is 16” wide x 23” length x 6” height) and fill the bottom with Yesterday News (kitty litter). The box must be large enough for your puppy to easily maneuver around. As previously mentioned, we recommend you setup your puppy in a “puppy condo” and this is where the litter box will be. We recommend you clean the litter box daily to minimize the odor. If you leave it messy your puppy will not feel comfortable using the litter box. The real key to housetraining your puppy is actually about YOU training your family and sticking to a routine!
Here are some key times to take your puppy out on leash and eliminate:
· First thing in the morning
· 5-10 minutes after eating or drinking
· After a nap
· Before bed
· Before playing
· If your puppy is whining or alerting you of their needs
· If your puppy stops what they are doing and starts sniffing
· Other cues include circling
NEVER EVER punish or reprimand your puppy for eliminating in the house. IF you do that, you’re simply teaching your puppy it’s not safe for them to eliminate in front of you. IF your puppy eliminates in the house, the only one you can be upset with is yourself for not acting on the opportunity to teach your puppy to rely on you to let them outside.
What do we do at Aureate:
Our puppies in house are trained in the same manner we expect them to be trained with their new families. Meaning we get up between 5:00 - 5:30 AM and leash them one at a time taking them outside to potty. When they’re really young (6 weeks - 4 months) we carry them to their potty area in the yard, because they’re so young it’s hard for them to hold their bladder. We also want them to associate pottying with a particular part of the yard.
Once in the potty area we put them down and immediately they potty. We mark the action with “potty”. As soon as they’re voiding we praise them with “good girl” or “good boy”. If they’re not directly supervised, they’re in their puppy setup with their littermates.
One important thing to remember and this is where a lot of families go wrong is forgetting puppies are profoundly inattentive so letting your unfocused puppy outside in the yard and assuming they’ll potty if they have to is a mistake. They may have to potty when let out free, but instead become distracted and then confuse their owners by pottying in the house moments after being let out. Instead, make sure you leash the puppy and provide cues by walking them in their potty area or taking them for a leash walk. When accidents do happen in the house remember do not reprimand the puppy. Any accidents that happen are not the puppy’s fault, but the owners for missing the opportunity to make the right association and taking the puppy out for potty. Remember they provide physical cues as mentioned above like sniffing, stopping an activity and circling all before they potty.
In terms of timeline as to when you should expect your puppy to be fully housetrained, that depends on your consistency. Some puppies are slower than others. It's helpful to remember that your puppy is making tremendous leaps and bounds in their learning! If your puppy is 8 weeks old, they've only been exploring the world with their eyes for 6 of those weeks AND they've only been processing sound for 5 weeks!
***Remember in new environments and if things are busy and chaotic at home like during holidays, it's not uncommon for your puppy to experience regressions. These are momentary setbacks, not true unlearning. Be patient and kind as you would with a young child.