You've read all the guides on how to house train your puppy, and you're seeing success. Yet, there are still accidents happening, and you're ready to fast-track his progress. You're looking for house training hacks you can implement along with the regular potty training tips you've already put in practice. Check out these five tips to help your puppy finally get the hang of bathroom time.
1. Attach Bells to the Door
Not only should you train your puppy to relieve himself outside, but you should also train him to signal to you that he's ready to do so. By hanging bells from your doorknob, you're giving your pet a tool to nudge with his nose or bat with his paw whenever he wants to go outside and use the bathroom.
2. Designate a Potty Spot
Accidents happen when your puppy is confused about where he should relieve himself. New puppies and newly adopted dogs were just taken out of a familiar environment and are now being asked to follow the rules in a world that's new to them. To accelerate any potty training progress, keep the potty spot in one designated area. For instance, don't simply let your pup out into the yard. Lead him to one specific corner of grass. Or, if you're potty training with puppy pads in a high-rise apartment, keep the pad in the exact same location every time.
3. Choose a Bathroom Word
Verbal cues help alert your puppy that it's time to use the bathroom, so pick a word or phrase and use it consistently every time you bring him to his potty spot. Phrases can include, "Go ahead" or "Do your business." Using the bell in conjunction with the bathroom word is helpful, because the bell gives your puppy the power to alert you when he needs to go. The bathroom word is your reminder to your dog that it's important to relieve himself where you'd like him to.
4. The Belt Tug
Let's face it, if you're far away from your pup, you won't notice the signs your he is giving to let you know he has to relieve himself. But, how can you keep him close enough to you when you have many tasks throughout the house to accomplish. Simple. Keep him on a long leash or lead and loop the end of it to your belt. You'll always be within twenty feet (or less) of each other, and when he jumps up from a nap or begins to whine or pace, you can practice your potty training routine immediately. Just make sure to keep in mind that puppies have a mind of their own and may run circles around a table leg, so make sure to check and make sure the leash is free and clear for you both to move throughout the house safely.
5. Move Closer to the Door
If your puppy is doing well with training, yet can't stop occasional accidents or using a potty pad, move the pad (or your pet) closer and closer to the door. Pad training is easier. Every time your pet uses one, move it a few feet nearer to the door and eventually it will be near the door, where you can reinforce using the bell. If the accidents are happening in random spots, keep moving him closer to the door. To do so, you may need to close doors to some rooms or set up a baby gate to remove his access to certain areas.
Your furry friend will give you signs that he needs to relieve himself, but learning how to house train your pet with these puppy training hacks will help you skyrocket his chances for success.
Erin Ollila believes in the power of words and how a message can inform—and even transform—its intended audience. Her writing can be found all over the internet and in print, and includes interviews, ghostwriting, blog posts, and creative nonfiction. Erin is a geek for SEO and all things social media. She graduated from Fairfield University with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing. Reach out to her on Twitter @ReinventingErin or learn more about her at http://erinollila.com.