When disciplining your puppy for accidents, keep in mind that you must be patient and kind. Dogs don't understand why you are upset, so disciplining puppies for urinating really doesn't work. Rewards and praise are the best ways to ensure getting the behavior you want in a puppy, along with consistency, so they learn what to expect.
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Rewards vs. punishments for puppies
Bringing home a new puppy and teaching it where to go potty can be challenging unless you are mentally prepared and able to devote time to the process.Puppies generally eat three times a day until they have grown into adult dogs, which eat twice daily. It is best to feed your puppy at the same time each day and limit treats so that it does not need to relieve itself at all different times during the day and night.
In general, rewards or punishments for a dog are only useful if they are given within a half of a second of a behavior taking place. In the case of a puppy urinating, that's going to be very hard to do. If you wait until you have discovered the pee and your puppy is wagging his tail and greeting you, he's going to think that's why you're punishing him. Positive reinforcement training is always the best method of dealing with behavior problems.
Positive reinforcement also works when housebreaking a puppy. The Humane Society says you'll see the fastest results when you housebreak a puppy on a regular consistent schedule.Take your puppy outside frequently — at least every two hours — and reward your puppy every time they go potty outdoors.
At what age should a puppy stop having accidents?
Take your puppy outside right away after he wakes up, during and after playing, and after eating or drinking. Devote ample time for training your puppy on where to relieve itself and have the time and patience to wait outside while your dog figures out what to do. Always take your puppy (on a leash) to that spot and supervise your puppy at all times if this is possible.
You shouldn't really expect a puppy to have any bladder or bowel control until they are at least 16 weeks old. Even then, you may come home after being on an afternoon outing and find an occasional accident even into young adulthood. Remember that some puppies learn housetraining faster than others, and the best way to deal with housetraining is consistency, patience and rewards.
Other puppy housetraining tips
If you work outside the home, consider taking off a week to train your puppy. This may shorten the training period and will definitely increase your bond with the puppy. It will also make you and your puppy less stressed as you concentrate on your training efforts and it learns more about its new home and environment.While your puppy is relieving themselves, use a specific word or phrase that you can eventually use before they go to remind them what to do.
Take them out for a longer walk or some playtime only after they have eliminated. If you are using puppy pads, then place them in the same spot each time you change them. As the puppy goes on the pad, praise the puppy. Consider crate-training your puppy, because it will generally not relieve itself on or around its bedding area. You cannot leave the puppy for hours inside a crate, but with increasing increments of time, your puppy will learn to hold its bladder for longer periods.
Do not punish the puppy if you find a mess on the floor but didn't actually see your puppy in action. The puppy will not understand why you are angry. Do not rub its nose in pee or poop; it will not understand. If you catch the puppy in the act of going in an inappropriate place, say "No" and take it outside.
Praise your puppy when it does go potty in the correct place. Try to get outside in time so that the puppy learns that outdoors is where it should go. After the puppy relieves itself, praise it, reward it with a treat and bring it back inside so that it knows the only purpose of going outside that particular time was to go potty.