According to NJ Veterinarian, Dr. Paul Sedlacek, failed housetraining is the most common reason that families change their minds about keeping a new dog. That is a shame because training your dog not to relieve himself in the house is not particularly difficult, although there are several important points to keep in mind:
Establish what the word ?No? means as soon as possible. While the word itself has no significance to your dog, if he is startled by your voice and tone, it will stop him momentarily from doing whatever you?re telling him not to do and he will learn quickly that ?no? means to stop doing whatever he is doing when you say it. Some people start off by simultaneously shaking a noise-making device like a sealed metal ?shake can? with some coins or stones inside for this purpose. Whether you use a shake can or just your voice alone, the object is to just to startle your dog for a second (but not scare him) so that he stops whatever he is doing so that you can quickly redirect him, such as to go outside where you can praise him for going where he is supposed to.
Ordinarily, dogs (including puppies) will not relieve themselves where they sleep. That means one of the most important tools for housetraining a dog is a confined sleeping area that is not much bigger than necessary for the dog to lie down and turn around comfortably. Ideally, you should take your puppy outside to do his business right before you put him to sleep in his sleeping area at night; and you should take him out to do his business again as soon as you let him out of his confined sleeping area in the morning.
Expand the areas where your dog is allowed when he is outside of his sleeping area only gradually, starting with one room where you can keep an eye on him. Remember, that every time he has an accident when he is out of your site is a lost teaching opportunity to housetrain him as soon as possible. Initially, you should limit his indoor range to the areas where someone is always supervising him.
There is no point to ?punishing? your puppy for mistakes
because he will not understand why you are being mean to him. The only way to housetrain your dog successfully is to make sure that you (or someone else) is always close enough to catch him as soon as he starts to sniff around for a place to do his business before he actually squats to do it. At this stage, his accidents are your fault if you are not watching closely enough to stop them
before they happen.
You have a very small ?window? of opportunity where your intervention can help your dog understand that he is not supposed to relieve himself indoors. That window opens when you see him sniffing around for a spot and it closes when he actually does his business. If you are able to stop, correct, and redirect him outside a few dozen times without missing many opportunities, your dog will be housetrained much faster than if you try to
scold him after the fact 100 times.
a cat and a Litter box (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Cats are much easier to housetrain than dogs. Usually, they will begin relieving
themselves in a litter box as soon they realize what it is. You can help them make that connection by putting them into the litter box right after feeding time. If they relieve themselves anywhere else, just scoop up some of it and put it in the litter box. Finally, a dirty litter box is just like having no litter box at all because your cat will just ?improvise? in another area if you
don?t keep his litter box clean.
Some can be trained to use a litter box, or at least to use a specific corner of their cages relatively consistently. Rabbits and ferrets can usually be trained to use a litter box, relying on the same method as litter box training a cat, although it takes longer and they may always be more inconsistent about it than cats. Other small pets like hamsters, gerbils, and rats, typically pick out one corner in their cages to use as a bathroom, but only if you keep the rest of their cages very clean. Keeping their cages clean is crucial but they can be reminded where they are supposed to go the same way as cats if they make a mistake.
A pet can offer many years of companionship and joy. Getting off on the right foot by establishing a structured house-training regime is key.