You’re an adult. He’s a puppy. It’s easy to get upset when you find the latest surprise, there are bound to be a few accidents.
Prepare for accidents.
If you are surprised by a squish, the common reaction is anger. If he associates your anger with what he did rather than where he did it, he might try to hide it.
Clean accidents quickly and thoroughly.
If smells linger, he’ll be attracted back to the same spot.
Make it a family affair.
Everyone in your family should participate in the training so your puppy learns to go for everyone.
Focus on the positives.
Reward him with a treat after he potties outside, and ignore the inside accidents. The only time to focus on the incorrect behavior: when you catch him while he’s doing it. Startle him enough to stop (do not scare him), move him quickly outside, and praise him when he goes in the right spot.
Set a schedule.
Remember what goes in, must come out! Structure his time for pottying AND for eating and drinking, and be sure to connect the two.
Take him out OFTEN.
Take him out first thing in the morning, after he eats and drinks, and every 1-2 hours when he’s first home (yes, even at night).
Focus when you’re outside.
Potty time is not play time. While you’re training him, take him out, wait for him to do his business, reward him, and take him back in.
Teach him to use one spot.
Take him to the right spot every time and reward him when he goes there.
Teach him a signal.
Hanging a bell or a baby’s rattle near the door. Ring the bell every time as you’re going out to potty, and gradually teach your dog to tap the bell with his paw each time he goes out.
If you’re containing him for short periods of time keep him in a very small area. It should be just big enough for him to comfortably stand up, turn around, and lie down. If you need to leave him longer put him in a larger area with easy to clean floors, use a litter pan or absorbent puppy pads to show him where it’s OK to go.
Submitted by Kathryn Rutledge, Invisible Fence of South East Ontario
1 866 804 1250, www.seoontario.invisiblefence.com