Housetraining your puppy is about to get real easy, so long as you are following these seven simple steps to success. That means that you have already purchased the right dog crate, perhaps a baby gate in the process, and have picked out the perfect potty spot (preferably in your back yard).
Step Three: Make Scents
Your puppy’s sense of smell is far better than yours. The canine snout has about 220 million cells designed specifically to detect scents, while we humans have only about 5 million such cells. Adding to that incredible scent-detecting capability is the moisture in and on your puppy’s nose, which lets it collect large numbers of scent molecules that together amplify what it’s already smelling.
Still, another scent-detection enhancement is your puppy’s olfactory center (the area of the brain that identifies scents) and nasal membrane, both of which are larger than the corresponding areas in human beings. All of those physiological differences mean that your puppy can detect lots of scents that you cannot.
So what does your puppy’s super sniffing mean for your efforts to housetrain it? Quite simply, you can use the scent of a previous bathroom break to show your puppy where you want it to take its next one. The next time your puppy pees, wipe its bottom with a paper towel or soft cloth, and save it.
At the next bathroom break, take the cloth and your puppy to the outdoor potty spot, and place the cloth on the spot. In all likelihood, your puppy will sniff the cloth intently, then re-anoint it. Repeat this process a few times, and soon your puppy will do its business on the potty spot without the cloth or any other prompting from you.
Step Four: Make A Schedule
Now that you’ve shown your puppy where you want it to do the doo, you need to show it when you want it to. For a while, though, the timing of its trips to the outdoor potty isn’t completely up to you. That’s because a puppy can’t hold its water – or the other stuff – for very long. In fact, puppies younger than 4 months of age may need 12 to 14 bathroom breaks each day.
The best way to keep track of all those bathroom breaks is to establish pre-determined times when you’ll feed your puppy, play with it, take it out and put it in the crate for a nap. Such a schedule not only gives you some predictability during the housetraining process, but your puppy will also become housetrained more quickly. That’s because if you take it out to eliminate at the same times every day, its body will become accustomed to the schedule, and it’ll be conditioned to do its business when you want it to.