North Eden Dachshunds
Here are my methods for house training.
House training and crate training go hand in hand. Have your puppy sleep in a crate at night and during the day for naps. Puppies will naturally try and keep their bedding area clean, so this will help train them to hold it until they are outside, or at least outside the crate.
Take your puppy outside immediately upon waking up. Before any petting or playing or happy time, first take care of business.
Go outside with your puppy. Take him to the designated area where you want him to go and stand there until he goes. Don't play or do anything, just stand still like a statue and look out of the corner of your eye pretending not to notice him. When he finally goes potty, praise him and play a bit, but wait for number two, don't head right back inside.
Offer water while outside. This will get all the juices flowing.
Choose a designated potty place and always take him to that place. The smell and the memory will trigger his urge to go.
Take him outside to the chosen place at least every two hours or so during the day and evening. You don't have to wake him up from a nap to go potty, but keep in mind that when he does wake up he will have to go right away.
It's not a bad idea to have a word you use to signal that it's time to go, like potty or whatever you're comfortable with. Say that word to him softly while he's going and it might help train him to go on command.
When he's in the house watch him closely. Don't let him out of your site. Put a tether on him if you have to, to keep him from wandering away. If he starts to circle or squat, snatch him up quickly, say No firmly and take him outside to the designated area immediately. You won't have time to put on your shoes and coat, so be prepared. When you say No! don't say it gently like No, now don't do that. Say it firmly, like his mother would. She would let out a sharp yap to correct him. They catch on much quicker when you are clear about what is ok and what is not. You don't have to use the word No, it can be any word you want. I use Uh-uh! It's easier for me to utter loudly enough and I don't have to feel like I'm yelling.
If you're too busy to watch your puppy in the house, put him in his crate. As long as he's had enough time to play he won't mind a little quiet rest time. If he's not sleepy a toy or rawhide will occupy him.
Take your puppy outside after he eats. I like to feed my dogs in their crates. Then when they are done I take them outside and offer them water. They have a drink and run around a little and everything else just naturally follows. They like to play right after they eat, but are ready for a nap soon after all the business is taken care of,
Don't feed your puppy too often. Twice a day is enough for a pup that is 2-5 months old, after that once a day is enough for most dachshunds. Gauge the amount of food needed by how your dog looks, don't follow the recommendations on the package. Puppies will get tummy aches and will produce massive amounts of soft stools if they overeat. Measure the amount of food carefully, set it down and let him eat until he is done. If it isn't gone in ten minutes, then pick it up. Don't let him free feed all day long. This will cause him to overeat or become finicky. Either way it won't help with your house-training efforts. Regular mealtimes will ultimately result in regular bowel movements. Don't feed too late in the evening, and don't offer water beyond a couple hours after supper. If I feed supper at 6 pm I pick up the water at 8 pm. That way my puppy is ready for bed at 10 pm after going outside one last time, and should be able to hold it till at least 6 am.
The early training
Here is the method I use to prepare your puppy for house training as soon as he is barely old enough to walk. Mothers lick their puppies and keep them clean for the first few weeks of their lives. After that, the responsibility falls on my shoulders.
I start my puppies on paper training at around 3 1/2 weeks old. They move from their whelping pen to larger quarters with a secluded bed area and somewhat separated play and potty areas. At first I cover everything with newspaper. I like to use roll ends from the local newspaper office, they don't have ink on them and are much cleaner. Puppies will toddle out of bed to potty even before they are old enough to walk straight. They have a natural instinct to keep their bedding area clean. Of course there are accidents sometimes. I change the bedding as often as necessary, sometimes 5 times a day or more at first. It's important that they not get used to sleeping on soiled bedding.
By the time the pups are 5-6 weeks old they are going only on the paper and I can gradually decrease the paper area and leave some cleared floor for them to play on. I don't attempt to train them to go outside until they are at least 8 weeks old and have had 2 sets of shots.
The transition from paper training to house training is a gradual one. Since they are used to going in the house they think nothing of it. New puppy owners can place a newspaper near the door they will go out for potty, and show the pup where it is, in hopes that he will go over there when he feels the urge to go. Hopefully it's in full view, so they can rush over there and scoop him up and take him outside anytime he wanders near there. He'll eventually realize that going over to the door will get him put outside, which is where he's supposed to pee. It's a complicated concept for a little pup to grasp, but he'll catch on quick if you're consistent. That first few weeks is so important.
When accidents happen, clean them up with an enzyme cleaner to erase all trace of smell. That way he'll be less likely to remember using that spot in the past. Conversely, it's not a bad idea to leave a little poop and pee smell in the spot where you want him to go, at least at first until he starts to understand. Most importantly, don't let him out of your site when he's in the house. You don't want him making a mess and getting away with it. That will set you back days or weeks every time it happens. For the first few weeks he needs constant reinforcement that in the house is not the place to go. Your diligence will pay off with a lifetime of clean floors, so when your puppy is running free through the house, pay attention.
Puppies do not need to run free through the house all the time. Most of the time they should be in a pen or a crate or a fenced in yard. I like to let my pups run through the house in the mornings after potty and before breakfast, then again in the evening after supper and potty but before last call for water. It's always a fun time, and I devote 100% of my attention to them. I bring out the toys and usually sit nearby and watch them play, or I sit in the middle of the floor and play with them. Immediately after playtime they need to go outside and drink water and go potty. Then they're ready for a nap. Don't give your puppy rawhides or treats too close to bedtime, this will make him thirsty and if he drinks water too close to bedtime he'll have to pee during the night.
A word about paper training
Puppies love to shred paper and puppy pads, so it's not a good solution for any length of time. Unless you live in an apartment and want your puppy to permanently go on paper, you should get him started on house training right away, the moment you get him home for the first time. Introduce him to the potty place and a bowl of fresh water first before you introduce him to anything else.
Your puppy will naturally want to please you, so all you have to do is make it clear to him what pleases you. When he goes where he"s supposed to, be sure and praise him generously. He'll remember it and will want to please you more often. The key to having lifelong happiness with your pet is to take the time to pay attention to him, work with him and train him properly.
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