Even though Spring is right around the corner the temperatures still might drop below freezing and if you have a new puppy you're housebreaking that might create a few challenges. Just remember to have patience and use these 5 tips and you'll be off to a running start.
1. Prepare the Location
One problem dogs have during the winter is they can't smell as well, the cold air diminishes scent, making it difficult to find the perfect spot. The trick is to prepare a place in your yard for them to go, grab a shovel and clear a patch a lawn. Now your dog can easily find a nice patch of grass to go on, limiting this to only one place will also help in the clean-up process.
2. Know the Routine
Dogs need to go to go to the bathroom as soon as they wake up, just like humans so when their feet hit the floor so should yours and go straight to the door. Also be aware that they need to use the bathroom after they play and a few minutes after the eat. Anticipate your pets needs and be proactive by getting them on a regular schedule.
3. Rewards Work Better Than Punishments
Dogs love to please their owners and they'll go out of their way to repeat that behavior. When there is an accident in the house don't punish the dog instead take them outside immediately, if possible take the waste with you and place it on the lawn. When the dog goes to the bathroom outside reward them with praise and/or treats from the Petcurean Spike Treats lineup:
4. Use Consistent Language
Teach your dog the words you want to use, such as “do you want to go outside” when you take them out, that way they'll get to know the routine. We love using a bell on the door and getting the dogs to ring it when they need to go out, every time we take them out we make them ring it to learn the routine and now they do it without us prompting them.
5. Choose the Right Tools
We love that LouLou is crate trained because it gives her a safe place to go and she won't go to the bathroom in her crate, it becomes a great tool for training. If you choose to use a crate make sure you let your dog outside immediately after you open it.
The bell method on the door is also a great tool to use and inexpensive. You can pick up a bell at the dollar store and use an old lanyard to hang it from the doorknob.
Always make sure the housebreaking experience is a positive one! If your dog senses you don't want to go outside chances are they'll try not to go out. Keep your boot and a coast near the door so you're comfortable while they're outside taking care of business.
What's your best cold weather housebreaking tip?