Housebreaking should begin the minute you bring your new puppy home. It doesn’t matter whether your poodle is a pup or untrained adult, the principles of housebreaking are exactly the same. Have your puppy or adult poodle checked by your veterinarian first, to make sure he’s healthy. Worms and other health problems can make housebreaking impossible.
General Housebreaking Rules
You will have to monitor your puppy at all times. Generally a new puppy will have to go to the bathroom every one to two hours. The younger the puppy is and the smaller the breed, the more often they will have to go. So be sure to give your poodle the chance to eliminate outdoors at least this frequency, no matter how inconvenient. Never rub his nose in it, yell, spank or swat him. He is a baby.
- Prevention and Routine. The are certain times when your puppy will usually always have to go; when he first wakes up, a half hour after eating and drinking, after a play session and before bedtime. These potty preferences are individual. You will need to observe your poodle and figure out his unique schedule.
- Monitor Your Puppy At All Times. Out of site is into trouble. If your pup likes to run out of site, keep a lead on him in the house. If your poodle makes a mistake in the house it’s really your mistake. You shouldn’t give your pup an opportunity to go in the house. Always watch him carefully so if he does start to go, you can scoop him up and take him to the spot where you want him to eliminate.
- Give Your Pup A Safe Area. Your puppy will need a safe area he can rest and relax in when you are not home or cannot watch him. A crate, x-pen or other small confined area. Be sure to leave some toys so he doesn’t get bored when he’s alone and isn’t tired.
- Feeding & Watering Schedule. What goes in on a schedule will come out on a schedule. Feed your puppy a healthy diet – in the same place and at the same times each day. During the training period, do not let your puppy have access to water at all times. Put out water when you feed him and offer him some several times a day before you take him to his potty area. Also, limit treats during the training period.
- Designate A Potty Spot. Take your puppy to the same spot each time. This will stimulate him to go more quickly and will help him learn exactly why he’s there. Never send your puppy outside unsupervised to go potty. Stay with him and make sure he goes.
- Use A Potty Command. Train your puppy to go to the bathroom on command by using on special phrase such as Go Potty! This way your puppy will learn it must stop fooling around and do it’s business. In the future, particularly when you are in a hurry or traveling, you’ll be glad to have a cue so that your poodle understands when it’s an appropriate time and place to go.
- Praise Your Puppy. Just as your puppy finishes eliminating, in a quiet voice tell him what a good doggie he is. Dogs repeat activities that are rewarding to them, so let your puppy know when he has pleased you.
- When Accidents Happen. Don’t get upset and don’t punish the puppy, it can set back the housebreaking process drastically, especially if your puppy is shy or nervous. It is important for the puppy to learn that the act of relieving itself is not wrong, it is the act of relieving itself in the house that is wrong. Make sure to clean the area with a pet odor neutralizer. NEVER use a product with ammonia in it. Ammonia is in urine and the smell will be an invitation to go there again.
- Caught in the Act. If you catch your poodle making a mistake, make a startling sound by clapping your hands. This will often stop him mid pee. The scoop him up and take him to the right spot. When he finishes what he started, praise him.
- Don’t Expect Too Much Too Soon. Please, don’t expect your puppy to be completely housebroken until six months of age. Even at 4 months old, puppies have little bladder or bowel control.
- Housebreaking An Older Dog. The same methods for housebreaking a puppy can be used for an older dog as well. Establish your dog’s sleeping, eating, and elimination area. Spend as much time with your dog as possible and be patient. Give yourself and your new adult dog time to get to know each other.