We understand that adding a new dog to your family can be a challenge, and we would like to support you during this transition. If you don’t find the answer you need, please reach out to us. We have a network of dedicated volunteers here to assist you, so please feel free to contact us at anytime (even years after your adoption).
When a puppy experiences a change in their environment, it is not uncommon for them to have a relapse in their training. Please understand PRS puppies have been practicing good habits while in foster care, and cared for by volunteers that are experienced in housebreaking puppies. When a puppy transitions into your home, they will need time to adjust to your house and learn to alert you when they need to go outside.
It typically takes 4-6 months for a puppy to be fully house trained, but some puppies may take up to a year. Since the vast majority of PRS puppies fall within this age range, it is wise to expect to have to do some training work in this area.
Smaller breeds have smaller bladders, higher metabolisms, and require more frequent trips outside. Do not be surprised if your puppy is not able to hold their bladder for long periods of time.
Scolding vs Positive Reinforcement
One of the worst things you can do to a PRS puppy is to scold them for an accident. It leads to submissive urination, which only amplifies the problem. Please be patient and kind. If you catch your puppy mid accident, distract him with a loud noise, and take them outside. It helps to go to a designated pee spot. Smelling their own scent can encourage your pup to pee in that same spot again. Also, the pup will realize you brought them outside to pee, not just to play. Make sure you reward them when they pee outside; you can use praise, treats, or both.
Make sure not to use the crate for long periods. Puppies are still too young make it through your work day in a crate. Someone will need to take your dog outside during the middle of the day for the first 8 months.
Don’t use a crate if puppy is eliminating in it. This can mean that the crate may be too big; or is not getting enough outside bathroom breaks, or your puppy may simply be too young to hold it in.
You should always leave out water for your puppy, but the rules for feeding are a bit different. A feeding schedule will help regulate when a puppy poops, which increases the odds of you having them outdoors when that happens. Each puppy is different, and you will quickly discover how long after eating, your puppy needs to poop.
If you are having problems housebreaking a dog, there is a chance that there could be a medical problem. If this possibility, please visit a vet.
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