What’s the best time of day for a pup to learn to house-train?
One of the biggest concerns for new puppy parents is house-training. And the biggest challenge of house-training? Identifying when a pup is in the best frame of mind to learn.
Just like humans, puppies are more alert in the mornings, so take them out early and encourage them to ‘go’. House training is mostly a matter of getting puppies into a routine so they have structure and familiarity. Doing something over and over creates a habit – and an early toilet break gives you more opportunities to repeat the process through the day.
A good rule of thumb is to take them out every 2 to 3 hours, or whenever there’s a natural break in action, such as after they’ve woken or eaten. Reward them by piling on praise or taking time out to play together – this sends a message that going outside is a good thing.
Keep up your puppy’s toilet-break routine, use positive reinforcement and they’ll soon figure it all out. And remember, if your puppy is having regular accidents or showing signs of anxiety or stress, check in with your vet.
Too little to leave the house? Try these indoor ‘exercises’
Puppies need playtime – and lots of it! Good news if yours is still too tiny for long walks on a lead. Indoor play for pups can be just as good exercise for them as walkies, but it’s a safer environment for a vulnerable, growing pup. It’s also a great way to get in some quality bonding time.
The secret to keeping them moving is to choose play activities that will hold their interest. Pick out toys that are challenging for them –a rubber toy with a treat tucked inside will keep them running about for ages, while a DIY obstacle course made from cushions stacked together makes a great tunnel for them to explore.
Don’t forget classic games. It’s part of a pup’s nature to enjoy retrieving, pouncing, and playing hide and seek, so play a round of fetch with a plush toy or some squeaky toys. Keep a selection to hand so you can swap them out every few days. Doing so will keep your puppy interested and give you a chance to clean any that might get a bit grubby.
However you play, remember to do it safely. Make sure toys don’t have small parts that could be swallowed and avoid rough games. And if your puppy’s not feeling it, don’t force them to play. While it’s true they need plenty of playtime and exercise, it’s also true they need plenty of naptime.
Barking, whining, yelping – just what is your puppy trying to say?
Understanding just what’s going on in your puppy’s mind isn’t always easy. After all, the noises a puppy makes can take a bit of getting used to at first. Everything from high-pitched whimpers to full-blown barks can leave a new owner wondering just what it all means. Well, turns out they’re revealing more about themselves and their personality than you might realise.
The bark: For puppies, barking is usually a show of confidence. They might bark at the postman, or at the neighbour’s dog – those things may well be bigger than your pup, but he or she is still determined to prove they could take it on. As with adult dogs, though, barking can also be an alert: ‘someone’s here’ or ‘I want to play!’
The whimper: It’s always a little heart-breaking to hear a whimper from your puppy, and here’s the truth – that’s exactly why they do it! Whimpers usually mean they’re in need of something, whether it’s food, warmth, or even the toilet, and if you pay them some attention, the whimpers will usually stop.
The yelp: If you’re hearing a yelp from your puppy, listen to the length of it. One short, sharp yelp could mean they’re in pain – but a few high yelps at once probably means excitement. Especially if you’ve just walked through the door.
If you would like to find out more about different breeds of dogs and cats, including their characteristics, exercise and nutrition essentials, click here
Disclaimer: The content on this page aims to offer useful information but does not constitute veterinary advice. If your dog or cat falls ill or has an injury, contact your vet immediately.