Now that you already have your basic plan, it’s time to further reinforce the lesson with a few effective tips that can really help the process.
1. Prepare a den for him. As we’ve already mentioned, dogs in general are instinctively den animals. Most pups don’t really want to spoil the area around them. But if you give them too much space, then they may want to relieve themselves in some nearby rooms. You can then gradually increase the space he can roam in your home. But at night, use a crate or a pen.
2. Don’t let him see you clean up after his accidents. This should be done more privately. When you clean up after him after he does his business where he shouldn’t, he may think that it’s alright to do it there. It may seem to him that you approve, and he’ll keep on doing it. Instead, take him to another room while you clean up.
3. Remove the scent from the accident area. Of course, you want to do this because the odor isn’t all that appealing. But the main reason here is that your puppy tends to go to areas where his scent is strong and concentrated. So you should use a mixture of equal parts of vinegar and water to eliminate the scent. You can also use some alternative odor removal products from your local pet store.
4. Be careful about correcting bad behavior. Sometimes this works, and sometimes it doesn’t. You have to know the difference. For example, when your pup is about to does his business in an area where he isn’t supposed to, you can startle him by making loud noises such as clapping your hands as you say “stop”. You can even jump excitedly to get his attention and interrupt him. Once that’s done, you should return to a more relaxed demeanor. You can calmly direct him to the right place. Then when he resumes his business, you can lather praise on him. But this is perhaps the only possible use of “correction”. Frightening him for something that he’s done won’t work. If he has an accident, you need to control your anger and frustration. He’s not out to make your life miserable. It’s simply part of your duty as a dog owner, which is pretty much like being a full-time parent.
5. Be careful about how you feed him. Puppies have special dietary needs, and you should be consistent about the brand of dog food you use. In fact, you should only choose a brand other than what he’s used to if and when your vet suggests it. Puppies also tend to gorge, so you need to limit his food during feeding time. You don’t just lay out food for him for all hours of the day either.
6. Watch for the food treats. Using food treats is always an effective training method, but it can affect elimination schedules. You may want to try a different motivational tool if your puppy keeps on doing his business at very random times.
7. Mind the water consumption. You should limit his intake of water too. But you have to watch out that you don’t dehydrate your dog. Give him water when he’s feeling extra lethargic or he’s panting. You should prepare half a cup of water three times a day, and you can also consult your vet. But in general, you should stop offering your dog water by 7:30 PM or so, so that there are no accidents during the night when he sleeps.