I swear, y’all humanz don’t know how easy ya have it sometimes. Ya git ta eat tasty food all the time, ya got critters ta clean up all your crumbs if ya drop em and give ya lovin’ whenever ya want it. Ya know what else ya got? Indoor bathrooms! You laugh, but ever try to make water when it’s ten below outside? Everything freezes up! Here are some ideas ta make it a little easier on us, especially when we’re learnin’.
Housebreaking Your Puppy in the Winter
1. Be Nice! Yer furry friends want ta make ya happy. If we do somethin’ that makes ya happy and ya give us a treat or a kind word, we like that an we’ll do it again. If we make a mistake (an we will!) take us outside ASAP and if ya can, take the mistake outside too. When we see it on the lawn, we learn that’s where ya want it and we’ll try to put it there next time!
2. Tools. Crates can be good, especially fer young dogs that like a safe place to go. They’ll try to not go where they sleep, so the crate is a place to help control what they’re gonna do. Ya gotta let them outside as soon as you open the crate tho! Ya might like to read our post on Crate Training Your New Puppy to tell ya all about it.
3. Use The Same Words – If ya use the same words for the same thing all the time, we will learn what that means. Ask if we wanna “Go Outside” or if you say “Go Potty” every time we do, we learn, we’re smart! (Maybe smarter than you, after all, who buys who’s food and who stays home and sleeps and plays all day!)
4. Make a Spot – Us dogs, we rely on our noses like y’all people do your eyes. When it’s cold, we can’t smell as well and that makes finding a spot to go a lot harder. Try walkin’ around in the snow lookin’ fer a place ta go in your bare feet. If you can’t find the spot quick, you’d give up too. Clear off a spot ahead of time and it makes it easier fer us ta go and fer you to clean up!
5. Routine – This is kinda like usin’ the same words. Do things the same every time so we know what ta expect and so do you. When we wake up, after we play, after we eat, just like you, this is when we will have ta go, so take us out an make it easy on both of us.
Later on, you can teach fancy tricks like ringin’ a bell or somethin’ so we can let ya know we wanna go, but that’s fer later! Don’t make takin’ us outside a chore, we can tell if you don’t wanna go and if you don’t wanna, we won’t wanna make ya, we’ll just do it inside instead. Keep a coat an boots by the door so we can both be as comfortable as possible.