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This is the 4th article in a 13-part series, ‘House Training – The Ultimate Guide.’
To make the house training process go as quickly and smoothly as possible, there are products and items that you’re going to need.
In this article I list those items, how to use them and why.
Depending on the method of house training you choose you may not need them all and I shall discuss when an item is or isn’t needed below.
You already know that the most essential tool is you, your dedication and patience. However, the many house training products, supplies and equipment that the pet industry has developed over the years can truly make the task easier and certainly a lot cleaner.
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Check List Of Essential House Training Products And Supplies
This is a reasonably complete list of items you need to house train your puppy or dog as smoothly and cleanly as possible. Other products are available, but they are above and beyond what you truly need so I’ve decided to leave out of the list what we might call ‘unnecessary, fancy house training gadgets.’
I’m only going to discuss items you’ll need when following this guide, items I’ve experience of using myself and things that will truly help toward your success and aren’t just for show or a ‘nice to have’ accessory:
- Leash and collar
- A suitable dog crate
- A puppy exercise or play pen
- Pet barriers (or baby gates)
- A plastic tarpaulin sheet
- Puppy pads and holder (for some, perhaps a litter tray)
- House training treats (for rewards!)
- Poop bags and a pooper scooper
- Cleaning products
Read on to discover why each item is of high importance and how it helps the house training process.
Leash And Collar
When you take your puppy to their chosen bathroom spot, the last thing you want is for them to wander off and get distracted, forgetting what they’re there for.
You want them to keep their mind on the job at hand.
In order to achieve this you need to have some control over their movement and for this you’ll need a leash and collar.
With a leash and collar you can snap it on to take them to potty at their scheduled times and by restricting their freedom of movement it cuts down on their ability to go in the wrong place.
This speeds up their learning of going in the one correct spot and not elsewhere.
Also, if your puppy is able to wander off and get distracted, potty breaks can take many more minutes than they necessarily have to which you really don’t in the middle of winter! You’ll be pleased to have some control over them then.
Read how to choose the right collars for your Labrador for advice on buying the correct size and type of collars.
Read how to choose the right leashes for your Labrador for advice on buying the correct size and types of leashes.
Personally, I Use A Slip Lead Around The House And Yard
What do I use? I’ve always used a slip lead for house training purposes.
A slip lead is very easy to use and importantly it’s very quick and easy to get on and off your puppy.
There’s also no need to replace it as your puppy grows because it adjusts to all necks unlike most collars.
The only time I don’t recommend a slip lead is if you have a real puller when on leash. Please be mindful of this as there’s potential to cause harm.
You need to train your puppy to accept a leash without pulling before using a slip lead.
A Suitable Crate
The quickest and smoothest way to a house trained dog or puppy is to use a mix of supervision and confinement.
You reward your puppy for pottying in the correct place and at the same time prevent them from pottying in the wrong place, especially on floors inside in your home.
When you supervise your puppy, you concentrate on their behavior and when they do their little pre-potty routine you’re there to see it and can scoop them up and take them to their bathroom spot before they eliminate.
When you cannot supervise your puppy, you can confine them to a crate to take advantage of their natural instincts to not soil in their den.
By crating them you remove their ability to sneak away and toilet where they shouldn’t. But just as importantly, because they will try their hardest to never soil in their crate you help them to build their bladder and bowel control.
These two facts will have a dramatic effect on your puppy’s speed of learning and will benefit you both greatly.
Additionally, you can find instructions on helping your puppy learn to love their crate by reading this step-by-step guide to crate training your puppy.
Finally, here is a write-up on using a crate to house train your puppy. Essential information if you’re going to use this method.
A Puppy Play Pen And Pet Barriers
An essential aspect to effective house training of your puppy is to prevent them from toileting in places where they shouldn’t.
The best way to do this is to initially restrict their living space to just a small area and gradually expand that space over time when they can be trusted.
If you let them have full run of your home right away, you’re letting yourself in for a world of trouble and could be finding (or not finding but just smelling) urine and feces in all hidden corners of your home.
Also, a spot they’ve used before they will likely want to use again as they’re attracted there by the smell.
So you want to provide a small enclosed space which limits the number of spots your puppy could potentially use as a bathroom spot and train them not to eliminate in this small area while encouraging them to go where you’ve chosen.
All this makes your training task easier and the smaller space is easier for you to keep clean in case of accidents too.
So how do you restrict a puppy’s living space? By use of either a puppy play or exercise pen, or by using a pet barrier (similar to a baby gate) to close off a single room for them to initially live in.
A Puppy Play Pen
A puppy play pen, or exercise pen is a strong and durable wire enclosure you can use to restrict and contain your puppy in a small and safe place.
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It’s main use is for somewhere you can place your puppy for short periods when you can’t keep your eye on them.
But it’s also for when you have to leave the home for a long time and need to create an area large enough for puppy to sleep and play in with an area for a bathroom spot to place puppy pads.
The pen should be placed where the family spends most of their time so the puppy is still with everyone and feels a part of everything, not isolated and ‘out of the way.’
It should be tall enough so that the puppy cannot climb out of it and it’s a very good idea to lay a plastic tarpaulin sheet under the pen and cover the floor with paper so any accidents are easily cleaned and it keeps your floor underneath spotless.
Heavy-Duty Exercise Pen:
This exercise pen is for longer term use, for large puppies or for adult Labs. It has 8 panels and can be set up in various shapes (rectangle, L-shape, octagonal) and easily folded for packing away when not being used. Highly recommended!
Finally, The Most Important Tool Is You.
The correct attitude, dedication and patience are the most important tools to have in any house trainers arsenal.
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You need to bring a cheerful and happy tone to all proceedings. Praise your puppy lots, punish them never, be punctual and dedicated in sticking to a routine and show an abundance of patience and understanding.
Unfortunately you have to source this yourself as it’s not available at the local pet store --)
My Complete House Training Program
This was part 4 in a 12-part series where I’ve tried to provide all the guidance you could possibly ever need and covered everything I can think of for you to be able to successfully house train your puppy or adult dog. Please see the entire series linked to below:
- Part 1: House Training – The Ultimate Guide
- Part 2: Basic Need To Know Facts Before You Start
- Part 3: The Mindset And Approach You Must Take
- Part 4: House Training Products, Supplies And Equipment You will Need
- Part 5: Accidents Happen: How To Remove Pet Stains And Odors
- Part 6: Feeding Choices Make A Massive Difference
- Part 7: How To Use A Crate To House Train A Puppy
- Part 8: House Training Without A Crate: Constant Supervision
- Part 9: How To Paper Train Your Puppy Or Dog The Easy Way
- Part 10: Umbilical Cord House Training: What is It? How Does It Work?
- Part 11: How To House Train A Puppy
- Part 12: How To House Train An Adult Dog – And Solving Common Issues
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