Ideally, every dog would be both paper-trained and outdoor housetrained. You may think you'll always take the dog out when it needs to 'go', but there may be some times where you wish you had paper-trained your dog.
Paper-training means training your dog to relieve, or eliminate, itself on newspapers. You can train your dog to eliminate both on paper and outside quite easily but you must only reward correct outdoor elimination. Dog's have an instinct to avoid soiling their sleeping area so the key to paper-training is confinement. You will need to confine the puppy in an area where he must sleep and eliminate.
To properly paper-train your new puppy, follow the 10 steps below:
- Determine a confinement area about five to 15 square feet. In most cases, a small bathroom works best
- In the corner of the area, where you want your puppy to sleep, place a comfortable pet bed or a towel on the floor
- Do not leave food for the dog in the area. Only leave water for your pup if you will be gone more than six hours
- Opposite the dog bed, spread a large area of newspapers and make sure there's multiple layers of newspaper.
- When you come home, don't give a big greeting if you want the dog to learn to eliminate outside. Reserve the greeting until after he has eliminated for you when you take him out.
- Don't let your pup see you clean up any elimination.
- Remove all of the newspaper except the one with the smallest dot of urine soaked through. This carries the scent that will attract the dog to the spot in the future to eliminate.
- Put a new stack of newspaper on the floor. Place the soiled (scented) layer of newspaper on top.
- As the dog is successful, you should make the area covered by the paper smaller and smaller.
- Eventually, the dog will not soil the papers and be waiting to go to the area where the reward happens.
Also, keep in mind that a dog will normally move five to 15 feet away from its bed to eliminate. At first, your puppy will stand over the newspaper by coincidence when it relieves himself. Dr. Denis Fetco: "Dogs can hold urine one hour longer than their age in months." For example, a two-month old can hold for three hours, a puppy five months old can hold for six hours, etc., for up to 12 hours.