Received a cute little Teddy Bear or Golden Retriever puppy under the Christmas tree this year? They sure are adorable, but you must commit to training the puppy immediately before they pick up bad habits. For many, house training is a frustrating experience. Quite simply, it really comes down to a few key points: preventing indoor accidents through confinement and close supervision; regularly and frequently taking the puppy outside; and rewarding him or her for going to the bathroom where you want. It is very important to remember that puppies, especially those under 12 weeks old, don’t yet have full control over their bladders. This is true if the pup is a small breed such as a Pomeranian or a big one such as a Great Pyrenees. Given this, frequent trips outside are necessary to provide your pups with the chance to relieve themselves. Taking them out literally every hour will help them learn while they gain control of bodily functions. As they are taken to the same location in the yard, they will start going there on their own. You also need to pay attention to your puppy’s actions. Pacing, whining, moving in circles, and sniffing the floor are all signs the dog needs to relieve themselves. Make sure to reward them either with affection and praise or with a small training treat when they relieve themselves in the proper spot. Never physically punish your puppy if they have an accident. If you catch him in the act, clap sharply; just enough to startle them into stopping. Then immediately take them outside. If they finish in the desired location, reward them with a treat and give them pets. Never punish your puppy for something you find after the fact. Dogs do not associate the punishment for something that has already happened. More than anything, house training requires time, effort, and a lot of patience. Trust us. Consistently training the pup will pay off sooner than you think and you will have a happy, healthy, and housebroken puppy.