If you are nervous about house training your new poodle, don't be! Poodles are a highly intelligent breed that typically respond well to training. With patience and consistency, house training your new poodle can be a quick, even enjoyable, process.
Develop a feeding routine with your poodle. Try to feed him his meals at the same time each day and take him outside after every meal. Poodles are easily able to recognize patterns of behavior so establishing a routine will make the process of training your poodle much easier. If you feed your poodle at the same time each day you will be able to predict when he will need to go out.
Supervise your poodle while you are at home and keep him in the same room with you at all times, if possible. By supervising your poodle you will be able to watch for signs that he has to go and take him outside before he has an accident in the house. Sniffing the ground and walking in circles are common signs that a dog has to go.
Take your poodle outside every hour or two and give him an opportunity to do his business. If your poodle does not need to go, take him back inside without giving him too much time to wander and try again 30 minutes later.
Lead your poodle to the same place in your yard each time you take him outside. By doing so, your poodle will learn to establish that particular area of the yard as the designated place in which he should do his business.
Praise your poodle excitedly every time he does his business in the correct area of the yard. You may also reward your poodle with a small piece of food or with a physical reward such as a belly rub. Rewarding your poodle for good behavior is the best way to encourage him to repeat that behavior in the future.
Keep your poodle in a crate overnight and during long absences to help teach him that he is capable of holding his urge to go. Poodles have a natural aversion to soiling their dens so if you keep your poodle in a crate overnight rather than letting him roam free, he is less likely to have an accident.
Take your poodle outside right before and immediately after confining him to the crate. Lead your poodle to the designated area of the yard and give him a chance to do his business then reward him when he does so.
Take away your poodle's water dish about two hours before bedtime to help reduce the chance that he needs to go during the night. Do not keep any food or water in the crate with your poodle.
- Puppies under six months of age shouldn't be left in the crate for more than three or four hours at a time. If you need to confine your poodle longer than that, have a family member or friend stop by to let your poodle out while you are gone.
- When selecting a crate for your poodle, choose one that is just large enough for your dog to stand up and lie down comfortably - there should not be much extra space. Line the crate with a soft blanket or plush dog bed.
- Never hit or yell at your poodle during training. Negative reinforcement will only teach your poodle to form a negative association with the training and possibly with you -- positive reinforcement is a much more effective training method.
Katherine Barrington has written on a variety of topics, from arts and crafts to pets, health and do-it-yourself projects. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English with a creative writing concentration from Marietta College.