Tips To Potty Training A Puppy

Puppy Potty Training

House training or potty training a puppy is one of the first few important tasks that every new dog owners will have to undertake when they first introduce their puppy to its new home.

While the initial puppy potty training process can be challenging especially when you are a new owner or when the puppy is just a few weeks old, the good news is all puppies can be toilet trained successfully if you are persistent, patient and take it a step at a time.

To have a young puppy establish good toilet habits early, here are a few common sense housebreaking tips you can apply to potty training a puppy successfully.

  1. The first thing you need to do is to learn as much as possible about the breed of your puppy. By talking to other dog owners, veterinarians and reading books, you can discover many tips and pointers along the way to help you in your puppy potty training process.

  2. Remember that puppies are still young and developing. Because of this, they do not have a very large bladder nor do they have much control holding their bladder. When potty training a puppy, give the puppy ample opportunity to eliminate in a proper location. For most people this location is outside. Other people encourage their dogs to use indoor dog litter boxes or grass boxes (as might be the case for a small dog living on the 98th floor in New York City). As long as your pup has a place to go to the bathroom and is given the opportunity to use it, the method and location is up to your discretion and lifestyle.

  3. As a basic rule of thumb, a puppy can hold his or her bladder for the number of hours that is equivalent to their age. For example, if a puppy is 1 month old, they can hold their bladder for 1 hour, and then they will need to have an opportunity to eliminate. The same is true even at night and in inclement weather! Making the effort to get up and go outside is one of the pledges you made to your puppy when you adopted him or her! Don’t worry... as they mature, dogs gain better bladder control. Each dog is an individual, so keep a schedule that works for your dog.

  4. When you wake up in the morning, avoid praising or greeting your puppy until he has used the bathroom. This will develop into a routine for him and once he realizes that he gets a lot of loving attention and praise after he uses the bathroom in the morning, this pattern will stick in his head and he will understand what to do in order to get what he wants, which is your praise!

  5. Having a puppy often entails a change in lifestyle. Undertaking this experience, while rewarding, requires a large amount of commitment. If you are unable to go home and let the puppy out to go to the bathroom every few hours or so, then you will need to make arrangements for someone else to be on duty to do it. Alternatively, you may also like to crate train your puppy. Crates are an excellent tool to use when potty training a puppy because puppies are reluctant to soil the place where they sleep (but if they are forced to do so, they will, and that can create a problem in future house training efforts. Forcing your puppy or dog to soil their crate should be avoided at all cost. Consult a vet or a professional dog trainer if your puppy or dog goes to the bathroom in the crate even without spending a lot of time there. There could either be a more complicated training issue involved or a medical concern.

  6. When you do bring your puppy outside of the house to their place to do their business, make sure that you have them on a leash. This prevents them from spending time sniffing, playing, chewing on flowers, chasing bugs and other puppy activities (which are necessary activities, just not during potty time)!

  7. Always keep an eye on puppy whether he/she is inside or outside the house. Not only does this prevent the pup from getting into things that you do not want them to chew or shred, but you can look for signals that the pup needs to go to the bathroom. Such signs are sniffing, circling and beginning to squat. If you see any of these signs, be sure to quickly whisk your puppy outside or to their “spot”, so you can interrupt and prevent elimination in the incorrect spot and instead reward him or her for going to the right place.

  8. When you start to potty train your puppy, choose a cue word like 'go potty' and stick to using the same command everytime so that he or she will understand what it means each time you lead him/her to the potty area. Similarly, whatever route you take from the house to his potty area, use the same path every single time you take him to use the bathroom. This will help create a pattern so that he understands that it is time to go to the bathroom when you are walking him through the same route.

  9. It goes without saying that you need to be generous with your praises, treats and loving caresses when your puppy properly eliminates in the designated area. You must help him associate housebreaking with a positive experience. Showering him with treats and affection will increase the likelihood of your puppy going to the correct place because they will want to earn those yummy treats (and going to wrong location, such as your living room, will earn them nothing).

  10. While potty training a puppy, accidents may still happen. When you do come across an accident, simply clean it up and vow to be more diligent about making sure you watch your puppy for signs and taking him or her outside more frequently. Punishing a puppy for an accident can actually make potty training more difficult. If the pup associates bad things happening when they have an accident in front of you, they can learn that it’s safer to eliminate behind the sofa and out of your sight. The more often a creature repeats and practices a behavior the better they become at it. You don’t want your puppy to start a habit of eliminating behind the furniture.

Given proper attention and training, the process of potty training a puppy should take approximately two to four weeks to establish a routine and between six to twelve months to be completed. And remember to start the potty training a puppy early because it is always easier to cultivate good habits in a dog from the beginning than it is to break bad habits later.


Potty Training A Puppy


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