You just got a puppy and you are so excited, but now what? If you start training your puppy from the moment it comes home, then you can bypass a lot of bad behaviors. I feel the main problem dog owners face is when the puppy gets in the habit of going in the house. Once the habit is started, it makes house breaking more difficult. It is important to not let your puppy get into that habit. Below are nine ways that you can potty train your puppy.
1) Consistency – It’s essential to take your puppy out routinely. Keep it on a schedule so it can learn to hold it until the next potty break. If you can stay consistent with your routine then that is the first step. Puppies younger than four months may need at least twelve or fourteen potty breaks a day. Make a schedule and stick to it. Best times are first thing in the morning, after you puppy gets up from a nap, about five minutes after eating or drinking, and anytime you see the puppy sniffing the floor.
2) Words – Once the puppy is outside doing its business, repeat the same words each time. For example you can say “Go Potty” or “Potty time”. Saying this every time will teach them what those words mean, so later you can say “Go Potty” and they will know it’s time to go. You must remember to use the same words each time so the puppy will not get confused.
3) Play time – Remember that potty time is not play time, so once the puppy goes potty; you must bring it back inside right away. There is a time to play, and during bathroom breaks is not it. The puppy needs to learn the purpose of going outside, and that is to use the bathroom only.
4) Crate training – Everyone has a different opinion on crate training. However I have found that crate training has worked the best. Crates create a safe haven for dogs, and it taps into the natural instincts of keeping its den clean. Dogs do not like using the bathroom in there crate, so this is why crate training has proved to work. A crate is also seen as a safe, comforting place for your dog to come and relax. Once you take your dog outside, and it does not do its business, put it in the crate for thirty minutes, and try it again. Repeat until the puppy has gone potty outside.
5) Scents – Dogs rely on their scents of smell, so the best way to continue to have your dog go potty outside is by taking it to the same spot each time. Once it smells it’s urine from the last potty break, it will most likely go there again and again. This is why it’s so important to clean the accident areas in your house very good, or this could cause an issue with the puppy wanting to use the potty in the house instead of outside.
6) Make a schedule – First potty break should always be in the morning when the puppy wakes up. Having a new puppy is a round the clock reasonability and the puppy will need to learn your schedule. It is not reasonable to expect a puppy to hold its urine or feces until you get home from work, so you will have to work out a schedule that will work for you and your puppy both. Once you get a schedule that works, stick to it. Remember consistency is the key!
7) Signs – Learning what signs to look for, will help you know when your puppy needs to go out. Keep an eye on it at all times, and look for cues. Sniffing the carpet, circling, wiggling, or squatting are all sure signs that your puppy needs to be taken outside NOW!
8) Have patience – Every dog is different, just because your best friend potty trained her dog in a month, does not mean it will be the same for you. It could take you longer, or less time to house break your puppy. You cannot housebreak any dog over night, and you must be prepared to clean up some accidents. If you just stay persistent, then you can try to eliminate those accidents all together. Once your puppy does not have an accident in the house for one month, you can proudly say your pup is now potty trained.
9) Potty time – Once your puppy is potty trained, and learns to associate outside with potty, they will begin to show you when it’s time to go. Some dogs may stand by the door, waiting to be taken out. Others may bark at the door or leash. Some may even beg or whine. It’s your job to learn the signs that your dog needs to go out. Once you do, accidents should be few and far between.
Sheena Diane, Freelance Writer