Potty Training

How To Potty Train Your Dog Or Puppy

House training or potty training your new dog or puppy can be stressful if you aren’t sure how to begin. Three things that will help you through the potty training phase are consistency, patience and a lot of positive reinforcement. It’s all about instilling good habits for both you and your canine friend.

The routine that you establish for you and your dog will vary based on your dog’s breed. Smaller breeds have smaller bladders and higher metabolisms which means they require more frequent trips outside than larger breeds. Keep in mind that you may have to break old habits put in place by a breeder, pet store or rescue center as well.

When and How to Begin

Dogs or puppies usually go to the bathroom after they eat, during exercise, physical stimulation, excitement or after they wake up. Your puppy is capable of controlling his/her bladder somewhere between 12 and 16 weeks old. This is the ideal time to start implementing your routine. Begin by taking your puppy outside as soon as he/she wakes up. Once your puppy has done it’s business, reward him/her with a treat. Some things to keep in mind that will help you through your potting training adventure are:

  • Keep your puppy on a regular feeding schedule
  • Take your puppy outside after every meal
  • Take your puppy outside after every nap
  • Take your puppy to the same spot each time
  • Stay present while your puppy goes
  • Always praise your puppy for going where he/she is supposed to
  • Never use puppy pads

When you have a brand new dog or puppy there are two main components that go into good dog/man relationship or dogmanship, if you will. Number one is formal dog training. Dog training takes time, repetition and patience. The second component and the most overlooked aspect is dog management.

Dog management includes tools such as dog crates, baby gates & exercise pens. When you implement these dog management tools your dog will know what to expect. A crate can be an excellent way to house train your puppy as it allows you to keep track of your puppy. It also teaches him to hold it in until you open the crate and let him/her outside. If you’re going to use a crate, there are some guidelines to follow.

  • Use a crate that is big enough for your puppy to stand, turn around and lie down but not big enough to use the corner as a bathroom
  • If your puppy is in the crate more than 2 hours, provide water
  • If you must crate your puppy while you’re at work all day, make sure someone can come and give your puppy a break in the middle of the day until they are around 8 months old
  • If your puppy eliminates in the crate, stop using it

Eliminating in a crate can mean a few different things. For starters, it could mean that they have a bad habit established before you got your puppy. Your puppy could simply not be getting outside enough or the crate might be too big. Another reason could be that your puppy is just too young to hold it in for long periods of time. The key here is persistence and patience. Never scold your puppy for going in the wrong place. Positive reinforcement is the quickest way to get through the potty training journey.

It is important to pay attention to the ” I have to go” signs. If your dog is whining, circling, sniffing around or scratching at the door, then chances are, they have to go. A tool that could be helpful for you is to use a bell to train your dog to ask to go outside. This way you do not miss them asking.





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