Potty training your new puppy can be a time-consuming process that tests your patience to no end. As much as you love your little bundle of joy, the constant cleaning up every time they have an accident can be bothersome.
The best time to potty train your puppy will be when it’s around 7 and a half weeks old. Any earlier and it might not be ready for potty training.
Be aware of what you should NOT do
The key point to note here is that you should NOT scold or shout at your puppy if it has an accident. Hitting it is a no-no too.
So many new owners make this mistake without realizing that they’re just having a negative effect on the puppy and it’s not helping the situation. You’ll need to be patient and train your pup with encouragement. Not fear.
When does a pup need to go potty?
Generally, most puppies will need to go potty either to eliminate waste or to mark their territory. Since your pup will probably be at home most of the time, the former reason will apply.
A puppy will usually have to potty after it eats, sleeps or plays. This is the rule of thumb. If your puppy is engaged in any of these activities, it will probably need to potty soon after.
Puppy potty training tips
It’s crucial that you have a fixed routine for your pup. Have a regular meal schedule and feed your dog at the same time daily. Then bring him/her out to potty whether or not they feel like it.
Most pups at around 2 years of age will be able to hold their bladders for about 90 minutes to 2 hours. So, bringing them out regularly will help them to understand that they should potty outside.
Alternatively, you may wish to use a potty pad that you place at a fixed spot in the house. After meals, naps or play sessions, bring your puppy to the spot and wait with it there until it pees or poos.
When it does the job, do immediately reward it with a little treat so that it knows it did a good job. Do not delay the reward. Most puppies have a short term memory.
Crate training is an important requirement when potty training your dog. The crate serves as a space where your dog can rest and feel safe. It should be large enough for your pup to stand and move around a little, but not too big.
Generally, your puppy will not relieve itself in the crate. It doesn’t want the discomfort of being close to its excrement. This is why the crate should not be too big. A huge crate will make your puppy more likely to relieve itself in the corner.
A command of encouragement such as “Good boy!” should be said every time it relieves itself at the right spot. This will associate its behavior with a positive outcome.
Observe the signs and patterns in your puppy’s behavior. Very often, it will display the same signs when it needs to go potty. This will allow you to quickly bring it out or show it to the potty pad.
Some owners may prefer to use a potty training spray to help the dog identify the correct spot where it should relieve itself. You may wish to give it a try.
What to do when accidents happen
Whenever your dog has an accident or is in the midst of having one, quickly say, “No no!” and bring it to the pre-designated spot where it’s supposed to go potty. Doing this quickly will help to sear the event in the dog’s mind and it will realize that it should not be relieving itself at other spots.
When bringing your puppy out to potty, it’s crucial that you bring it to the same spot daily. The pup is young and needs familiarity.
Once it’s older, you’ll be able to bring it out anywhere you want and it’ll find a spot for itself. But when starting out, familiarity and repetition are very important.
The tips above are highly effective when potty training a puppy. This is not rocket science. As long as you’re consistent and repeat the same actions over and over, your puppy will get the point.
Dogs are intelligent animals and as the pup gets older, it will know how to hold its bladder until you bring it out, or it will relieve itself at the specified spot (determined by you) in the house.
The most important point to note is that you need to have patience. Don’t try to rush the process or get overly emotional about it. Your pup wants to please you. Give it time to learn what you’re teaching it.
“Money can buy you a fine dog, but only love can make him wag his tail.” – Kinky Friedman