How to potty train a puppy, this has to be one of the most commonly asked puppy training questions and is probably the skill/behavior that requires the most time and effort. Teaching a puppy to potty train requires a lot of patience and persistence on the owner’s part; it’s definitely not a walk in the park so be ready for what will be a journey of ups and downs. Yes, that’s right our fur babies will have potty accidents but they don’t know any better, and it’s up to you to teach them what good and bad – exciting times ahead.
It’s all about getting to know your puppy and there natural behaviors, all puppies have different personalities and they will exhibit signs which tell you when it’s time for them to go potty i.e. sniffing, waddling, walking in circles etc.
Puppies have a small bladder and need to go often as they have little control over their bowel movements in their younger stages. As a general rule puppies will need to go upon waking up, before going to bed, and not long after feeding. Newborn puppies will need to go approximately every hour so training pads may be useful in this instance, and as they grow they will develop better bladder control and the time between toileting will increase for example at 3-6 months they may need to go every 2 hours and so forth.
In some ways puppy potty training can be likened to potty training a toddler aside from the obvious differences, they learn by routine, repetition and rewarding good behavior. When potty training doesn’t quite go to plan and accidents happen KEEP CALM and use stern/ firm words or time-out to reinforce that the behavior is wrong. Never use violence or aggression as punishment, be gentle but firm.
Here are a few essential tips/ methods to ensure you are successful with potty training your puppy:
Have a DESIGNATED SPOT for potty/ toileting either inside or outdoors so your puppy can learn where they need to go to pee/ poo. If inside puppy training pads may be an option. This step is important and it is essential you don’t get complacent as all your hard work will go to waste, YOU MUST take the puppy (use a leash to lead them if you can) to the designated spot each and every time they need to go potty until it become ingrained.
Get into a routine with potty training by establishing a SCHEDULE of feeding, sleep, play etc. this way you can plan your puppy’s relative potty times.
Establish a COMMAND such as “potty time” and use this each time your puppy needs to go. They will overtime become familiar with the term and know exactly what to do.
Immediately REWARD your puppy after they have gone potty with lots of praise, affection and treats. Positive reinforcement is imperative.
It is important to ACT QUICKLY when you notice your puppy needs to go potty, to avoid accidents.
CLEAN up quickly if your puppy has an accident using a cleaning deodorizer or similar. Dogs work on scents so the smell might indicate to the puppy it is OK to go potty in that spot if not cleaned.
Get started potty training your puppy as soon as possible so they learn early on, this will make your life a lot easier going forward. Good luck and have fun training your fur baby!
You can Also read about Six Dog Training Tips to Modify Negative Behavior