How To Potty Train Your Puppy
While puppies are very cute, puppy accidents in the house are not. Potty training your puppy early can make all the difference in his development and help you avoid ruined floors. This guide will provide you with all the essential information you need to know on how to potty train your puppy. We even offer a brief training on how to crate train your puppy.
Puppy Potty Training Tools
When it comes to potty training your puppy, having the right tools can make the task a lot easier and can help your puppy get the proper training quicker. It’s important to note that each home is different and each puppy is different. So be sure to combine and use what methods and tools work best for you and your puppy.
Appropriately Sized Crate
Knowing how to crate train a puppy is an essential part of puppy training. Dogs like to have spaces that they can curl up in and feel safe. While your puppy may not be a fan of the crate at first, teaching them that it’s their safe space to sleep will help them in the long run. Whether you want to travel, go to the vet, or just want them to have a place to sleep at night, crate training is essential. Crate training your puppy also helps prevent accidents within the home. To start crate training you’ll want to make sure that the crate provides only enough space for your puppy to lay down, stand up, and turn around in. You don’t want your puppy to have a large space to roam or they may potty in their crate. Dogs don’t like to potty where they lay, so a crate that only allows enough space for them to rest comfortably is key. Many crates have dividers so you can provide more space as your puppy grows. Before your puppy goes in his crate and immediately after he comes out, you need to take him outside to go potty. This will help prevent accidents.
Remember, puppies can only hold their bladder for the number of hours that correspond to the number of months old they are. A puppy that is 4 months old may need to pee every 4 hours. So you may get a wake up call in the middle of the night until your puppy can make it through the night without needing a bathroom break.
Puppy Potty Pads
Using puppy potty pads can help prevent accidents within the home. While it’s not the best idea to confuse your puppy on where it’s okay to potty in the house, sometimes puppy pads are needed. If you are someone that works away from home or needs to leave your puppy for a period of time, having potty pads in a designated area can help your puppy learn that if they really need to go and can’t go outside, that this is an okay spot to go. Be sure to keep the pads in the same spot so that your puppy knows where to find them. Remember, consistency is key.
Using a dog potty bell that hangs from your door handle can be a helpful way to train your puppy to alert you that he needs to go potty. To begin training your puppy on how to use the bell, show him with his paw or nose that if he hits the bell you go outside. Every time you take him outside to use the potty, have him ring the bell and praise him when he does. This will teach him that the bell gets him outside. Be consistent. Make it fun.
Treats And Positive Reinforcement
The best way to teach your puppy to go potty outside is to use positive reinforcement. Loving on your puppy, telling him he’s a good boy, and giving him treats when he uses the bathroom outside are all great ways to encourage your puppy to continue going potty outside. If he does have an accident in the house, don’t shame him. Negative reinforcement does not work with puppies and more often than not will create an environment of fear and mistrust which can lead to more accidents . Instead of shouts of no-no or “rub their nose in it”, calmly clean up the mess using a spray that gets rid of the smell. You can purchase your odor eliminating spray at Mitchell Veterinary Clinic to help with the training process. Once you clean up and remove the smell take your pup outside to show them that is where the potty needs to go and when they relieve themselves give him a treat and praise him with belly rubs and ear scratches. A regular and routine schedule will help reduce the number of accidents. Be consistent.
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Routine Potty Schedule Is Key
Using all of the above puppy potty training tools are great ways to help potty train your puppy, however you also need to create a routine schedule. If you stick to a regular potty routine, you’ll deal with less accidents and a shorter potty training period. We recommend that you take your puppy out every few hours depending on their age. Set a timer or whatever helps you remember. Once he gets the hang of notifying you when he needs to go outside to potty, you won’t have to take him out as much. Sometimes he may not need to go, but sticking to this schedule will ensure you prevent as many accidents as possible. Take your puppy outside to go potty:
- Before and after you put him in his crate
- Every few hours depending on his age
- After he takes a nap or sleeps
- After he eats or drinks.
It Takes Time And Patience
Potty training a puppy requires time and patience. Each puppy is different so while some puppies catch on to potty training quickly, some puppies require a little more time. The important thing is to be consistent and be patient. Your puppy will eventually get the hang of it and you both will be more happy for it!