Date Published: May 13, 2017, Updated: February 23, 2019 at 3:26 pm, Author: Alice
Potty training a puppy is hard work and requires an extreme amount of patience and discipline (on your part) to do. Puppies, like babies, are not born with an inherent knowledge of where and when it is appropriate to go to the bathroom, and so, until they are taught otherwise, they will go whenever and wherever they have the urge to do so—including on your Persian rug. Unfortunately, too many people do not take into consideration the fact that a puppy is essentially a baby. Instead of being patient and understanding with their new family member, they get mad and discipline him or her; in extreme instances, they even give the dog away to a shelter.
If you are going to adopt a new dog, you need to first understand what goes into potty training so that you can ensure the best possible life for both you and him.
First and foremost, you need to understand your responsibilities for making sure the learning process is smooth, quick, and relatively painless. Some things to consider before beginning your instruction include:
Now that you know what you need to do to ensure successful potty training, let’s talk methods.
There are three recognized methods for teaching dogs proper potty etiquette:
If you don’t want to deal with the mess of having to clean up your dog’s mess every time they go, or if you don’t want your house to smell of dog urine or feces, outdoor training is the best option for you. However, it is also the method that requires the most discipline on your part.
Begin your instruction by taking Fido out to eliminate first thing in the morning, and then every 30 minutes to an hour, after each meal, and before bedtime. This part is important, as your puppy has no way (or knowledge of how) to control it his bowels. If you or someone else will not be home for full days during the learning period, this method may not be for you.
Once outside, take your puppy to the same spot he went last time, as his scent will prompt him to go. Do not let him out on his own if he is not fully trained, as he will just run around and play, forgetting to go, which could lead to an accident indoors. Once he does go, give positive affirmation, and then take him for a walk as a reward.
Crate training is a popular teaching method for all dogs, as no dog wants to eliminate in what is essentially their living space. However, in order for crate training to work, you must get a cage that is just the right size: get one that is too small and they won’t want to go in it (plus, it will be uncomfortable for them), but get one that is too big and they may be able to “designate” an area for eliminating while still being able to comfortably lie down. Your pet’s crate should be just large enough for them to stand up, turn around, and lie down—not walk around.
When crate training your pup, stick to the same rules as outdoor training—take them out to eliminate first thing in the morning, after each meal, and before bedtime. Though crate training gives you more flexibility as a dog owner (as you don’t have to worry about them soiling your home while you’re gone), it is still recommended that your puppy go out every 30 minutes to an hour while potty training.
Another benefit of crate training is that your pup will generally let you know when they have to go by whining or scratching at their crate, eliminating any guesswork.
Training your puppy to pee on a pad or paper is tough, as it sends so many different messages. On one hand, you don’t want them to eliminate in the house. On the other, you’re encouraging them to do just that, but in a designated area. Then, you also want to teach them to go outdoors and to resort to that option first and foremost. Understandably, pee-pad training can be very confusing for any puppy or dog.
However, for some people, pee-pad training is the only viable option. Many dog owners don’t have the option of running home several times a day to let their dog out, necessitating a need for a spot where they can go indoors if they have to. In other instances, a dog may be too small to go out on a snowy or windy day. Whatever the reason, pee-pad training may not be the best option, but it’s available all the same.
A common problem that new dog owners face when potty training their puppy is frequent accidents in the same spot(s) of the house—even after they’ve been almost fully trained outdoors. While this can be frustrating, the solution is simple: re-clean the spot. Dogs have a phenomenal sense of smell, and, as explained above, they like to eliminate in a spot where they can detect their own scent. When cleaning up after your puppy, keep the following tips in mind:
If that does not work, you may have to replace that section of carpet and carpet completely.
With patience and persistence, your puppy will learn potty etiquette in no time! However, keep in mind that every puppy is different, and while a friend’s dog may have been trained at 12-weeks-old, yours might not be until he or she is 5-months-old! Additionally, where you adopt your puppy from can make a huge difference in how long it will take to teach them. A pup that came from a responsible breeder who was already working on the basics may be trained within weeks of coming home with you; on the other hand, a dog that came from the pound, with no prior coaching whatsoever, could take a full year to finally develop potty etiquette.
Teaching a puppy bathroom etiquette can be difficult, but once they grasp the concept, all that work will have been well worth it! Don’t give up on your new pet, and good luck!