How to Potty Train Your Puppy
Bringing a puppy home is such an exciting time for the entire family. Puppies are so much fun, and not to mention adorable. However, they are also a lot of responsibility, especially as you introduce them to their new home and new schedule. One of the key responsibilities of taking care of a puppy is to properly potty train them.
Steps for Housetraining Your Pup
Veterinarians and dog trainers recommend keeping the puppy in a confined area when housetraining him or her. As your puppy learns that he or she needs to go to the bathroom outside, you can gradually give him or her more freedom throughout your house. When taking him or her outside, always use the same door so he or she can become familiar of where to head when it is time to go. Also, use the same area of your yard at first, as the scent will prompt the puppy to go.
The key to successful potty training is a strict schedule:
- As soon as you wake up – When you wake up in the morning, take your puppy outside immediately before you do anything else. If you are not an early riser, set your alarm early to take him or her outside. A small puppy has a small bladder, so at the beginning, you will most likely have to take him or her out throughout the night as well.
- Right after meals – After you feed your puppy breakfast (or dinner), take him or her out no later than 30 minutes after. The younger the puppy, the sooner you should take him or her out after eating. Schedule the meals at the same time each day, so you can begin to develop a regular routine.
- Every 30 minutes to 1 hour – The key to potty training is repetition. Since your puppy will not be able to tell you that he or she needs to go yet, it is important you keep taking them outside frequently to avoid accidents inside. Your puppy will then begin to associate the outdoors as the restroom.
- After naps and playtime – Puppies will spend a lot of their days napping. As soon as your pup wakes up, take them outside immediately. When puppies are not snoozing, they are most likely playing, which can stimulate the digestive system. After playtime, take him or her outside for a potty break.
- Anytime you see a “potty clue” – As your puppy grows older, he or she will begin to give you clues that it is time to go. These clues include sniffing the floor, walking around the house, wandering away from you, whimpering or heading to the door. If your pup gives you a sign, take him or her out immediately.
When you take your puppy outside, it is important you remain patient. It may take some time for him or her to actually go. Walk them around the area in your yard. Do not rush him or her. If your pup doesn’t go after a while, you may have to take them inside and go back out again soon. Once he or she goes, praise them verbally and with a treat. This positive reinforcement will help him or her to understand that the outdoors is where to go not the indoors.
No matter how vigilant you are in your training efforts, accidents will most likely happen. If you catch your puppy in the act, interrupt him or her. Take him or her outside right then, and if he or she finishes outside, give praise. If you find a soiled area in the house, do not try to correct your puppy. Instead, clean it up thoroughly and move on. Do not punish your puppy for going inside. It will only make him or her scared to go to the bathroom in front of you, and it will be confusing. Potty training takes time and patience. It will not happen overnight, so do not get discouraged. Stay tuned for more puppy training blogs!
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