Bringing home a puppy is exciting. You have likely already purchased all the necessary accessories – collar, leash, deep-dish Sherpa cuddler dog bed, coordinating food and water bowls, food, treats, and an assortment of doggie clothing for every occasion. It looks like you might have forgotten a couple of things, like a crate and puppy pads.
We might as well clear the air now – puppies potty. They have tiny little bladders that cannot be expected to hold urine for extended periods. As a general rule, you can assume the number of months in age is the number of hours the puppy can “hold it.” This rule can be considered accurate until the age of nine to 12 months.
So, how can you effectively potty train your puppy?
Routine is Everything
Like infants and young toddlers, your puppy will do better on a regular schedule. Creating a schedule isn’t as hard as you might think; it just requires consistency. What can you do to help make the training process go smoothly?
Take Your Puppy Outside Frequently
In the beginning, it is recommended that you take your puppy outside at least every two hours. Some equate an activity transition to a perfect opportunity for pottying. You can also designate an indoor spot for a puppy pad if they have a sudden urge and can’t get outside in time.
Each time you take them outside, go to the same spot in the yard. Use this opportunity to use key phrases that may be used later to remind them what to do. You can use a long walk as a reward for a good potty.
Reward Your Puppy
Using positive reinforcement teaches your puppy that when they use the potty outside, they get rewarded. Rewards for a puppy are different than the rewards a human would expect. Actions like energetic praise, a fun toy, or great tasting treats are all the motivation it takes. Take care not to reward them too soon, let them finish, or else they may become distracted and not finish doing their business.
Regulate Food and Water
What goes in must come out. A regular feeding schedule for a puppy should include feedings three to four times per day. Feeding them at the same times each day means that you will soon be able to predict the schedule they need to go outside.
It would be best if you took your puppy’s water bowl away about two to two and a half hours before bedtime. This action will help reduce the urgency for your puppy to go potty during the night. Having a puppy pad inside the crate can teach them that they can use it in an emergency. Make sure there is plenty of room in the crate to accommodate a pet bed and the pad, distinguishing one from the other.
Create a Bedtime Routine
To further ensure your puppy makes it through the night accident free, taking them out before bedtime can help. After your puppy does their business, put them in their crate with the anti-anxiety bed you have purchased for them.
Turn off the lights and be as quiet as possible, keeping the excitement level to a minimum. These actions will signal to your puppy that it is time to go to sleep.
Puppy Piddle Happens
You can’t expect that your puppy will never have an accident inside your home – that is an unrealistic puppy potty training goal. Having the puppy pad in a designated area may help eliminate consistent accidents, but they will happen.
What to do if your puppy does their business indoors:
If you happen to catch them during the act, interrupt them. You can do this by making a noise that startles the puppy (try to avoid scaring your puppy) or use the phrase you use when you take them out to signal to them that they should be doing that outside. If the puppy finishes in the outdoor spot, make sure to praise them for it.
Punishment voids the success of positive reinforcement. If you didn’t catch them in the act, clean up the mess and move on.
Ensure you clean any area where your puppy has pottied using specially made cleaners to eliminate the odors. A puppy is motivated to use the same spot again if it continues to smell like a toilet.
Using your routine and supervising your puppy can help minimize the number of accidents you find in your home. Having a place to eat, a place to potty, and a dog bed for sleeping helps your puppy distinguish the home’s different areas.
Puppy Potty Training in Three Days
What if we told you that there was a way to potty train your puppy in three days? It is possible to accomplish with a little bit of determination and a whole lot of patience. Having puppy treats on hand doesn’t hurt the situation either! Using a three-day weekend to potty train your puppy will require a lot of dedication and determination but can be accomplished.
Keep Your Puppy Constantly Supervised
This may go without saying, but it doesn’t hurt to have a reminder. Think of your puppy like you would a newborn baby. If they need to nap in the pet bed you purchased, you can put them in a puppy playpen or a crate. These are also solutions if you can’t constantly keep your eye on them. Please don’t keep them confined for too long, or you may be dealing with a lot larger mess to deal with.
Commit to Frequent Outdoor Visits
The key to success in a three-day potty goal is repetition and consistency. It may seem like too much to take your puppy out to potty every hour. Still, the more opportunities you have to praise them for the right behavior, the less likely they will be to have accidents. Your puppy will learn quicker with more frequent positive reinforcement.
Signs Your Puppy Has to Go
Puppies need to relieve themselves more frequently than older dogs. They have tiny bladders and haven’t learned to be able to “hold it.” You can often assume that your puppy needs to potty:
When waking up in the morning
Before they go to sleep at night
After playing inside
After spending time in a crate or confined space
When waking up from a nap in their dog bed
After chewing on a bone or toy
As you take them out after each of these instances, you can observe how they act. Some of the early warning signs that your puppy may need to potty are circling, sniffing, whining, or scratching. The best way to stop an accident before it happens is to learn your puppy’s body language. They will give you clues or try to tell you when they need to potty, especially if they associate pottying with their “special spot” in the backyard.
Patience is Golden
Puppies and older dogs alike are sensitive to your emotions and moods. If you are anxious, they are anxious (use an anti-anxiety bed for an overly anxious dog), and so on. If you want to help your puppy transition and train, you have to be patient and enthusiastic.
Try to put yourself in your puppy’s paws. They are in a new place, with new people, and have no clue what to do or where to do it. Keeping this in the back of your mind can help promote a more peaceful and patient situation for your puppy, leading to potty success.
You may want to consider your puppy’s breed, too. For example, if you have a retriever, they may see a game where they have to retrieve items more rewarding than a food treat. You want to use your puppy’s natural instincts and characteristics to aid in the potty training process.
Don’t Give Up
The worst thing you can do when trying to train your puppy to potty outside is give up. Best Friends by Sheri has the toys and accessories you need to help create a positive reward system for your puppy. You can also find the perfect dog bed for your new furry friend.
Your puppy is learning you just as much as you are learning them. The entire process is a learning opportunity for both of you. If you are patient with your puppy, your puppy will be patient with you (after the initial bounds of excitement).
When you use the techniques we have shared with you, it is possible to potty train your puppy in an efficient way. Remember that routine and frequent visits outside help build the foundation of keeping accidents to a minimum, but that they will happen. Also, make sure that you are using only positive reinforcement and praise when potty training your puppy. No one said you couldn’t treat yourself, too, when you maintain a certain level of patience during this project. Make it a celebration for you and your puppy. The bigger it is, the more likely they are to remember that the act of pottying can be associated with positive feelings!