House soiling is the major reason why most pet dogs end up residing in shelters from their foster home. That’s why potty training your dog at the right time and the right place takes both of you a long way. We’re sure, most of you are not willing to put up with the stinky rugs that you will have to clean after the end of a long, tiring day.
Therefore, it’s important for you to do your research and decide what works the best for your canine. After all, the goal is to teach your dog all the good habits and build a lovely bonding that would last a lifetime.
When to Start Potty Training Your Puppy?
As per experts, you should begin potty training your puppy when he or she is about 12 – 16 weeks old. That’s the time when they have enough control of their bowel movements and bladder to learn to hold their pee. However, if your pup is already older than 12 weeks when you bring him or her to your house, the potty training might take a little longer than usual for them to learn.
You’ll need to refresh their mind and teach them from the very beginning – with rewards and encouragement. Typically, it takes about 4 – 6 months for a puppy to be completely potty trained, but don’t be surprised if yours take about a year. The size of your dog is a good predictor. Smaller breeds of dogs have smaller bladders with a higher metabolism for which they require more trips outside.
Now let’s explore some of the methods of potty training your puppy:
1. Create a timetable
This method will guarantee you success. Just as we mentioned, puppies who are small, have tiny bladders through which water just rush. Even in case of solid matter, it goes in and out. That’s where your part comes in. You have to ensure that you’re providing enough opportunity for them to do the right thing at the right time.
Although dogs are gifted with the ability to control their bladder for hours after hours, remember not to make them wait for 10 – 12 hours (that’s extreme!). A 6-months-old puppy can hold up to their pee for up to 7 hours.
Bear it in mind that
All puppies are unique and their timing might vary from one another. Before you begin to create a schedule, observe their daily habits. For young puppies, you are still expected to take them out. So, the timeline goes something like this:
• The first task in the morning
• After play session
• After they spend some time in their crate
• Once they wake up from their nap
• About half an hour after meals
• After drinking fluids
• Last task at night
This could keep you on the run for a dozen times in a 24-hour period of time. Also, if you work and cannot make time for so many frequent trips outside, hire a dog walker or ask your boss if you could bring your furry friend to the office with you. Whatever your decision is, make sure to convey the idea as soon as you can to avoid any mess.
2. Confine Your Puppy
As a dog parent, you might find this method of putting your puppy in a crate cruel, but believe us when we say that canines are den animals. They feel safer in crates than anywhere else. Therefore, we’d regard this to be an important initiative when potty-training your puppy.
Dogs don’t like to pee in places where they nap, hence, a warm and cozy confined space will speed up the process of potty training. Remember to choose a crate that’s spacious enough for them to nap, stand and sit, but not big enough for them to go and pee in a corner.
So, after the first few days of spending time in the crate, they’ll get used to sleeping and being in there. That’s why they say that you should take your puppy out for them to relieve themselves once they are out of their crate. Kennels and crates are also a good place for mischievous puppies to keep them out of trouble when left unattended.
When you take your puppy out of the crate, immediately put him or her on a leash. Once you allow them to run around freely, you’re risking the opportunity of letting them pee anywhere (carpets, furniture, etc.) Instantly lead him or her to the right place in your yard to help him focus on his task and to avoid distractions. Put him on a leash until and unless he completes his business – praise him afterward. Up next: playtime!
4. Control Their Diet
Since puppies are of a young age, they have a callow digestive system, which doesn’t allow them to handle a lot of food at one go. Hence, experts advise would always be to break their meal times into three different sessions.
Moreover, take note of what type of food you’re feeding your pup. Is it of some standard? Make sure that it agrees with your pup and consists of natural and nutritional ingredients. And one more thing about overfeeding at one time is that it would provoke diarrhea in them, making potty training much more difficult than it already is.
5. Limit The Puppy’s Roaming Time
Prevention is always better than cure and that’s the reason it’s a good idea to protrude your furry friend to a limited “roaming area”. Meaning you’ll only allow them to roam around freely for about 20 – 45 minutes before you put them back in their zone.
This way, you can also rest assured that your puppy is not up to some notorious action. Not to forget about the side benefit that it has; making them learn how to cope with separation anxiety. Your pup gets used to living on their own and keep themselves entertained as they mature.
6. Create a Command Along with a Reward
Just like you’ve other commands to redirect your puppy to do something, similarly, you can create another very easily understandable command for your canine, say “go potty”, for your canine to learn to do their business. Once your pup gets used to the command, they will learn to finish their business whenever and wherever you utter those words.
One more thing you can do is say “good potty!” when they are done to praise them. Resist the rewarding behavior unless you notice that your pup won’t obey your command at all, in spite of everything.
7. Interrupt Mishaps
The moment you catch your puppy defecating indoors or urinating, break the silence. Make a noise by clapping your hands or saying the word “no” in an assertive manner. Then quickly take your pup outdoors. The idea here is to demonstrate your pup that you disapprove their behavior, not to scare or punish them for their action. Moreover, be consistent with your gesture, make the same noise every time or use the same word in order to avoid confusion.
8. Use Potty Pads
Have you heard of wee-wee pads? Well, those are disposable pads that you can place in a corner of your kitchen or laundry room, especially if you and your pup live in an apartment. Over and above, living in an apartment means you might not be able to take your pup outside immediately when they start showing warning signals.
Therefore, potty pads are your life savior. The outer layer of these pads is made of an absorbent material, the scent of which attracts puppies. The base of the pad has a waterproof lining, which makes it easier and efficient to clean. Make sure that the pad is the first thing that your pup touches in the morning. By doing this, he’ll get used to relieving himself there every morning rather than anywhere else.
Although some experts concluded that potty pads are confusing and that it would set some thinking for your pup later when they aren’t allowed to pee in your apartment any longer. However, potty pads show a quicker result when they are in the training process. Eventually, as your puppy learns, you can stop using the puppy pads and they won’t even notice!
9. Take Note of their Way of Saying “I need to pee!”
On and off, dogs do signal us on when they need to go to the bathroom, but we just don’t realize their gesture. In that case, try to take note of such signals. Your pooch is unique and their way of signaling might also be unique! They might bark, go near to the door, nip at your feet, sniff or keep going around in circles. Take note what your puppy is trying to tell you before an accident occurs.
10. Take Away your Pup’s Water Bowl
Hours before you both go to sleep (supposedly 2 hours before), reduce their fluid intake in order to prevent them from relieving at night. Usually, puppies sleep for a good 7 hours without a bathroom break. But, if they wake up in the middle of the night, don’t make it a big deal. Otherwise, they’ll mistake it for playtime and won’t let either of you sleep. In tune, it might also become their habit of waking up at night for a random play session. Try to keep the lights low and don’t talk to your puppy before bedtime.
11. Reward This Behavior
And of course, there’s no better way to praise your puppy than to reward them with something. Moreover, that’s their encouragement to learn something new every time. So, keep some treat in your treat bag when training your puppy. Firstly, praise them saying “good boy” or “good girl” in a tone so that your pup understands you’re being loving towards them. On top of that, some cuddles would do wonders! Occasionally, drop some treats too.
12. Retraining an Older Dog
For adult dogs, there’s no better alternative than to keep them confined at a designated space. We wouldn’t lie about how adult dogs are a little difficult to potty-train, but there are convenient ways of doing so. Take them outside more frequently than you would take your puppy.
However, some god-gifted canines prevent themselves from going to a spot where they have already had an accident before. For adult dogs, you need to train them more on obedience. One time they start obeying you, they will get to listen to all you’ve to say.
Do’s and Don’ts in the Potty-Training Process
Bear these following do’s and don’ts in mind when you potty train your pup:
• DON’T: punish your pup for causing an accident. This will make your pup be fearful of you. Fearful dogs can be dangerous!
• DO: clap loudly if you catch them in the business red-handed. This is to make him aware of their unacceptable behavior. Patiently take him outside your house and again praise him once he’s done.
• DON’T: react angrily if you find any mess. Again, don’t yell or shout at your pup. Come on! He’s just a small, cute little fur ball! They aren’t really intellectually adequate of linking your anger to their deeds.
• DO: stay outdoors for longer periods of time. This may help him or her restraint from accidents as they will have more time to explore.
• DON’T: interrupt your pup when they are busy doing their business. Let them relax and loosen up themselves for a while.
• DO: clean their urine or poop preferably with an enzymatic cleanser than an ammonia-based cleanser. This would minimize the strong odors that are likely to draw them back your pup to the same old spot.
Puppies bring nothing but joy into our lives. Perhaps, their only habit that leads to frustration is house soiling. However, they are gifted with the ability to learn through proper training, all you need to do is, work a little hard!
Nonetheless, forgive these cuties for their accidents and give them the chance to please you with the right training. Good luck with your puppy’s training procedures!