Congratulations – you have a new puppy! We’ve all seen the movies and read the books. Maybe we even remember getting our first puppy when we were kids. What we don’t read about are those first few weeks when your puppy seems to wet on everything. And let’s not forget to mention when he gets nervous or changes foods… Potty training can be frustrating for both the owner and the dog if not done properly. Patience and consistency are your number one tools for training your puppy. Let’s go through the steps you need to do in order to successfully potty train your dog.
We recommend crate training your puppy. You need a crate that is big enough for the dog to comfortably stand, sit, turn around, and lay down it, but no so large that he/she can designate a corner as the bathroom area. Keep the crate in a busy area of the house so that the puppy feels like part of the family. Always make the crate a happy place for the puppy to be! Give him treats, toys, and praise for going into his crate.
We believe the crate makes training easier, but you can still potty-train the puppy without one. In either case, know that puppies need to potty a lot! When they’re young, they need to go outside every hour when they’re awake and about twenty minutes after they eat or drink. Take them out right after they wake up from naps. Just pick the puppy up, carry her outside, and let her sniff around. Most of the time, it will only take a minute or two for the puppy to relieve herself. Always praise and reward the dog when this happens.
It won’t take long for the puppy to begin associating going outside with voiding. As the puppy matures, he won’t need to go out as often. You can begin to lengthen the time between taking him out. Be sure when you do this to always watch for signs the puppy might need to go to the bathroom. If he leaves his toy and starts sniffing around the house, there’s a fair chance that he needs to potty. It’s time to take him out!
It’s important to realize that the puppy will have accidents in the house no matter how diligent you are. This can’t be helped. A young puppy just can’t control her bowels yet. When this happens, don’t yell or punish the dog, just calmly pick her up and carry her outside. Clean the mess up and try to eliminate any lingering odor so that the dog doesn’t begin to think this is a potty area.
Again, it just takes patience, and consistency to successfully potty train a puppy. You can do it!