Congratulations! You’ve gone and got yourself a beautiful boy! Well, a puppy, at least. In my opinion, there are few things better in life than bringing home a new furry bundle of joy. Now, you’re telling me that you don’t want the puppy leaving little parcels all over your new rug or leaving mini yellow puddles all over the place. I hear you. I know that’s not something you enjoy. There’s going to be mess, he or she will urinate everywhere at first, not to mention the smell from urine and other “mistakes”. But don’t worry! I’m going to give you the lowdown on how to set out potty training your puppy, as well as provide a schedule. There are times when your pup is definitely more likely to have to take bathroom breaks. If you can catch these times before they happen, you’ll be well on your way establishing a working potty training routine for your pup. Seriously, training your puppy isn’t as hard as you think. Read on for some great potty training tips to get him house trained in no time.
1. First thing in the morning
When you are going to potty train your puppy, think of it in the same way as when you need to go. In other words, you are going to want to start your day with your pup in the way that you probably start your own: by going to the bathroom. Having to relieve yourself first thing in the morning is just the harsh reality of having a bladder, really. Before you start your own day, take your puppy outside as quickly as possible, as this will most likely be a time where they are unable to hold it and he can have his “potty break”—which is the perfect time for you to swoop in there and offer to some positive reinforcement. Whenever your pup does successfully go to the bathroom outside, make sure you make a big deal out of it. Lots of praise and affection followed by a treat is the very best way to let your pup know that they did a great job. Then, hopefully, they will want to do again!
2. After any mealtime
We’re not necessarily talking about after every single treat, as that could become quite excessive. However, after the main meal, your pup is more than likely going to have to go poop, so this is a perfect time to catch them in the act.
3. After nap time
If your pup has been asleep for an hour or two, the odds that he’s going to have to relieve himself is very high. Take your pup outdoors immediately after you see him waking up, and nine times out of ten you are going to witness him successfully go potty!
4. Before a road trip
If you are someone who travels often with your pup, you are going to want to make it known that going potty in the car is a definite no-no! Many pups will actually get excited by the idea of going in the car and it is important to associate going in the car with having to relieve yourself first.
5. Before being crated
Try to reinforce the fact that you don’t particularly want your dog going in his crate. Obviously, accidents will happen if your pup is left alone in his crate for more than a couple of hours. Even if it’s not that long, pups have incredibly small bladders. If you train them well about going outside before you leave the house, and going outside again once you return, they’re likely to get the idea. You will significantly reduce your chances of having to clean up a messy crate after returning from your trip to the grocery store.
6. Before bed
Although it is more than likely that your pup is going to call you to relieve themselves during the night, or potentially go in his crate, you are going to want to always take him out before bedtime. This is a great habit to get into and, again, it will at least lessen potential accidents throughout the night!
Other Tips for Potty Training Your Puppy
Establishing a pee zone
Whether you are training your pup on pee pads to begin with (if you live in the land of cold winters), or you are taking him right outside, establishing a pee spot is a must. Your pet will associate this spot with relieving himself, as it will carry his scent from previous excursions to the potty. Your pup will grow to appreciate routine and any straying from this routine in the early stages of potty training can easily confuse him. Stick to one spot and watch him grow in confidence as he heads for it every time. If he wants to pick the spot himself, all the better.
One of the most important aspects to potty train a puppy is offering praise. Without this, there is little point in even trying. Your pup ultimately wants to please you and make you happy. After all, you’re his best friend! Your dog loves praise, physical affection and, more than anything, a good treat. Have small treats on hand when you take your dog to relieve himself and give one to him right away. Delaying the treat will more than likely make him forget why he’s receiving the treat in the first place.
Do not scold your pup for having accidents
Although you are trying your absolute best to train a puppy, there are still going to be times when he has accidents. This is absolutely normal and not something that you need to be stressed out about. If this happens, do not scold your pup. You never want him to associate going potty with stress, as this will more than likely increase the number of accidents he’s having. Instead, immediately take him outside to remind him that that is where they’re supposed to do their business and give him a treat. If going potty outside equals getting a treat and some loving attention, your accidents should become fewer and fewer.
What to do if your schedule is not working
We need to remember that potty training requires the utmost patience, as it does with human babies—nobody really wants to be potty trained! If your potty training schedule is not working, you are going to want to look at what you are doing first thing in the morning, when the whole routine starts. You don’t need to offer your pup praise first thing in the morning—until he’s successfully done his business outside. If he refuses to do his business outside, bring him inside, wait for about 10–15 minutes, and take him back outside. You must start your day with the association that going outside equals praise, and that they will not just receive praise regardless of if they pee on the floor or not—there have to be some consequences to puppy potty training.
Hopefully, this potty training schedule and advice has given you some new thoughts on how to potty train your pup, especially if you’re struggling! With patience, persistence, and age, your pup will be successfully potty trained—it just takes time.
Bringing a new family addition into the home is extremely exciting! Becoming a new puppy parent comes with a ton of new joys, challenges and responsibilities. PupBox was created to help new puppy parents like yourself, by providing all of the toys, treats, accessories and training information you need, when you need it. CLICK HERE to learn more about PupBox.
And remember, puppyhood is fast and is gone before you know it. Make sure to savor the time when your pup is young, and take lots of pictures along the way!