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How to Potty Train a Puppy

House training a puppy can be a source of worry and stress, especially for first time owners. This should not be the case and you can use this time to bond with the new addition to your family as well as help him get used to the routine of your home. There are many different aspects of house training that are important but one in particular requires patience and several weeks of consistency. This important part of house training is how to potty train a puppy. Neglecting to potty train a puppy can result to a dirty and smelly house. It might also lead to hygiene and health problems for some, if not all, of the occupants of the house. The house itself may suffer from this oversight because urine and feces can take their toll on the flooring and the smell of both can also stick to the room where the dog usually does his business.

puppy potty training

House training a puppy can be a source of worry and stress

Things to Remember

One thing to remember when potty training a puppy is that they are pretty much like human babies; they have small intestines and bladders, both of which they have little control of at this age. Patience should be practiced at all times and avoid spanking the puppy for “accidents” in the house. House training reinforces the bond between owner and pet just as much as play time does.

putty-like-baby's putty

puppy is pretty much like human babies

There are several things that should make potty training puppies easy. One is that dogs usually do not defecate or urinate in the place where they usually spend the most time in. This is unless they are caged or tied up and they have no choice. Another thing that makes house training easy is if the mother is present to set an example. The behavior of adult dogs in the household is usually followed by the puppies. If this is the case, your role in potty training may be minimal.

You should also remember that puppies usually defecate and urinate within thirty minutes after eating their meals. Many experts recommend bringing the puppy outside to the yard after he has eaten so he can relieve himself. This routine will also help the puppy understand what you want it to do; when it is time to defecate or urinate, it should step out of the house. Do not leave the puppy outside on its own.

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Puppy Potty Training

  • The very first thing to do when you decide to potty train your puppy is to observe him and take note of the interval that he pees and moves his bowels. Most puppies under twelve weeks old do their business every two hours, give or take some minutes. Some urinate more frequently than standard, which is why it is imperative that you have a good understanding of your puppy’s schedule. From here you can slowly start implementing your potty training endeavor.
  • Bring your puppy out first thing in the morning so he can relieve himself. It is advisable to bring him to the same spot so he can smell his own wastes and associate the place and the smell with the need to defecate or urinate. When you are satisfied with what the puppy has done, bring him back into the house and feed him. Puppies need to eat about three to four times a day so you should be really patient with the fact that the puppies may need to relieve themselves a few minutes after eating their meals. Peeing may be more unpredictable than defecating.
  • When your puppy successfully relieves himself; whether by defecating or urinating, praise him and show how much you love him. Dogs respond positively to this kind of reinforcement and will bond with you, the owner, even more. Some experts train their dogs with treats but many dogs and puppies respond just as well when you praise them.
  • Once your puppy gets the idea of potty training, you should still supervise and observe him, especially if he is still about a year old. When accidents happen, scold your puppy firmly and in a loud enough voice so he understands that you are upset over something. You might also want o bring the puppy to the designated place where you want him to do his business. It is important not to bear a grudge against the puppy when scolding him. Puppies understand easily and better when the example of their wrongdoing is there. Scolding and nagging incessantly, even when the feces or urine is already gone, is not a form of positive reinforcement. Dogs learn faster when they are shown examples of what you want them to do and what they should not do.
  • ​Some canine experts suggest the use trigger words to help pets do their business. This may have some merit to this method. Start by bringing your new puppy outside first thing in the morning and after meals. Pick a word or phrase that the puppy will associate with defecating and urinating. As soon as you see him going through the motions of defecating and urinating, say the word or phrase several times. Once he finishes his business, heap on the praise and play with him for a while. This kind of positive reinforcement will signal that you are happy with what he did.
  • Aside from being taken out after meals, first thing in the morning and at night, you should also learn the body language of your puppy. There are some specific actions that dogs usually do right before they pee or defecate; such as circling, sniffing and becoming agitated. Once you see the puppy circling and /or sniffing; gently lift him up and bring him outdoors or to his designated potty place in the house. Repeatedly bringing him to the place where he should relieve himself will show him what he needs to do and where he has to do it.
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Other House Training Tips

Dogs are intelligent and will be able to pick up on their owner’s mood just by the sound and tone of voice. A firm voice should be used when teaching anything to your dog. Basic commands and words such as stay and sit are important. The words “good” and “bad” should be taught to the puppy early on so he will know if he did something right or wrong.

Playing is a form of exercise that helps you puppy get rid of excess energy as well as bond with you and your family. It is a good idea to bring your puppy outside first thing in the morning to let him empty his bladder or defecate. Once he has done this, he will be able to play and bond with you comfortably. This does not have to be long, about fifteen minutes should do, when it comes to bonding. Waiting for your new puppy to urinate or defecate will just take less than thirty minutes.

A crate can be helpful when it comes to how to potty train a puppy. The crate can be the place where your puppy feels most comfortable with. Experts recommend that you do not use the crate regularly and for long stretches of time to confine your puppy. Leaving the door of the crate open signals to the puppy that this crate can be his “room” and is not necessarily a prison. When potty training, do not place the designated potty place near the crate. Dogs do not like to stay close to the smell of their feces and urine. The crate should not be large enough that he is comfortable defecating and urinating in one corner. Of course there are times when the puppy may need to be confined (when there are visitors) but try to keep these times as short as possible.

Puppy Potty Training with crate

You might also like to keep your puppy off the furniture at such a young age. This will minimize dander in the furniture as well as prevent grass stains and paw prints from appearing in the seats and chairs.

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A feeding schedule should be followed as closely as possible so that you can bring your puppy out after a meal. Always keep the feeding and water bowls clean to avoid any bacteria from entering the puppy’s gut. This may lead to health complications.

The Key to Success

  • Being consistent and patient with your new puppy should be able to help both owner and pet with their quest for bonding time and potty training. Positive reinforcement will also help the puppy understand what he should and should not do in the house. Be consistent when it comes to where the puppy can relieve himself. Stick as close as possible to the schedule or routine so as not to confuse the puppy when it comes to feeding time and potty time.
  • Another way to ensure that potty training will be successful is to be hygienic. Thoroughly clean the spot where your pet had an “accident” in the house. Use a very good cleanser that can get rid of any smells or odors from the “accident”. This will discourage your puppy from repeating his mistake as well as confuse him with regards to where he did his business earlier.
  • So when you have plans to potty train your puppy, always be patient with the puppy and consistent with the house rules. Remember that puppies tend to empty their bladder and move their bowels after they eat and first thing in the morning as well as at night. Setting up an easy routine will show the puppy what he needs to do and what he can expect from you.
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