When it’s time to potty train your puppy, you’ll want to make the project as smooth as possible. It’s without a doubt one of the best steps you can take for both you and your new bundle of fluff! Lack of proper house training is one of the biggest reasons that dogs end up in shelters, given away, and even dumped outside – we’re going to stay far clear of these disasters!
No one wants to continuously deal with the mess that a puppy can make, so learning how to properly train your puppy to relieve himself where he is supposed to should be at the top of your list. First check out our perfect puppy potty training infographic, then read on for some further details on how to perfectly puppy train your new best friend.
Puppy Potty Training Infographic
Here is a summary of tips for perfect puppy potty training:
1. Train Your Puppy to Pee Outdoors
Remember, your puppy wasn’t born knowing how to tell you that they need to go outside. It takes patience and training from you to make sure they know what to do when they have to go. You can teach them how to tell you by showing them “potty cues” as soon as they come home to live with you. A potty cue from your puppy will tell you that they need to go outside. Once they understand this cue, the pup will start to associate the feeling of urination with being out in the yard.
Teaching your puppy the potty cue will take a bit of time, so be patient. To begin, let your puppy sit at the back door. When they begin to bark, scratch, or whine, it is time to let them out to do their business. It’s important that they don’t play when they go out to use the bathroom, as they will associate this time with playtime and not potty time.
2. Choose a Dedicated Potty Area
Once you choose a spot in your yard or near your home that you want your puppy to use, make sure they go there every time. You should always put your dog on a leash – even to go to the bathroom, so that they get used to being on one. Once you get to the spot, stop. Don’t let your puppy go any further.
When they relieve themselves, make sure you give them lots of praise and a doggy treat. Puppies need lots of positive reinforcement when they use the bathroom when and where they are supposed to. If they don’t go at first, bring them back inside and try again later. Don’t worry-puppies usually catch on fast!
3. Utilize Puppy Pads Indoors
It can be tricky to teach your puppy to relieve themselves on a puppy pad indoors as well as going outside since you are giving them two very different options. However, you may need this option if you are gone for long periods or if the weather is too cold for frequent trips outside. Puppy pads allow a dog to relieve themselves on a spot indoors.
First, find an out-of-the-way area in your home to start housetraining your puppy. Ideally, you’ll want a place that is easy to clean, such as a laundry room or bathroom with tile floors. Next, put your puppy’s bed in the corner of that room. Finally, place clean pee pads over the space for your puppy to use.
Training Your Puppy to Use the Pee Pads
- When your dog is a puppy, you must keep an eye on them at all times to watch for signs that they need to go. You must take the time to lead them to the pads often, every 15 minutes or so.
- Watch for signs your puppy needs to go. These include circling, sniffing the ground, barking, whining, and scratching. Take them right to the pad when you notice this.
- Keep the pads clean for your puppy, but make sure a small piece of a soiled pad stays on top of the clean ones. This scent will remind your pup that this is where they need to go.
- When your puppy starts consistently urinating in one area, you can remove the majority of the pads. Do so until only one or two pee pads remain.
If you plan to teach your puppy to go outside 100% of the time after they have mastered the use of the puppy pads, you can now begin slowly moving the pads closer to the door. Once you get them to go near the door it’s time to begin teaching them potty cues to go outside.
4. Use a Crate
Crates can be an excellent tool for potty training because dogs do not want to urinate or defecate where they sleep. A crate is also a good idea if you have to leave your dog for longer periods of time. Just remember, puppies cannot hold their urine as long as older dogs, so you never want to leave them in a crate for too long.
To crate train your puppy, make sure the crate allows them to move around and lie down in comfort. However, it should not be too large. If it is, your puppy may use one corner as their toilet and then sleep far away from it.
Always make sure your dog enjoys being in the crate. Leave treats and toys in the crate that they love. Keep a clean blanket or two inside. Reward your puppy when they go in their crate and never use the crate as a punishment or “time-out” if your dog misbehaves.
As soon as you let your puppy out of the crate, take them to their puppy pads or outside to their spot. It’s important that they associate leaving the crate with being able to relieve themselves.
5. Stick to a Schedule
Your puppy has a tiny bladder, and their food and water will go through them quickly. As Blue Door Veterinary Services confirms, getting them on a schedule they can depend on will help them learn how to relieve themselves where and when they are supposed to. Expect to take your puppy to pee:
• As soon as you wake up
• After playing
• After being in their crate
• After eating and drinking
• After chewing a bone or toy
• Right before bed
• In the middle of the night
Potty training can take some time, effort, and patience. Follow these tips for a happy puppy and a happy life. Talk to your vet if you have questions concerning your puppy, especially if you are having trouble housebreaking them.