Puppy Potty Training
Puppy Potty Training which is also referred to as housebreaking is usually one of the most frustrating times in raising a dog. With consistent care and training it doesn’t have to be, in fact you can potty train your dog in a fairly short time frame just following a few tips located in this blog post.
Let’s begin with a little basic understanding of puppies. Before six months of age a puppy typically doesn’t have enough control over their own bladders to hold it for long periods of time. Controlled feeding schedules and times can be your best friend when it comes to housebreaking. A puppy will typically need to use the restroom 15-30 minutes after eating and drinking. Knowing this can help you plan and prep potty training and know when to keep an eye on your pet. While I do not recommend allowing the dog to free feed I am ok with having water available at all times, that being said, I would cut off water at a regular time each night or before leaving to avoid accidents.
Always keep a close watch on and interrupt your dog if they begin to relieve themselves inside of the house. You want to do this if you catch them in the act of going; otherwise it won’t be clear to them what it is that you are trying to teach. If you are able to interrupt them you want to immediately take them directly outside to their designated potty spot to finish. Praising or giving a treat once the dog has finished can help encourage them to hold it for the outdoors. Do not punish your dog or correct them after they have already gone in the house as this will only cause stress, confusion and fear. Most of us were raised to believe that we need to “rub their nose in it” but it has been shown that instead of getting them to understand the potty was wrong, it just makes them afraid of being in the same room as the potty and us together.
To further help your dog learn where it is acceptable to relieve itself, you will want to confine the dog to its crate when it is not being supervised. Dogs don’t like going to the bathroom where they eat and sleep and will attempt to hold it until taken out of the area. When the dog does go in the house it is best to clean the area with a product that either breaks down enzymes or oxidizes to remove the scent from the dog. Just because we can’t smell or see it doesn’t mean that they can’t. If your dog gives you a warning such as circling, barking at the door, pawing at the door, or even squats down you will want to respond immediately. If the puppy seems to have no warning sign or goes randomly throughout the house, be sure to rule out any medical conditions such as a urinary tract infection or parasites before assuming it is just the animal not making an attempt.