Potty Training

Fluffy Pomeranian sits on pitter pad with urine stain next to it

Potty Training

How to Potty Train Your Dog or Puppy

Effective tips for potty training newly adopted dogs or puppies

House training or potty training your new dog or puppy can be stressful if you aren’t sure how to begin. Three things that will help you through the phases of potty training are consistency, patience, and a lot of positive reinforcement. It’s all about instilling good habits for both you and your canine friend. The routine that you establish for you and your dog will vary based on your dog’s breed.

A key thing to keep in mind is that smaller breeds have smaller bladders and higher metabolisms, which means they require more frequent trips outside than larger breeds. You may also be tasked with breaking old habits put in place by a breeder, pet store, or rescue center as well.

When and How to Begin

Dogs or puppies usually go to the bathroom after they eat, during exercise, physical stimulation, excitement, or after they wake up. Your puppy begins to have bladder control capability between 12 and 16 weeks old. This is the ideal time to start implementing your routine. Begin by taking your puppy outside as soon as he/she wakes up. Once your puppy has done its business, reward them with a treat.

Some things to keep in mind that will help you through your potting training adventure are:

  1. Keep your puppy on a regular feeding schedule
  2. Take your puppy outside after every meal
  3. Take your puppy outside after every nap
  4. Take your puppy to the same spot each time
  5. Stay present while your puppy goes
  6. Always praise your puppy for going where they are supposed to
  7. Never use puppy pads (ie. pitter pads – here’s why)

When you have a new dog or puppy, there are two main components that go into good dog and man relationship (or dogmanship if you will). Number one is formal dog training. Dog training takes time, repetition, and patience. The second component, and the most overlooked aspect, is dog management. Dog management includes tools such as dog crates, baby gates, and exercise pens. When you implement these dog management tools, your dog will know what to expect. A crate can be an excellent way to house train your puppy as it allows you to keep track of your puppy. It also teaches him to hold it in until you open the crate and let them outside.

If you’re going to use a crate, there are some guidelines to follow. Use a crate that is big enough for your puppy to stand, turn around, and lie down but not big enough to use the corner as a bathroom. When crating your puppy for more than two hours, provide water for their comfort. If you must crate your puppy while you’re at work all day, make sure someone can come and give your puppy a break in the middle of the day until they are around eight months old.

Stop using the crate if your puppy eliminates in it. Eliminating in a crate can mean a few different things.

  • They may have established this bad habit before you adopted or fostered them.
  • They are not be getting outside enough.
  • Their crate might be too big.
  • Your puppy is just too young to hold it in for long periods of time.

The key here is persistence and patience. Never scold your puppy for going in the wrong place. Positive reinforcement is the quickest way to get through the journey of potty training.

It is important to pay attention to the “I have to go” signs. If your dog is whining, circling, sniffing around, or scratching at the door, then chances are that they need to go. A tool that could be helpful for you is to use a bell to train your dog to ask to go outside. This way, you do not miss them asking.

These tips may seem overwhelming if you are not used to using these tools. I personally invite you to contact me to get more hands-on advice for newly adopted mature dog or puppy potty training. Schedule your free demo today!