Puppies are blessing in every home. They’re adorable, fun and mischievous little bundles of joy, and you can’t help but love them. Something you don’t love? Potty training them.
Like working with a little child, housebreaking a puppy can be trying, exhausting and time consuming. If you’re aiming to housebreak your little one, try these tips to make your life a little easier and help your new puppy learn how to go potty outside a bit quicker.
Develop a schedule and stick with it!
Puppies are similar to children in many ways and work best with a solid routine. Every morning, when you wake up, take the puppy outside. Establish convenient, regular times during the day, and do your best to take him out at those certain times every day.
The routine teaches your puppy when they will have the opportunity to go outside and ensures they get to go frequently. The same principle can be used for feedings and exercise as well.
Doing the same things at the same times every day will establish a strong routine for a new puppy. You’ll find a good routine will do wonders for your puppy’s confidence as well. They’ll quickly take their place as a loving family member.
Take frequent potty breaks
The problem with puppies is that they don’t yet understand that there is a link between needing to go and actually going. Until they understand you intend for them to wait to go until they’re outside, frequency is your friend.
Taking them outside, even when they don’t have to go, will help the puppy establish that mental link between needing to go and waiting to go.
Like anyone else, positivity affects positively. When your puppy does his business outside, let him know he’s done a good job! Praise him and show him he’s on the right track.
It may seem counter-intuitive, but try not to punish him for accidents. That only gives him a negative feeling regarding going to the bathroom and may actually make him have more frequent accidents indoors.
Instead of punishing, positively reinforce the right action. “No, no, no, we go outside.” Take him outside, even if he doesn’t have to go, to reaffirm the right action without punishing.
Your puppy’s need for your approval and praise will drive him to do what you want him to.
Try a crate
Crate training has become a very popular method in recent years. The theory behind it is that dogs do not want to soil in their own beds, for obvious reasons. It reinforces the idea of teaching them to control their bladders and bowels.
Make sure the crate is not too big, but not too small either. When no one is available to take the puppy outside, put him or her in the crate. If he or she does soil the crate, the puppy will not like it very much and will probably do its best not to do it again.
Try using puppy pads
Putting down puppy pads in the home can help direct a puppy. Teaching them to go on one in a specific area can help get them get ready for the big outdoors.
You can start with teaching them to go on the pads inside, and then move the pads outside to go on until they get the idea.
Limit your puppy’s water intake
It sounds mean, but trust me, it isn’t. Limiting access to water at certain times throughout the day can limit the need to go outside, thus limiting possible accidents.
If your puppy tends to have accidents at night, for example, take the water dish away a couple of hours before bedtime. It’ll reduce the odds of needing to go out during the night.
This can also help establish routines and avoid obvious accidents.
Reward small successes
Your puppy deserves a gold star, just like your children do. When they do the right thing, getting a reward will make them want to do the same action again.
If they get a treat, even if it’s a belly rub, every time they go outside, they will understand that a particular action gains a reward and of course, they’ll want to do it more!
Become as attached as possible
You have to try to give your little puppy as much attention as possible. Giving them constant supervision will help eliminate messes. They won’t want to do something they know is bad right in front of you!
Having someone constantly supervising will help them have the desire to want to do the right thing for two reasons: they want to be praised, and they don’t want to disappoint you!
This is all easier said than done, and if you can’t be around them all the time, try asking family or friends to help, or put them in doggy daycare! A pet sitting service like Love & Dogs is a great resource for help. They can provide a dog sitter to enforce the routine and help get them housetrained in no time!
Try the 15-minute rule
Puppies need to go frequently. To remember to take them out, or to ensure they get out in time, use the 15-minute rule.
This means that you should take them outside 15 minutes after they do anything; whether it’s eating, drinking, or exercising. This should be an easy way for both you and puppy to remember that puppy needs to tinkle a lot!
The last, but not least significant tip is to remember to have patience! The puppy is learning something new and it’s best to give yourself and the puppy a break and take it easy. The puppy will need time to learn and the more you get frustrated, the longer that process will take.
Are You Ready to Potty Train Your Puppy?
Remember that potty training is difficult and time consuming. Stick with it! Give yourself and your puppy the credit you both deserve.
The most important thing to remember when housebreaking a puppy is that it’s a process and takes some work. With some patience, your puppy will be fully trained in no time!
Employing a combination of these helpful tips will set you on the right path to establishing a well-behaved, family companion!