Potty Training your Pup

Posted by Nitin Bhat on

Potty Training your Pup

You are excited. You just got a new adorable puppy. What is the most important thing that gets you nervous. Will my pup be potty trained quickly? Hang on! Potty training your pup requires you to be patient, consistent, and determined as mistakes are bound to happen and perhaps it may take longer than you would have thought. One key element to successful potty training is to note that fast learning should be based on positive reinforcement and not punishment. The goal is to build a healthy relationship with your dog to make training go smoothly.

When is the right time to start potty training?

Dog experts usually recommend that you potty train your dog between 14 and 16 weeks old because at that time they have control over their bladder and bowel movements and can learn how to hold it.

How long will it take for your dog to be fully potty trained?

It usually takes around 3-6 months for your dog to be fully potty trained. For some other dogs, it may take as long as a year. There are some determining factors that can lengthen the time it takes to potty train your puppy:

  • Size: Size can be a predictor. For example, smaller dog breeds usually have smaller bladders and high metabolisms, meaning they have to take frequent trips. While medium to large dog breeds tend to have better bladder control.
  • If your pup has been eliminating in a cage before you bring them home, potty training might take longer as you have to help them eliminate their previous habit. This can be easily done through positive reinforcement and praise.

Things to note before you begin potty training.

House training your dog will take time, so you must be ready to devote time every day for faster results.

  • For a dog that is not potty trained, it is advisable that you make use of potty pads, pet wipes, poop bags, and dispensers to avoid creating a mess in your home.
  • For positive reinforcement, you may use treats, toys, or verbal rewards.
  • Try not to be too harsh on your dog, as this can disrupt the whole training.
  • Make sure your pup is getting enough physical exercise daily, as this can help them have more control of their bladder.

Steps to Potty Training your Puppy

It is ideal that you confine your dog to a personal space. It can be a crate, a room, or a fenced area of the living room. Gradually, your pup will learn that he needs to do his business outside, and you will be able to give him more space in the house.

Take your puppy outside often.

Puppies, especially puppies below 12 weeks, need to be taken outside for one to two hours. This is because, at this stage, they are still learning to develop control over their bladder and bowel movements. You should take your puppy outside first thing in the morning, after meals, after nap time, and before they go to bed. Take your puppy to the same spot every time, and after they eliminate, praise them. You should put them on a leash. This will make rewarding them easier.

Use crate training to aid potty training.

Dogs do not like to eliminate where they sleep, so creating a space for your dog will make potty training go faster. This will not only assist potty training but also help create a safe haven for your dog. It is important to note that the crate should not be used as a form of punishment, but rather as a place where your dog can be supervised during feeding and at nap time. You should take your pup's size and needs into account. If you are using a crate, you should note these few guidelines:

  • Make sure the crate is large enough for your dog to stand and move around.
  • Don’t leave your dog in a crate for more than 3 hours. Ensure your puppy has fresh drinking water.
  • Make sure you are around when you leave your dog in a crate.
  • If your dog is eliminating in the crate, you will have to try other potty-training methods.

Stick to a feeding schedule.

It is ideal that you feed your pup two meals a day. Try to make sure you feed each meal at the same time daily. Dogs eliminate naturally after feeding, so this can help you create a time plan of how often you should take your pup outside.

Identify when your dog needs to go outside.

You should constantly monitor your dog to recognize clues that your dog needs to go out. This will help prevent unnecessary accidents and running around. Whining, barking, sniffing, wandering off, making circles are all signs that your dog needs to go. You should let them out immediately.

Always practice positive reinforcement.

Lastly, positive reinforcement will aid successful potty training. You need to build an understanding relationship with your dog. This will make them understand that they get rewarded if they eliminate outside and not inside the house. Every time your dog eliminates outside, instantly reward them with a treat, toy or verbal praise. A brisk walk can also be a form of reward.

Things you should avoid while potty training your dog.

  • Using punishment instead of positive reinforcement.
  • Use potty pads with crate training.
  • Not following a schedule: failure to stick to a consistent potty break and feeding time can cause confusion for your pup and lead to more accidents around the house.

Potty Training an Adult dog.

Potty training an adult dog is quite similar to potty training a puppy. Some adult dogs may have never been house trained, so you will need to train them to have control of their bladder.

Create a schedule

You need to create a schedule for how often you need to take your dog outside. You should take them out after they wake up, after meals, and before they go to bed. You should also feed them at the same time daily to help you control accidents around the house.

Recognize when your dog needs to go

Learning when your adult dog needs to go out will help limit accidents that happen around the house.

Use crate training to limit your dog’s space in the house

Crate training is also effective for adult dogs, as they also don’t want to litter where they sleep and eat.

Use positive reinforcement

 Most importantly, using positive reinforcement is not only effective for puppies but for adult dogs as well.

Potty training puppies and adult dogs takes time, so be patient, follow the right guidelines and you will have your dog eliminating outside in no time.

Good luck!!