Stepping into puppy parenthood can be a surprisingly daunting task. You’ll find that more than the puppy’s sweet antics and eagerness to love you, there is also the matter of acquainting them to your household and training them so you could have a stress-free home life with your beloved fur baby. Potty training them is one such way to establish boundaries, and for them to treat your home as their home too.
Housebreaking your puppy requires patience. There is no determined timeframe on when the puppy will be able to fully grasp potty training, as different factors come into play. Age and size may be determining factors as younger and smaller pups will tend to relieve themselves more often. Ultimately, the core of potty training is consistency, patience, and love – a bonding journey for pet parents and their fur babies.
The following are the more common methods of potty training your puppy.
- Find a potty spot for your puppy.
Ideally, this would be somewhere they can be familiar with and feel safe. Keep taking them to the same spot when they go out to potty. Over time, the puppy smelling their scent in that same spot will help them determine it as their territory where they have to relieve themself.
- Set their meals at certain times.
Depending on the puppy’s age, they may need to be fed 3-4 times a day. Not only will this train the puppy not to beg for food throughout the day, but this will also help you when to expect them to poop. This will train them to poop only at certain and consistent times.
- Go outside often.
Take your puppy out for potty first thing in the morning and before bed. Younger puppies may need to relieve themselves more often, so take them outside every 2 hours, lengthening the period between potty breaks as they grow older. Establish that pooping and peeing are for outdoors only.
- Learn their cues.
There are telltale signs to look out for when your puppy needs to relieve themself such as whining, going in circles, sniffing their rear or the floor, and squatting. When they get used to the outdoors being their designated potty area, you may also teach them to communicate their cues to you by barking or scratching at the door.
Dog Potty Pads
- Restrict your puppy’s access.
This method will require a heavier set of boundaries for your puppy because you will be assigning areas which they will eat, sleep, and relieve themselves. You may need to keep your puppy on a leash for a time to better observe and supervise your puppy.
- Place potty pads in their designated potty spot.
Designate an area within your home where your puppy will relieve themself and place potty pads there. You may put more potty pads in the area and lessen them to 1-2 pads as your puppy gets more used to this area being their potty spot.
- Schedule your puppy’s meals.
This will establish a healthy habit for meals and will help you monitor when your puppy needs to relieve themself.
- Take them to the potty pads often.
Much like the previous method, this will require taking the puppy to the potty pad as often as necessary to familiarize them into determining this specific area as their potty spot.
- Find a crate for your puppy.
The crate must be big enough for them to stand, walk around, and lie down. The size is important, as dogs grow up to not sleep and relieve themselves in the same area. The crate should not be too big that they will find a corner to use as their toilet
- Establish the crate as their sleeping area.
Create a comfortable space for your puppy in their crate. Give them treats when they enter the crate, feed them, and give them chew toys so they would associate the crate with happy things.
- Take your puppy straight to their potty spot when they get out of the crate.
Since you have established that the crate is for sleeping, the puppy will want to relieve themselves elsewhere instead. Direct them to their potty spot just as they are taken out of their crate to create a habit of relieving themself in their designated area.
Expect that accidents may still happen within and beyond the potty training. It is important to be patient and kind, so as not to push the puppy to fear you. Reprimand the puppy gently when accidents happen, and reward them for good behavior to reinforce good habits.
Potty training is about fostering a relationship. It is an opportunity for the parent and the puppy to create an understanding between each other for a better and happier companionship.