So, you got a new puppy, and while he’s cute and cuddly, his little accidents aren’t so cute. It’s time to potty train your pup, and while it may a tiresome process, trust me, your carpets and hardwood floors are worth the aggravation it can take. Soiled flooring is a stinky hard-to-clean mess, and it’s up to you to show your puppy how to properly go potty.
The AKC suggests you remember this as a guideline: Puppies are typically able to hold their bladder for the amount of hours that equals their age. For example, if your puppy is 6 months old, then he can “hold it” for about 6 hours. However, this is just a guideline, and every puppy will be different. You also shouldn’t expect your dog to go really long stretches. This guideline is for months to a year old, though you shouldn’t expect or want your puppy to hold it for up to 12 hours!
There are two schools of thought when it comes to potty training a new pippy. The first uses crate training. If you’re a pet owner who wants to use a crate for training their dog, you should first get your dog used to the crate. He should think of his crate like his own little abode where he can get away from everyone else to relax or rest. Some dog fans like cratetraining because dogs will rarely soil where they sleep, however, this isn’t a given. A dog may still soil its crate from an accident, anxiety, etc. The best way to get started is to find a nice comfortable crate that isn’t too large. Your dog should have enough room to turn around in it comfortably, but not enough room in the crate that it can urinate or defecate in one corner, and sleep in another.
If you’re cratetraining, your dog will be in its crate anytime you aren’t in the room. You’ll want to line the crate with bedding, not newspaper, to make it comfortable for him. The idea is to reinforce that he goes to the bathroom outside, and nor in the crate or your living area.
If you decide to go the other route: newspaper or puppy pads, you should follow the same rules below so you can make a consistent routine, and help your pup associate outside as his potty place.
You can develop a schedule for your puppy, so he knows when it’s time to go potty, and can anticipate that time. Here are some ways to get a strict schedule down:
- Try to let him outside around the same time every morning and evening, as well as other times listed below
- Use the same door every time you go outside with your puppy if possible
- Talk in an excited voice and get him excited about the idea of going outside to potty
- Use words like “go potty” or “do your business” each time you take him out, so he’s used to this command
- Return to the same potty place over and over, so he can associate this spot as the spot
- If you let your puppy out of his crate, take him to go potty even if he was only in there for a few minutes
It’s important to know when puppies need to go out. You can watch for cues, such as sniffing around or whining. Your pup may paw at the door or paw at his crate’s door if he needs to go out, and you need to answer his signals in kind. You should typically take him out after he drinks a lot of water or 20 to 30 minutes after he eats.
Above all, the number one secret to potty training your puppy is to make sure that you don’t give up and don’t get frustrated, as hard as that may sound. Say “no” when you spot the stain, but don’t rub his nose in it. Instead, clean it up, and take him outside to show him the proper spot to potty. Remember the age is just a guideline, and sometimes if he’s ill, scared or still too young to grasp the concept, your puppy will mess up. Have some cleaner on hand and be patient, because he’ll get the idea soon enough.