Some dogs are easier than others to potty train, just like with babies. Trick is to not give up, or get frustrated. Every puppy is going to be different but their instincts will be similar and this is what you can use to your advantage. It is also good to know that puppies, just like babies, have yet to develop bowl or bladder control.
Remember, before you loose all hope, most puppies will not be completely house trained until they are 6 months old and this can also depend on the breed. Below are 5 rules on how to house train your dog as well as how to follow them:
Your Five Rules for House Training• Give your puppy frequent access to his toilet area – prevent soiling in the house.
• Reward the pup for peeing or pooping in the right place – use a special treat.
• Never punish the pup for housetraining “mistakes” – scolding has dire consequences.
• Put your puppy on a regular and timely feeding schedule – in/out clockwork.
• Know when your puppy last eliminated – keep a diary.
How often do puppies have to potty? – Most puppies have to eliminate about every 30-45 minutes except, of course, when sleeping. Their elimination schedule will depend upon when they last ate or drank water; rambunctious physical activity; and the big unknown – personal preference! That’s right – every pup has their own inherent elimination schedule. The good news is, puppies sleep alot!
Regular feedings will house train a puppy faster – It’s very important to put your puppy on a regular and timely feeding schedule; What goes in on a regular schedule will come out on a regular schedule. Every pup is different; some poop immediately after eating; with others it may be 30 minutes to an hour after eating. Unless advised by your vet for some medical reason, do not free-feed. That is, do not leave food out all the time. For two reasons: First, your pup’s elimination schedule will be random at best. And second, she will not necessarily associate you as the provider of her food (see our article on being a pack leader and winning a puppy’s respect and trust).
Always leave water out for your puppy. Check the water bowl frequently to note how much she is drinking and to make sure the water bowl is full.
The best way to potty train a puppy – Confinement to a small area such as a bathroom or an enclosed exercise pen in combination with confinement to a crate works best.
This method is the most effective and flexible. Your pup needs to develop his natural “den instinct” and learn where to eliminate – and where not to. To potty train our puppy we must condition a desire in the pup to avoid soiling the “den” – your house. Confinement and your due diligence in providing access outside the “den” to potty and poop will develop this instinct and eventual desire. When and how to use confinement is described in detail below.
Choose a designated toilet area for House Training – So, where do you want to train your puppy to always potty and poop? The puppy toilet area needs to be accessible very quickly.
• If you live in a high rise apartment, or a street level apartment or home with DIFFICULT outdoor access, use a bathroom or pen in the home for housetraining.
• If, however, you live in a street level apartment or home with EASY outdoor access, use a specific, very close outdoor location and use “Housetraining Taxi Service.” You will still use an indoor pen for housetraining purposes, but outdoors will be your puppy’s primary toilet area.
“HouseTraining Taxi Service” is simply picking the puppy up into your arms, taking them to the designated toilet area, setting them down and praising them for going where you want. If you are going outside, put a collar and leash on the pup immediately after picking them up, unless the toilet area is safely enclosed and escape proof.When should you provide “HouseTraining Taxi Service”
• Immediately upon your puppy waking up (morning, noon or night).
• Immediately after they finish eating, get a big drink of water, and after excited play
• When you think they might have to go – about every 45 minutes.
Better too often than too late!
• When your puppy whines in the crate in the middle of the night or whines in their pen during the day. Take them out to potty, reward for going and put them right back. If they continue to whine, see our article on whining and crying.
• When your puppy is standing at the door to the outside. Why not just let them out, you say? Well, he may not make it all the way to the toilet area, potty or poop in the “wrong” place and you have missed a housetraining opportunity!
For how long should you provide “HouseTraining Taxi Service” ?
Taxi your pup for about one month (until the pup is about 3 months old as this should give the pup enough time to develop some bladder and bowel control). By doing so, you will prevent many mistakes. At the same time you will train a stong preference in your pup to eliminate in your chosen spot. The pup will also learn that being picked up gets – kisses! If you have a large breed puppy and can’t pick them up, slip on a leash quickly and “rush” them to the potty area, do not stop until you are there!
What to do if you catch your puppy in the act of a potty training “mistake”…
If pup is peeing in the wrong place… you may be able to stop him. Move quickly towards him when he begins to pee and pick him up. Urgency is key here – you want to startle the pup just a little as you move towards them to pick them up, but you DO NOT want to scare the pup. You are redirecting your puppy to the right spot – not disciplining him. Immediately after picking him up, take him to the potty area and patiently wait. Most pups will finish there. Reward your pup with exuberance!
If the pup is pooping… let them finish. Puppies are not able to shut off a poop like they can shut off a pee. More likely than not, you’ll just create a huge mess by trying to interrupt a poop.
Housetraining at your bedtime and when you wake up
Just before you go to bed and turn out the lights, go get your puppy, no matter where she may be, asleep or not, and taxi her to the potty area. Reward and praise as always for eliminating. Put her in the crate next to your bed and retire for the night.
First thing in the morning, take her out of the crate and taxi her to the potty area. Return her to the crate or pen unless you are able to supervise her without distraction. Feeding is usually next up. Feed your pup breakfast around the same time each morning and in the same location.
Make sure the first thing you do every morning is take your puppy out to potty. You will need to do this every single night right before you go to bed until they are potty trained and no longer in need of direction.
It is all about rewarding your puppy when they eliminate when and where you want them to. Never rush them to avoid problems in the future and always make sure you practice house training even when you are not home. Do this by making sure they have a bathroom or enclosed area with papers to go on until they are trained and can be left unattended on a regular basis. Nature’s Miracle is a great cleaner to remove urine, fecal stains and odor.
Do you have any easy potty training tips to add that work?