Few things are more aggravating than stepping in a warm pile of dog doo first thing in the morning. If you have a puppy, however, and neglect to properly toilet train him, there’s a very good chance that exactly this kind of thing will happen and probably more than once. For the sake of your feet (as well as your floor coverings), here are a few tips that can help you effectively train your potty train your puppy.
- Expect Accidents - Your puppy is going to mess in your house. It’s a virtual certainty. Until he learns to control his bowels and bladder, accidents are always a possibility. So accept that fact. You’ll be better prepared when your puppy has an accident and maybe keep your cool a little better.
- Keep Your Temper - Getting mad won’t help your puppy learn not to pee on your favorite chair. In fact, it will likely make things worse. Yelling and screaming can scare your dog, and cause him undue stress that can severely hinder the training process.
- Routines Are Key - It’s a good idea to come up with a regular schedule and then stick to it. Establishing regular feeding, play, and outside times will help your puppy know what to expect and control his bladder accordingly.
A rule of thumb is that, generally, puppies can control their bladders one hour for every month of age. For example, a two-month-old puppy can be expected to be able to “hold it” for about two hours. Take your puppy outside frequently, and immediately after he wakes up, after play, and following eating or drinking. If you work outside the home, you may want to hire a dog walker to take your puppy out for breaks while you’re away.
- Supervise - Keep an eye on your puppy when he’s indoors. Don’t give him a chance to soil the rug. Make sure he does his business when you take him outside. Keep him on a leash so he can’t just take off, and withhold play until he does his business. Learn to use voice commands such as “Go potty” to help aid in the process.
- Jail-Pup Blues - Your puppy shouldn’t have free reign of the entire house when you first get him home. Keep him confined to a small room or a pet pen until he’s been properly trained.
- Reward Successes - Be sure to reward your puppy every time he successfully potties outside. Give him a treat or reward him with play time. Reinforce that reward come with proper behavior.
- Instant Punitive Actions - If your puppy has an accident, it’s important to punish him only if you catch him in the act. That way, he will associate the punishment with improper behavior. If you rub his nose in it after the fact, he may not understand why he’s being punished. You don’t want him to think he’s being punished for playing with his chew toy.
Remember, the most important factor in potty training your dog is consistency. Come up with a routine and stick to it. For more help, check out the video below: