Potty Training Puppies: 3 Simple methods that work!
Potty training puppies is a task that few dog owners enjoy. But it is not as difficult as many people make it out to be. All it takes is a method that works and plenty of patience. I’m going to show you 3 ways of potty training a puppy. Choose the one that best suits your situation, stick with it, and you will succeed. Guaranteed!
Potty Training Puppies: Paper Method
With this method, you are going to train to your puppy to ‘go’ on a piece of newspaper or a puppy training pad. Then, once he gets the hang of it, you’ll move the paper to the area you want him to use in future.
Start by selecting a ‘training area’ – a room that you can confine your pup to, is ideal. Block off the area using a dog-gate or some other barrier, but don’t close the door. You don’t want to isolate your puppy. Cover the entire floor surface with newspaper. Put your puppy’s bed, toys, food and water bowls into the room, as he’ll be spending most of his time in here.
With the entire floor covered, he’ll always be ‘going’ on the paper. At first, this will be entirely random, although probably away from his bed and food bowl. He’ll probably also tear up the newspapers and drag them around. Just replace them and clean up any messes.
As you clean up to leave a small piece of urine stained paper behind. When he picks up his scent he’ll be encouraged to use the same area. Eventually, you may see that he starts to prefer a certain area. Once you notice that, start clearing the papers furthest away from his chosen bathroom area. Do this slowly, only one or two sheets per day.
You may find that you have to backtrack and re-paper an area you’ve cleared if he starts to go off the paper again. But eventually, you’ll notice that he is doing his business in a specific area. When this happens, it is time to move the papers to an area where you want him to go in future. Only move by a foot or two a day, gradually getting to the location you want. Eventually, you can remove the paper altogether. It takes time but is a very effective way of potty training puppies.
Potty Training Puppies: Crate Training
An alternative method of potty training puppies involves the use of a crate. Buy a crate before you bring your puppy home. Choose one that accommodates the dog’s adult size, but make sure it has an adjustable panel which you can move as the puppy grows.
Crate training is a great way of house training a puppy because dogs do not soil where they sleep. But it is important that you give the puppy just enough space to lie down and turn around, otherwise this method won’t work.
Before placing the puppy in his crate take him outside to the area that you want him to use in the future. After he has relieved himself put him into the crate. Then, when you take him out of the crate again, make another trip to his chosen toilet area. Always give praise when the pup does his business here. This will re-enforce the behavior.
A big advantage of crate training is that the puppy learns that he does not have to go whenever he feels the urge, he learns that he can hold it in. Puppies as young as 8 weeks can hold it for several hours if they have to, although it is not recommended to keep a pup confined to a crate for such a long time.
Potty Training Puppies: Supervision Method
This method only works if you have the time and patience to keep your puppy under constant supervision. It works best for retirees or people who work from home. If you have a day-job, it’s a non-starter.
The idea is to spend as much time as possible with your puppy. All dogs go through a ‘pre-toilet’ routine, and you’ll need to watch for this. A tell-tale sign is when he starts sniffing the ground. He may also start running around frantically. As soon as you see this, pick the puppy up, and take him outside to the designated area. Praise him once he relieves himself there, then brings him inside immediately. In that way, he learns that the sole purpose of the trip outside was to relieve himself.
You should also be aware of the times when the puppy will most likely need to go. These include, just after he wakes up, after eating or drinking, and after playing. The supervision method leaves very little room for error. You need to be on constant alert, but it can be effective if you are consistent.
Even if you use this method, you’ll still want to use the crate or paper method for the times you have to go out and can’t supervise your puppy.
Potty Training Puppies: Some important rules to follow
- Be patient and persistent. This takes time and repetition.
- Give praise when the puppy relieves himself outside or in the area you designate.
- Never punish a puppy for an accident. In particular, don’t use the ‘folk remedy’ of Rubbing your puppy’s nose in his mess. You’ll only succeed in making the puppy afraid of you.
- Clean up all messes immediately with an odor-eliminating detergent. Don’t use ammonia-based cleaners as they smell like urine to the puppy.
Follow these rules, and one of the methods outlined above, and potty training puppies is a breeze.