Potty training your pup in five easy steps
It isn’t difficult to potty train your pup, it just takes some time and attention. With these tips you will know what to keep in mind and how to go about it.
Step 1: Recognition
Look for the following signals to find out if your pup needs to go. Sniffing the floor, walking in circles and/or squatting. Pick up your puppy and put it outside as soon as you spot this behaviour. This teaches it to go outside to pee. Lifting up your puppy will cause it to hold it in. It tempers the urge to pee.
Step 2: Stick with the same locations
Having your pup pee or poo in fixed locations will help it understand your expectations. Do make sure you choose several places so it will be able to go in more than one place later on. Stick around these locations a bit longer during your walks. Your dog will start recognising these locations after a while. Reward it after it goes and continue the walk for a little while longer. Going home right after the dog has gone to the toilet will likely cause it to hold it in next time round. The dog will think that the walk is over as soon as it goes.
Step 3: Cage
Dogs are very hygienic animals that do not defecate in their own nest. Your pup will try to keep its cage clean and will prefer not to poo or pee in it. However, this changes when you force it to stay inside the cage for hours on end. This is why keeping your pup inside its cage for the entire night without interruption is not a good solution.
Step 4: Take frequent walks
It is important to walk your dog regularly, including at night! You will need to take your dog out for a small walk on a regular basis, especially at first. Walk your pup every two hours at first and before and after every meal, before and after sleeping and right after playing. As your pup gets older, it will learn to hold in its pee for longer. A rough guideline is that an eight weeks old pup can hold in its urine for two hours, a sixteen weeks old pup for about four hours and a six months old pup can hold in its urine for up to eight hours, although making it do that is far from ideal.
Step 5: Don’t punish, do reward
Of course accidents do happen. It is important not to punish your dog when they do. It will only give your dog the impression that it isn’t allowed to pee or poo near its owner. It will not understand how the pee caused the punishment. It is better to explicitly reward your dog when it does release itself in the right location. For example, after having lifted it outside or during a walk. Rewards stimulate your pup and help it understand what it is you want.
Tip: potty training does not take the same amount of time with all dogs. If your dog is still not potty trained after five months, there may be a physical problem. Pay a visit to the vet. They will be able to find out what is going on.
Potty and puppy training
When you take your dog to puppy training, you can also ask the trainer for tips and advice about potty training your dog. In addition, this course will also teach you how to handle bad behaviour such as barking, biting, begging or other problematic behaviour.