Having Trouble Potty Training Your New Puppy? Read These Potty Training Tips Below!
You went to the local animal shelter "just looking" and you came across the cutest puppy. Next thing you know you have a new puppy who won't stop peeing everywhere in your house... Don't worry, we've all been there. Read these tips below to learn how to help your puppy get potty trained. Remember to be patient, it is possible to teach a new dog new tricks!
1. Figure out your dog's motivation and use it to your advantage
Does your dog love to chase the ball? Reward them for using the bathroom outside by letting them chase the ball. If they love treats be sure to give them one every time they use the bathroom outside, encouraging them to do it more.
2. Consider crate training
It is important to remember that when crate training is done correctly it isn't scary for your dog. We know, you promised your new puppy that they would never be in a cage again as you were walking out of the shelter, but trust us, as den animals these animals see these crates as their own personal space. Since this is their space, they are less likely to soil it. A well sized crate gives a dog enough space to stand up and lay down comfortably. It is important not to give your puppy too much space because then they will feel comfortable using the bathroom in one corner and going to lay in the other, away from it. Remember that the more space you give your puppy, the more spaces to go potty they have. If you build trust with your dog and have a solid routine, they will wait until you let them outside to go to the bathroom.
You'll know your puppy needs to go to the bathroom when they start whining or scratching on their cage. Be sure to listen to their cues. If the puppy is hinting they need to go make sure to listen to them because if they go to the bathroom in the crate they may think this is now okay and will feel okay doing it in your house too.
If you don't like the idea of crate or feel it's too constrictive, make sure to remember that the more space you give your puppy, the more room they have to go to the bathroom. Just like the idea of crate training, dogs do not like to use the bathroom where they eat or sleep so confining them to the spaces where they eat or sleep, may limit accidents.
3. Place puppy pads in the house
Puppy pads can be helpful for pet owners who aren't able to get home as often as they'd like to take their new puppy out due to work or a busy schedule. Accidents happen and puppy pads prevent permanent stains and limit the mess. The only issue with puppy pads is they reinforce two different bathroom options for the puppy. If the puppy thinks that it is okay to go indoors on a puppy pad, they may be less likely to hold it until they go outside, which creates puppy pads to clean every day when you get home from work. If there is no other option, puppy pads do give puppies an approved spot to go to the bathroom at home, helping to potty train them.
4. Stick to a solid schedule
A puppy has a small bladder, so you should aim to take them out quite often. One of the most important parts of potty training is staying on a solid schedule. Whether it be right when you wake up in the morning, before sleeping, after playing, or when they leave the crate, it is important to remain consistent when taking your puppy out. It doesn't have to be every day at 5 PM but it does need to be every day before dinner time or after play time.
*Pro-tip* Take your dog out before eating so they are more motivated to go.
5. Understand your puppy's limits
Wondering how long your puppy can control their bladder? The number of hours actually relates directly to their age in months in a year. So if you have a five month old puppy, they should be able to hold their bladder for about five hours. This does not mean you should make your ten month old puppy wait ten hours to go to the bathroom. Just like humans, they need the bathroom and if it becomes urgent they will have to take matters into their own hands. It is important to show your puppy that there is an approved place to potty and that the house if off-limits. The faster the puppy understands this, the quicker they will stop peeing in the house.
6. Learn the signs
Every puppy is different so they all have different signs of when they need the bathroom. Some dogs may need to pee every time they play or get excited and others may not. You need to learn your individual puppies signs of when they need to go out.
7. Show them the right spot
This is not for the faint at heart, but some vets suggest that you can clean up your pets accident with a paper towel, put it in a zip-top bag, and then bring it outside with you the next time you take your dog out. You can then open it and put it on the ground where you want the dog to use the restroom.
If you don't like the idea of using the paper towel, you can use Puppy Aid Training Spray and spray it either outdoors or on potty pads.
8. Don't give your puppy attention until after they use the bathroom
Pick a consistent place for him to go and then give him a consistent command instructing him to use the bathroom. Be sure not to give the dog any attention besides the command until after they have successfully gone potty. Once they go be sure to praise them. If they don't go to the bathroom, you can go back in ten minutes and try again.
9. Control the puppies diet
Be sure to feed your puppies into three high quality small meals. Make sure the food agrees with the puppies stomach, it may take some trial and error.
10. Keep expectations realistic
Make sure to be realistic with your puppy. There will be accidents but they will learn. Be patient, soon they will learn.
It is important not to shame your dog if they have an accident. Instead of making a fuss, clean up the mess and kill all odors so the dog doesn't feel comfortable going there in the future. If you see your dog preparing to use the restroom pick them up and rush them outside. Once they go outside give them praise. PREVENTION IS KEY in potty training.
- Take your dog out often - after meals, first thing in the morning, etc
- Keep a consistent schedule for bathroom trips
- Praise your puppy when they go potty outside
- Pee pee pads can be used if you are scared of an accident but they won't potty train your dog
- If your dog has an accident, clean all odors to prevent them from going there in the future