How To Potty Train A Puppy

Behavior Popular Resources April 20, 2024
How To Potty Train A Puppy
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How To Potty Train A Puppy

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When potty training a puppy, remember that puppies see the entire world as a substantial potty area. Your puppy should be taken out regularly for potty breaks, managed adequately, supervised appropriately, and rewarded positively.

You and your puppy can master this critical task with time and patience. When puppies know where and when to go potty, everyone—two-legged or four-legged—is happier.

How Long Does Potty Training A Puppy Take?

You may wonder, “What is the average time it takes for a puppy to be potty trained?” That may all depend on consistency, learning history, and your methods, as well as how long your puppy can hold it.

After only a few days, some puppies are well-mannered. Others may require months, particularly if the dog has had a less-than-ideal situation before coming to you.

For example, a small-breed puppy typically has difficulty holding it compared to an extensive-breed puppy. Developmentally speaking, a puppy at eight weeks old is very different from a puppy at five months old. But most dogs can learn if they are given time and patience.

The steps below can help you potty train a puppy in seven days. Depending on your puppy’s breed, it might take a little longer.

Establish a Routine

A regular schedule is best for puppies. The program teaches them specific times to eat, play, and go to the bathroom. For each month of age, a puppy’s bladder control usually increases by an hour. They can, therefore, hold it for about two hours if your puppy is two months old. They’ll likely have an accident if you wait longer between bathroom breaks.

Take the Puppy Outside

Take your puppy outside frequently—at least every two hours—as soon as they wake up, throughout and after playtime, and after consuming any food or liquids.

Choose a location outside where you can let your dog out on a leash, and go there every time. Use a specific word or phrase that you can use later to remind your puppy to go potty to help them remember while they’re doing it for themselves. Taking them for a long walk or playtime after they have gone potty would be best.

Provide Rewards

Reward your puppy every time they go potty outside. Treats or praise should be given as soon as they finish going, not when they go back inside. This step is crucial because the only way to teach your pup what is expected of them is to reward them for going outside. Make sure they are completely done before citing them. Puppies are easily distracted, so if you praise them too soon, they might not finish until they return inside.

Feeding Schedule

Set up a regular feeding schedule for your puppy. A program determines what goes into and what comes out of a puppy. Puppies may need to be fed twice or three times per day, depending on their age. Your puppy will be more likely to go potty at regular intervals if you provide them at the exact times every day, making potty training easier for both of you.

Pick a Phrase

 Use a word or phrase that you will use moving forward to communicate the behavior with your puppy, such as “go potty” or “do your business.” Choose a phrase that you won’t probably use in other contexts. Install that word or phrase so your dog associates it with the intended action the moment he or she goes.

Timing is important. They probably won’t connect the word’s meaning to what you’re saying if you keep repeating it to them when they’re not going potty. Therefore, check to see if they have just begun to go or, with practice, when they are about to go (this gets easier once you can read their cues that they are about to pee or poop). Only use the word once.

Bedtime Schedule

Remove their water bowl around two and a half hours before bedtime to lessen the likelihood that your puppy will need to go potty during the night. Most puppies can sleep for about seven hours without getting up to use the bathroom.

If your puppy does wake you up in the middle of the night, don’t make a big deal; otherwise, they might assume it’s time to play and refuse to go back to sleep. Please don’t talk to or play with your puppy; turn off as many lights as possible, take them outside to go potty, and then put them back to bed.

Crate Train Your Puppy

Most trainers concur that a crate is a crucial tool for potty training. Potty training your puppy, and training in general, can be significantly aided by confining your puppy to their area. Because a dog usually doesn’t want to soil a place where they spend time living and sleeping, a crate will help your puppy learn to “hold it.” The crate must be an appropriate size.

Crates should be big enough for your dog to sit, lie down, and turn around comfortably, but not so big that they can turn a portion into a bathroom. When a puppy is small, it is best to use a crate with a divider that can be adjusted because the puppy will soon become larger.

Ensure your puppy spends enough time inside the crate to feel at home. Your dog must associate the crate with positive experiences, including being secure and content. Be sure the crate is not used as punishment.

Should You Use Puppy Pee Pads?

Even though trainers advise against them, some dog owners use puppy pee pads or paper out of convenience or because they think their puppies can’t go outside before or during immunizations.

Pee pads essentially teach your dog to relieve himself inside your home. Many dog owners begin using pads, hoping that doing so will be the first step in teaching their dogs to relieve themselves outside. Rarely does this work. Most of the time, it simply prolongs and complicates the process of potty training.

When you train your puppy to use the bathroom indoors by teaching them to use the pee pad, they may never learn to go outside.

Additional drawbacks to pee pads include that they add to the cost, it’s unhygienic to have poop and pee in your home, and many dogs enjoy chewing on them. Pee pads are a solution if you or your dog have mobility issues and find it challenging to go outside.

The best place for potty training is outside, where your pup will also benefit from valuable mental stimulation and opportunities to be social.

Final Thoughts

It’s never too late to potty train any dog. However, as soon as you bring your puppy home, begin potty training as quickly as possible. The ideal time to start potty training puppies is between 12 and 16 weeks of age. Most puppies are capable of effective potty training by this age and have adequate bladder and bowel control.

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Amy Towry is a Certified NAVC Pet Nutritionist and pet lover. She is the proud owner of two rescue cats and a rescue dog and her love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care, nutrition, and product reviews.
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