Potty training a new puppy, or even an older dog, can be challenging. Unfortunately, It’s a necessary part of puppy ownership. As much as we may wish for a quick fix, there aren’t really any shortcuts in this process. Here are five of our best puppy potty training tips to help housebreak a puppy.
No two puppies will be alike. Some will be easier to potty train than others. Some puppies will grasp the concept of potty training very quickly, while others seem to take months to get a handle on it.
Patience, and consistency will be the main components of your puppy potty training success. Remember, practice makes perfect!
What else can you do to help your puppy succeed?
Keep a keen eye on your puppy. This is the single most important puppy potty training tip to housebreak a puppy.
Puppies will normally give some indication that they are getting ready to go potty. If your puppy seems unsettled, whines, begins circling, and is sniffing around their immediate area, they may be looking for a place to do their business. You may also notice your puppy starting to squat.
If you notice any of these behaviors, say “NO” firmly, grab your puppy quickly and head for the back yard. Designate an area of your yard for your puppy’s “potty place”. Take your puppy to the same “potty place” each time. This helps communicate to your puppy where they should go potty.
The fewer accidents the puppy has inside, the better. You don’t want your puppy to establish a habit of going potty inside the house.
If your puppy does go potty inside, make sure you clean the area very well with either vinegar, or an odor removing cleaner. We use Natures Miracle stain and odor remover or OdoBan. We buy the concentrate by the gallon and it works great. Be sure to follow the instructions on the product that you will be using. This helps remove the scent so your puppy doesn’t continue to use the same spot to do his business.
Confining your puppy to a single room in your home can be very helpful during potty training. This makes it easier to keep a watchful eye on your pup, and also prevents your pup from sneaking off, to do their business. We like to use these baby gates because they are easy to open and walk through. Start out confining the puppy to just one room, then expand the area slowly as your puppy becomes more reliable with going potty outside.
Getting your puppy on a schedule is one of the most important aspects of our puppy potty training to housebreak a puppy.
This means to schedule meal times and potty breaks. This doesn’t need to be a rigid schedule, but more of a loose routine. Puppies thrive best when they know what to expect. A schedule can help set you and your puppy up for success.
Taking your puppy outside at critical times
- Upon waking up (morning and naps)
- 15-20 minutes after meals
- Directly after any physical activity/ playtime
- 15-20 minutes after drinking
- Before bed
Crate your puppy when you can’t directly supervise them. The crate should not be too large for your puppy, but should be large enough for your puppy to stand and turn around in. Most puppies will naturally try not to soil where they sleep. Always make sure to potty your puppy before crating. Your new puppy won’t be able to hold it all night, so more than likely you will have to get up once or twice in the night at first. Having a new puppy, is much like having a newborn baby in the house.
Have realistic expectations when you need to housebreak a puppy.
This can be a stumbling block for many new puppy owners. A puppy will take time to train, even if you put forth your best effort. Remember, puppies are not in control of their bladder yet.
Patience is another important aspect of puppy potty training to help housebreak a puppy.
Please don’t expect to fully house train your puppy in days or even weeks. Have patience during this process. Puppy potty training takes time.
A more realistic timeframe for your puppy to be fully potty trained could be several months for most puppies.
Above all else, expect your puppy to have accidents and make mistakes while potty training. It will happen.
The good news is your puppy is growing and learning more each and every day. Cherish these times as they don’t stay small forever. Take time to bond with your puppy and enjoy working with them. Eventually you will be rewarded with a potty trained puppy.
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