Having a new puppy in the house is an exciting experience, especially if it’s your first time to be a fur parent. But as you will find out soon enough, a pet is a big responsibility. You need to feed, bathe, and make sure it gets enough physical exercise. The most significant task, though, is house training a puppy.
In particular, potty training can be overwhelming, and if you’ve been doing it for weeks with no positive result, you’re probably already wondering if you’re doing it right. Well, don’t give up just yet! Potty training a puppy takes time; some pups get it in weeks, but others may take months or even a year to be house-trained.
While there are factors that contribute to how long it takes to potty train a puppy, like the size and the breed of your puppy, the biggest factor is still you. The better your techniques are, and the more consistent you are with your training, the faster you’ll achieve the result you want. Don’t worry because there are things that you can do to successfully potty train your furry member.
Here are six training tips to help make house training a puppy easier for you:
1. Start training as soon as possible.
Ideally, potty training should start the day you take your pet home. No matter what age your dog may be, it’s crucial that you at least introduce the idea of going to where they need to go potty from the beginning.
Young puppies won’t have full control of their bladders until they are about 16 to 20 weeks old, but it wouldn’t hurt to start training them earlier than that. Even adult dogs that have never been potty trained could still learn it, though it might take a little longer.
2. Create a puppy training schedule.
One of the keys to successful training is getting your puppies used to a schedule for their potty time and other activities. Keep in mind that dogs love routines, so if you can establish one, it’s easier for them to understand the concept of potty training.
You might want to try this schedule for your puppy:
- Take your puppy out immediately when they wake up.
- Have a fixed schedule for feeding and hide their food bowl after 15 – 20 minutes.
- Take your puppy out after eating and drinking water.
- Let your puppy have access to fresh water all day but keep the water bowl away two hours before they retire at night.
- Put the puppy in the crate or bed when it’s time to sleep.
- If the pup wakes up at night, take them to their potty area and back to their crate as soon as they’re done.
3. Understand how their bladder works.
Puppies have poor bladder control when they’re young. It’s not a rule, but generally, your puppy’s age in months is equal to the number of hours they can hold it. So, if you have a three-month-old puppy, you’ll have to take them out every three hours. As your pet grows older, they will be able to hold it for longer hours.
4. Figure out their pattern.
If it’s not too tedious for you, you might want to make a record of when your puppy eats, drinks, pees, poos, and goes to sleep. In doing so, you might be able to recognize a pattern that could help you predict when your pup needs to go potty and make training easier.
5. Recognize the signs.
Keep in mind that most puppies show signs that they need to go. Take note of the common signs below and remember to take them out immediately when you see your pet do any of them:
- Circling or sniffing the ground
- Walking to and from without any purpose
- Pawing at the door (this often happens when they’re already used to going potty outside)
6. Try positive reinforcement training.
This applies to not only potty training but also obedience training. It’s considered effective, especially for puppies. What you need to do is show your pet the behavior that you want them to do. In this case, it’s going where they’re supposed to when it’s time to potty. Recognize their action by saying “good puppy” or any praise and giving them an affectionate pet. You might want to give them a treat whenever they do it as well. This way, they’ll understand which behavior gets rewarded.
Patience is essential when it comes to potty training a dog. Anticipate accidents as they will indeed happen regularly until your pet is trained. It may be frustrating at times but avoid punishing your puppy for the accidents, as this will only lead to your puppy fearing you. Practice the tips shared above and you will see great results eventually. In the meantime, be consistent with your training, and don’t forget to clean up accidents immediately!
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