How To Potty Train A Dog
When you get your new dog, one of the first things you will want to work on is potty training. If you have a new puppy, you will need some time for this, because the puppy’s bladder may not be developed to the point where he can hold it long enough. But even for a puppy, it is good to start developing good habits right away. Puppies should get to know what you expect of them. Soon your pup will have more control, so just have patience. For an older dog, the process will probably be fairly quick. Housetraining does not have to be difficult.
One of the most important things is to get a dog crate. Whenever you are not home, put the dog in the crate. The dog will not want to eliminate in the crate, because it is a confined area, and he sleeps in there. As soon as you get home, let the dog out of the crate, and take him outside right away. This way, he will automatically wait to relieve himself until he goes outside.
Work With Your Puppy
When you are home, it is a little trickier. You will have to observe your dog closely, and as soon as you see that he is about to go in the house, stop him and take him outside. Don’t give your puppy the run of the house right away. Close off some areas with baby gates or by closing doors. This way, you will be able to keep a closer eye on him, and catch him in the act if he starts going to the bathroom.
It will help to put the dog on a consistent schedule. Feed him and take your puppy outside at the same times every day. Always take him out first thing in the morning, after eating, when you get home, and last thing at night. Also, take him out every few hours. For a puppy, you may have to get up in the night and let him out as well.
Taking Your Dog Outside
When you get the dog outside, pick a command such as “go potty”, and say it every time. Whenever you see the dog relieving himself, say your phrase. Pretty soon he will understand and associate the phrase with going to the bathroom.
Always take the puppy to the same place in the yard to go potty. This will help to reinforce why he is there, and it will become a habit. Give him lots of praise when he goes. Make a big fuss about him at first, so that he knows he is doing something great by sucessfully going outside. You could even reward him with a treat if you want. Soon just taking him to his potty place will remind him to relieve himself.
Accidents are bound to happen at first. When your puppy has an accident in the house, don’t punish him. This will just make him fearful. Instead, just say “no”, and take him out right away. Say your “go potty” phrase when he is outside. Clean up the mess in the house right away. Use an odor eliminator that is made for getting rid of pet smells. Otherwise the puppy will smell that spot and want to go there again.
After a while, you will start to notice when the puppy has to go out. Start to take him out at those times.
It is possible to paper train a puppy as well. This involves having the puppy pee or poop on newspapers or special puppy pads inside the house. The problem with this method is that once the dog gets used to going inside the house, it will be hard to teach it later to go outside. So only do this if you want the dog to go on papers or pads for the rest of its life.
If you are having problems with your dog peeing in the house even after he should be housetrained, you might be dealing with submissive urination. This is when the dog pees out of fear or nervousness. This is not a potty training issue. Instead, you have to deal with the fear problem. Ask your vet or a professional dog trainer for suggestions.
Potty Training Success
Housebreaking a puppy or adult dog will be a breeze if you follow theses suggestions. Be patient, and use lots of praise and rewards for good behavior. Expect a few accidents and mistakes as part of the process. Don’t get too excited about this. Your dog will learn the proper behavior with a little time.
Potty Training Videos
Here is a video with some great tips about potty training your dog:
And here is a great idea for how your dog can let you know that he needs to go out to go potty:
Photo credit: bdollproject