This is the most important rule in potty training your new puppy. If you do not catch your puppy in the act of
pottying on the floor – Do Not Punish Him/Her For It! It only confuses him/her. They do not understand what
they are being punished for. For example, let’s say you left the house to run an errand and then returned home.
As soon as you walk in, the puppy is eager to see you and runs up to greet you and then all of the sudden you
notice that he/she has pottied on the floor and you punish him/her. The puppy doesn’t know what he/she is being
punished for. Very quickly your puppy will associate you coming home with punishment.
Praise your puppy when things go right. Do not let this be a situation where your most often repeated word
is “NO.” If they do it right, praise them! Tell them “Good Boy/Girl” and reward them. Rewards don’t always have
to consist of food. Praising them and petting your puppy can be just as rewarding to them as food. Consistency
and frequency are the keys to a successful potty training program.
1) Consistency-Everyone uses the same technique and the same phrases.
2) Frequency-Take your puppy out often and always go with them.
It sounds simple, but its not. Potty training your puppy will take lots of
discipline and dedication on your part, especially in the beginning. However,
the time and effort you put into potty training will pay off many times over
during your pet’s lifetime. It will help establish a healthy, strong relationship
between you and your pet. Good luck!
Methods of Potty Training
There are several ways to housebreak a puppy. You can use the ever popular potty pads, or use constant
supervision. We usually use a combination. It is best to start the training as soon as your puppy comes home. It
is also very important that everyone training the puppy, uses the same techniques and command words. Always
remember that Potty Training your puppy is just that, Training!
If you decide to use puppy pad training, you can use either newspaper or one of the commercial puppy pads
available at pet stores or even Walmart. Most of the commercial pads are pre–treated with a chemical that attracts
the puppy to use them. Whenever you see your puppy starting their “pre-potty pattern,“ such as walking around
and sniffing the floor, you gently pick them up without talking and carry them over the pad. We usually say “go
potty/poop“. Then praise them greatly when they go to the bathroom on the pad. Rule #2. Again we usually say
“good potty/poop!” or some other praise phrase. Remember everyone should use the same language (exact
words) every time. This is a training process. If you have several different people working with your puppy’s potty
training have a family meeting to make sure everyone is doing the same thing. This will help alleviate confusing
your pup with different words and methods.
When all goes well and the puppy is using the papers consistently, the papers are moved closer & closer to the
door. We like to start with the pad training, especially for when the puppy urinates. It is easier to teach your
puppy to go poop outside, but let’s face it a little puppy can urinate many many times during a day. This also gives
the puppy an option of a place to go if you miss the “pre-potty pattern.” The only problem with using this method
alone is that for a period of time it encourages the puppy to eliminate inside the home. That is why we like to use
a combination of methods.
Traditional Potty Training Vs. Constant Supervision
The traditional method of potty training a puppy is mainly based off of two factors
consistency and frequency. It is also very similar to the Puppy Pad method
except that when the puppy starts their “pre-potty pattern,” you take them outside
instead of to the puppy pads. It’s pretty simple in theory. The hardest part
of either method is watching your puppy to determine what their particular
“pre-potty pattern” is. Once you recognize this and consistently take your puppy
out every time they display it, you should be okay.
Using a combination of both methods is always easier especially if you have
to leave your puppy alone for long periods of time. While you are away, put
use the puppy pad method by leaving out a puppy potty pad just in case your
puppy has to go while you are away. Remember to praise your puppy if they
use the pad while you are gone.
It is always best to take your puppy outside for potty breaks at certain times,
these would include; as soon as the puppy wakes up from sleeping, right
before bedtime, when you take the puppy out of it’s crate or before you put it
back in its crate, 20-30 minutes after eating, and if you have been gone and
left the puppy alone. We usually recommend taking your puppy outside at
these times and about once every hour that your puppy is awake. Remember
though, that the times you are taking your puppy out to potty are only potty
times, not play times. Go outside with your puppy and place them in the grass
and tell them to “potty/poop,” or something similar. Keep repeating your potty
phrase until your puppy goes. They will usually get off track, if they do just
place them back in the grassy “potty area” and repeat your “potty phrase.”
Then as soon as they go, praise them and take them back inside. At first
it is important to keep to this schedule so the puppy doesn’t get confused
about what its supposed to be doing outside. It is not advisable to just push the
puppy outside and not go with it. Your puppy will get off track and confused
about what it is supposed to be doing out there.
Another innovative potty training tool is hanging a ribbon with bells attached to it
onto your door handle. Every time the puppy goes out to potty, ring the bells.
Pretty soon the puppy will realize he/she is supposed to ring the bells when they
want to go outside. This is a great alternative for those dogs that like to scratch
your doors. These bell ribbons can be easily made with extra Christmas
decorations or purchased at pet specialty shops such as Petsmart.
Some people may say that taking your puppy out so often may be overkill.
However, all training consists of consistency and frequency. You will need
both to have a successful potty training program for your new puppy.
Remember, your puppy is young and has to learn to train its bladder to hold
its urine. This does not happen overnight. It takes time. This frequency
gives the puppy many examples everyday to learn what you want from it.