Potty Training Puppy Tips

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The number one concern of most new dog owners is potty
training.

The most misdirected interaction to train a new
puppy
is also probably potty training!  It isn’t going to be
immediate; it takes time!

Humans don’t understand what it is like to be a dog, and dogs
don’t really understand what it is like to be a human; this is
where the miscommunication lies.  Puppies don’t know that going
potty in the house is a mistake, yet the vast majority of owners
expect that their puppies come with this understanding.

Let me assure you; he does not know that going potty in the
house (poop or pee) will result in anger or even displeasure from
you.

Chances were when he was living with his littermates, they all
used “the bathroom” whenever the desire hit.  As humans, we
don’t want him to toilet inside or have “accidents” and
luckily training a puppy is easy if you have a few essential
step-by-step rules that you can follow that are proven to train a
puppy!  After all, we all need to know how to successfully potty
train a puppy!  And, training a puppy is easy if you know what you
are doing.  But remember it takes time to teach him where the
appropriate area where he can go is for him to be successful!

Crate Training

As soon as you bring your dog or puppy home, or even before you
go to get him, make sure you have an appropriately sized crate.
 Crate
training
is the best way to potty train
a puppy
.  I suggest
buying a crate
that will fit when he is an adult; it is easier
and cheaper; if you do it right.

The majority of dogs do better with a
plastic
or dark crate because in the wild dogs are den animals
that live underground.  Most people mistakenly get the open wire
crates because they think they look more humane.  The truth is the
stimulation of being able to see everything going on around them
can make them more restless, and more difficult to crate train.

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Potty training a puppy is so much easier with a crate!  Puppies
are less likely to soil the area when the area is small.  I
certainly wouldn’t want to sit in my urine or feces either; so it
teaches the puppy to learn to hold his bladder, and this is the
first step to having a truly potty trained puppy, but it may take a
little time!  The truth is that puppies gain bladder control like
babies gain bladder control and that takes a little bit of time and
waiting for them to mature.

Most crates
come with an inside barrier
that can be used to make a big
crate smaller, so you can get him a big dog crate and downgrade for
toilet training.

For instance, if you have a German Shepherd puppy that you want
to train you probably don’t want to buy three crates as he grows
and matures.  A crate barrier will allow you to make his
full-sized kennel a bit smaller to help promote potty training!

Quick Tip

Make sure that the crate isn’t all about leaving the puppy for
long periods of time, positive reinforcement like feeding your
puppy in his crate and playing crate games will be invaluable for
his love of his crate.  I still reward and occasionally jackpot my
adult dog for willingly running to their crates when asked.  After
all, a happily crate trained dog that loves his crate is invaluable
throughout his life!

Also, be sure and crate the puppy for short periods of time
while you are home.  Turn up a radio or turn up the TV so he
doesn’t hear each little move that you or your neighbor make. 
Be sure he gets used to you being there while he is in his crate
and reward him for short positive, quiet, periods of time spent in
his crate.

If the puppy is always left for long periods, and you either
aren’t home or aren’t awake, the crate can become a precursor
spending long periods of time in his crate, which he may not
like.

Paper Training or Potty Pads

I am not a fan of either paper training or using puppy
potty pads
.  Most dog owners thing this is the best way, but I
think that paper training will encourage your puppy, or even older
dog, to urinate on any paper products left on the floor (you
don’t want your child to have to explain why he doesn’t have
his homework the next day).  And, potty pads can encourage puppies
or adult dogs to urinate on soft items like carpets, towels, and
laundry that has been left out. 
Potty pad training
never works out the way you envision.

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Your puppy is going to have a couple of accidents.  Potty
training is a process, but it is all about getting him outside as
often as possible so that he has success and limiting his access to
the inside until he is nearly potty trained to the right area .

Leash

I use a leash on all my puppies while we are working on
“toileting outside” not only does the leash enable me to help
him work on his regular obedience manners, it also is instrumental
to the potty training process.  Being on a leash and near me
forces me to pay more attention to my puppy and deal with his
naughty behaviors.  Being on a leash also makes it impossible for
your new puppy to sneak off in another room in the wrong area and
have an accident, or sneak off and chew on something he shouldn’t
have in his mouth.  You’ll quickly notice your dog’s behavior
change when he needs to go outside because he will become restless
and begin to dance uncomfortably on the leash.  Housebreak your
puppy right, and take him to the right spot!

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I have seen 4 puppies in the past month who have
ingested things
(two socks, and one pair of underwear, and
another with candy wrappers) that they have not been able to pass
on their own, meaning we were forced to do emergency
exploratory surgeries
to find said items.  I can guarantee you
that if your puppy is with you on a leash and he grabs your
underwear, socks or candy, you aren’t going to allow him to chew,
play with and swallow them.  And, by taking these items away and
replacing them with appropriate chew toys, you can teach him
manners,

I will admit, it isn’t always fun, keeping your puppy on a
leash indoors with you, but the benefits far outnumber the
inconvenience.

Did you know all guide and service dog
organizations
force you to keep the puppy on leash all of the
time?  This is because it keeps the puppy from developing bad
habits and it forces the surrogate owners to be good parents and
teach the dogs obedience through forced exposure.  Again, I am not
going to let you jump on the counter, jump on the visitor, grab the
cat, or grab the underwear if he is on a leash!  Treat him when he
leaves distractions and pays attention to you.

Eventually,
room dividers
will help you manage your dog and his
behaviors.  If you can keep him out of a certain space and yet
confined to a certain space, you can ensure a more successful potty
training experience as a whole.   Don’t move to room dividers
until your dog is fairly reliable.  Then, keep an eye on your dog
and make sure he is getting out as often as you need.

Take Him Out Often


Potty training is more about potty training “YOU”
than it
is about potty training HIM!

The other key to success is making sure your new puppy gets
outside about every two hours.  He may need to go out even more
often than that after certain situations.  Puppies usually need to
go outside to the right area about 10 minutes after eating or
drinking.  They also need to go out after strenuous play.  They
need to go potty after sleeping.

Think of it this way, you can’t get him out to the right area
too much, but you can take him out too little causing him to make
urine or feces accident.

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Quick Tip

Make sure that you are going out with your puppy and monitoring
him while he is outside.  Not only do you not want to allow him to
chew on things he shouldn’t or dig up your yard, it is critical
to learn his potty schedule.

All puppy potty schedules are a little different, but each puppy
will have one.  One of my puppies would poop three times daily,
morning, noon, and night and urinate after water consumption and
about every two hours.  Once I learned that, I could watch the
puppy if he missed one of his outside scheduled potty episodes.
 If I don’t know my puppy’s schedule, he is more likely to
have an accident.

Puppies get distracted while outside.  They may be mid-stream
and notice a butterfly and stop to give chase, or they may be so
busy sniffing what critters were in the yard the night before that
they forget to utilize the time to use the bathroom.

Remember, when your puppy is young it is up to YOU to make sure
he isn’t having accidents in the house.  The more you know about
him and his habits, the more you set him up for early success and
move through the potty training stage!

Rewards

Honestly, I am all about positive reinforcement training and
using treats and rewards, but I
don’t recommend it for potty training
.

From the puppy’s perspective, he is being rewarded for going
to the bathroom, the behavior he is currently showing.  He
doesn’t understand that he is being rewarded for going to the
toilet OUTSIDE!  You may think he draws that conclusion, but I
assure you after my 25+ years training that he is not.

This is why many of my clients come to me and say their puppy
will urinate outside and then come inside and urinate in front of
them almost immediately. Your puppy is working for that treat!

Instead, while my puppy is going potty, I quietly praise him. 
You don’t want to be over the top about it and stop what he is
doing, just reinforce that what he is doing and where is something
you like.  Then if you catch him going potty inside stop him with
an abrupt sound “Ahhh” (not too scary), then get him outside
and quietly coo and praise when he continues to go in the right
area.  This makes it clear that “place” is important and he is
also not just getting in trouble for going potty in front of
you.

Don’t Over Correct

My last point brings my explanation here; don’t over correct a
urinating or defecating puppy.  Don’t rub his nose in it and
don’t swat him.  Also don’t YELL or scare him in anger.  By
doing so, you are teaching him never to urinate or defecate IN
FRONT OF YOU.  How confusing is that?

What we want is a puppy who is willing to go potty outside with
us, so we don’t want them to think that the act of toileting in
front of us is wrong.

After all, your puppy is going to have to “go” you just
don’t want him to learn it is easier to sneak away from you.

It is acceptable to try and stop him if you catch him in the
act, but kindly take him outside to the correct area and continue
the lesson that being outside is where he should be going
potty.

Having a potty trained puppy will lead to having a well potty
trained dog and a dog that knows where to eliminate in the correct
spot outside if you take the time to train him while he is
young!

Yes, it takes a bit of effort, but everything good in life takes
effort.

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Source: FS – TheDogTrainingSecret
Potty Training Puppy Tips