Sandra is a veterinary assistant and has worked at various animal hospitals. She is a mother to a GSD, Siberian Husky and two cats.
Some people don’t realize this, but when you bring a puppy in to live with you, there are going to be responsibilities that come with it. Unfortunately, I’ve seen too many cases where a person thinks it’s going to be all butterflies and rainbows and then give them up because they can’t accept such a responsibility.
Don't be that person.
In many ways, having a dog is like having a child — and that includes waking up in the middle of the night to let them out when they’re young, rewarding them for going outside, and being patient.
If you’re having trouble potty training your puppy, I have a few tips that may be able to help you out in your journey.
Crate training your puppy
Crate training is a wonderful and effective way to potty train your puppy. While I understand some people are opposed to this method, it’s not a bad thing unless you have your dog in the crate constantly.
If you decided to use this method, be mindful of the size of the crate. Dogs won’t normally soil their living area but if they really have to go, and the crate is too big for them, they’ll find a spot in their crate to do it.
Create a consistent schedule.
The best way your puppy will learn, is through patience and consistency. Feed them, take them on walks, play with them around the same time every day. Depending on the size of your pup, take them out around every hour or two. Smaller puppies/dogs can not hold it in as long as bigger breeds so keep that in mind.
Dogs are more likely to use the bathroom after napping, playtime, and eating a meal. Take them out right after they’ve done these things.
Do NOT scold them for having an accident in the house.
If you find that your puppy has had an accident in the house, don’t beat them, yell at them or shove their face in it. They’re not going to understand what you’re doing by shaming them. When was the last time you learned that way?
If you happen to actually see them squatting to use the bathroom, then a firm NO will do the trick, and immediately take them outside to do their business. In doing so, they will start to understand that outside is the place they should go.
Give them lots of rewards and praise for a job well done.
When you take them out, wait until they’ve gone. It might take a little longer, but it will usually happen at some point. Sometimes it helps to run around and play with your puppy to get those bowels moving. The moment your pup does finally go outside, make sure you give them lots of praise, love, and attention.
Exaggerating your excitement can help. Your puppy is seeing how happy it makes you, and in their mind, they’re thinking
“oh, she/he likes this. Let me keep doing it.”
Sometimes it helps to reward them with a small treat.
Keep an eye on them at all times.
When I was potty training Haze, I put up a baby gate so he couldn’t get into the other rooms whenever he felt like it. For the most part, I hang out in the bedroom and the living room so I kept him in here with me. If I spotted him trying to go, I would immediately take him out.
You know how human babies or toddlers always get into stuff when you can’t see, and the room starts to become a little too quiet? Yeah, that’s never a good thing.
Keep your puppy where you’ll be able to see them at all times.
Your puppy is going to have accidents. It happens. They’re babies and they don’t know any better. This will get better with time.
You’re going to have sleepless nights, and it’s human nature to be frustrated every now and then. Trust me, I understand the feeling but you’ll start to realize that they can hold it a little bit longer as time goes on. Those accidents and the number of trips outside during the night will soon start to diminish.
Just keep it up. Don’t give up. You’ll soon start to see the fruits of your labor.
Keep an eye out for tricks on how to crate train your puppy!
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This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.