The most dreaded part of getting a new puppy is definitely potty training. While these adorable little furballs start out cute, they’re not so adorable when they’re peeing all over your house. Potty training can be frustrating at times, but there are some tips and tricks that can help you figure it out.
Tip #1: Be patient
It feels like we say this in every article, but it really is true. When it comes to training and dealing with the difficult aspects of having a pet, patience is always key. Your puppy is still learning how to be a pet, so it’s important to keep that in mind when you’re trying to teach them proper behavior.
“Raising a pup can be a challenging endeavor, much more so than most people expect. Unfortunately, pups don’t come pre-programmed knowing what we expect of them,” says dog trainer Andrea Arden. “Most new puppy parents can expect that their pup will bark and whine, chew most everything they can sink their puppy teeth into (including hands), and eliminate wherever they happen to be when they need to.”
Tip #2: Establish a routine
When is comes to potty training, routine is the second most important thing to remember after patience. When you do things at similar times every day, it helps your puppy learn what your expectations are and how it should behave.
Establishing a routine is all about frequency, consistency, and reward. The younger your puppy is, the more often you need to take them outside. The general rule of thumb is that a puppy can hold its bladder one hour for every month of their age. The more frequently you take your dog outside, the less chance it has to do its business indoors.
When it comes to consistency, this applies both to timing and to location. You should always take your puppy out first thing in the morning and right before bed, as well as after eating or drinking. If you’re training your dog to eliminate outdoors, choose a spot and stick with it. Your dog will learn that this is their bathroom area.
Reward is an essential part of teaching good behavior. Every time your dog successfully goes to the bathroom in the correct spot, praise it verbally and/or with treats. This will help shape its behavior and it will learn that bathroom outside=good.
Tip #3: Understand that accidents will happen
Although this all sounds simple on paper, we all know it doesn’t always work out so smoothly. Accidents can and will happen, so it’s important to know how to deal with them. Don’t scold your dog if he/she has an accident indoors, as this can make things worse. Rewarding positive interactions are a much better way to teach your dog what you want them to do.
“If it’s not fun for you, it’s not fun for your dog,” says dog trainer Paul Owens. “Physical punishment and aversive training methods are not necessary and do nothing to promote or foster safety, patience, kindness and compassion.”
Adding a new furry family member to your household is definitely not a decision to be taken lightly. If you’re googling things like “potty train puppy fast,” you might not be ready for a younger dog. It takes time and dedication to properly train a dog, and all new pet owners should fully understand that.
But if you do have the time and patience to devote to your puppy pal, then hopefully these tips can help you along the way. While the process itself can seem daunting, the rewards of having a well-trained dog are definitely worth the effort.
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