Getting a puppy is very exciting, but there are a few things that are not so much fun. One of those is potty training your puppy.
Here are a few things that will help you and your puppy get potty training right:
Prevent Puppy Potty Accidents
Supervise your puppy while they are in the house. When you can watch your puppy, a playpen or crate is a great option. Be careful that you do not overuse your containment. Containment should be used only when you can’t 100% watch your puppy. If you see your puppy sniffing or circling, it’s time to take them to their designated potty area.
Crate Train Your Puppy
Crates get a bad rap, but they are a life saver when potty training your puppy. In order to ensure this is a positive experience for both of you, take your time and make your puppy’s crate a fun and comfortable place to hang out. You never want to put your puppy in the crate and close the door before conditioning your puppy to the crate. This takes time and patience. For more information, see our article on crate training.
Set Up a Playpen
Playpens are ideal for when you will need to be away longer than your puppy can hold it. Your puppy’s playpen should include a potty pad or litter box, your puppy’s crate with the door open, a Kong or sturdy chew toy, and food and water bowls.
Designate a Potty Area
Decide where you would like your puppy to potty, and take them there every time you take them out to relieve themselves. This will become the cue for your puppy to go potty.
Praise and Reward When Potty Training Puppy
After your puppy has eliminated, praise and reward with a yummy treat. You can also have a little play time. Nothing good happens until your puppy has finished going potty. Until your puppy is perfectly potty trained, always go out with your puppy so you can praise and reward.
Never Punish Mistakes
If your puppy has an accident in the house, never yell, smack, or rub their nose in the mess. It’s over, and now it’s time to move on. Clean up the area with an enzymatic cleaner, and figure out how to prevent accidents in the future.
Interrupt Mistakes as They Are Happening
If you catch your puppy in the act, interrupt them and take them outside to finish. Do not yell at or startle your puppy, you don’t want your puppy to be afraid to go potty in front of you.
Keep Your Puppy on a Schedule
Keeping your puppy on a schedule will help you both immensely. Your puppy should go out first thing in the morning, as soon as they wake up from a nap, after playing, anytime they come out of their crate, after eating or drinking, and usually every hour or so. In order to find out when accidents are happening, it’s a good idea to keep a Potty Accident Chart. This chart will help you see patterns and help you set your puppy up for success.
If you are struggling with potty training your puppy, give us a call, so you can talk to one of our trainers: 786-299-1552