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5 Easy Steps to Potty Training Your Puppy

Are you having trouble potty training your puppy? Here are FIVE quick and easy things you can do to help.

1. Limit your puppy's freedom around the house. 

Unless your puppy has peed within the last 30 minutes, there is no free roaming around the house. Puppies pee… A LOT!  

After that 30 minutes, they can go:

  • into their crate
  • into an exercise pen (you can buy those at most pet stores) that has been made small enough that they won't pee in it
  • on a 4 ft leash tied to the couch, etc. (they won't pee if they cannot get far enough away from it)
  • on a leash with you

Some puppies may not even last the initial 30 minutes. Thus, it is super important to get to know your puppy's habits and adjust to them.

Remember – dogs are habitual. You MUST break a bad habit in order to change that habit. Every time your puppy pees inside the house it reinforces the bad habit. 

2. Reward the good choices they make! 

If - and ONLY if - you catch your puppy in the act of taking a tinkle inside the house, firmly say "NO" and rush your puppy outside (even if they are finished). You must catch them in the moment if you want your correction to be effective at all.

When your puppy DOES potty outside, make sure you are putting it on command. What this means is to emphasize and repeat "GO POTTY" while they are going, to help them make the association with the command. Once you are sure that they are finished, tell them "YES" and reward with a food reward instantly. Dogs live in the moment. Rewarding them once you are back inside will not be effective for reinforcing this behavior.

3. Put the water bowl OUTSIDE, at least 10 feet away from the door.

Sounds weird, right? Water bowl outside? But by putting the water bowl outside you accomplish a couple of things simultaneously:

  • You avoid excessive drinking (which leads to excessive peeing).
  • You give your puppy a reason to want and need to go outside. While some puppies may love the outdoors, others may prefer the cozy warm house. But ALL puppies need to drink water. This will give your puppy motivation to go outside.
  • And finally, by running outside to the water bowl many puppies will pee on the way out, or on the way back. 

4.  Put your puppy on a feeding schedule and make sure they are on a good quality food.

By having scheduled meal times, it will help regulate your puppy's potty schedule. Try to remember to feed your puppy their last meal of the day at least 3 hours before bedtime. You want to make sure they have done all of their business before it is time to go into their crate for the night.

Quality matters! Not every food goes over well with every puppy. Some foods can make a puppy extra thirsty. Some foods can cause upset tummies, which will prolong the potty training process as well. Consult with an animal nutritionist to find the best option for your puppy.

5. Clean up! 

Dogs have an amazing sense of smell. A dog has approximately 220 million scent receptors in their nose compared to a human's 5 million. When dogs smell a place where they have gone to the bathroom previously, it's a trigger for them to go again. You must use an enzyme cleaner to clean up accidents when they occur (hopefully when you implement this new plan, you will not have many future accidents). A household cleaner is not strong enough.

Nature's Miracle Enzymatic Cleaner is a great option to help remove urine smell from your carpeting or rugs.

By implementing these 5 easy steps you will create new and better behavior patterns around the house and your puppy will be potty trained within 2 weeks in most instances. Don't forget that even the quickest puppies to potty train still have small bladders, so don't forget to take them out regularly!

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Thursday, 28 September 2023

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