I get it. Learning how to potty train your puppy can be a frustrating process. If for no other reason – it takes a lot of your patience and a lot of your time. In fact one of the reasons puppies end up in shelters is because the owner “thought” their puppy was difficult to potty train. My hope is that with just these few simple tips you will be well on your way to successfully potty train your puppy.
Let’s take a look: There are two big mistakes you are probably making all the time when trying to potty train your puppy:
First big mistake: You are probably allowing your puppy to have free roam of a large space (kitchen-breakfast area) or worse yet the entire house. As one client said: my puppy ended up “ninja shadow pooping” all over the house.
Second big mistake: You put your puppy outside alone and “assume” he will go potty and completely empty both his bowels and bladder.
Both of these big mistakes can set your puppy up to fail miserably at house training. Why? Your puppy doesn’t know “not to potty in the house.” He just knows he has to potty. Not going potty in the house is something you have to teach your puppy. The good news is that I can actually make it easier for you than you think!
Fixing Mistake Number One
I have found that puppies do best if they have a safe place to stay when you can’t supervise them. That would be their crate with just enough room to stand up and turn around. Most puppies instinctively don’t want to soil where they sleep. Crating can dramatically help your efforts to potty train your puppy. If you are feeling guilty about crate training and want to learn more about the advantages, check out my article here on the benefits of crate training. Buy a wire crate large enough for your puppy as an adult but use a divider panel to limit his space in his crate while he’s a small puppy. You should become a master at controlling your puppy and his environment. This should take care of the first mistake you are probably making.
Fixing Mistake Number Two
Are you putting your puppy outside alone to go potty? Why is this bad? This teaches your puppy to go potty when you are not around. This means if you don’t crate or supervise your puppy in your home, he’ll sneak off and go potty when you are not around and it’s okay. You’ve not been “around” when you’ve put him in the yard to go potty, so it’s okay to go potty without you there! Do this instead:
- Routinely take him to the same spot outside every day and immediately reward him with a high value food treat each time he goes. Outside.
- Also, take him out on a leash. This will help you to help him stay focused and not get distracted with lizards and leaves.
- Make sure that you don’t hurry his business and cause him to not to finish. If you do, that means he will be more likely to make a mistake inside. This is where your patience and time comes in.
All Summed Up. Now, let’s take everything we went over and make a concise list of things to remember
Here’s Your List
- Crate train your puppy to keep him safe when unsupervised. This immediately sets him up to succeed.
- Routinely take him out for potty breaks on leash to keep him focused. This will most likely include middle of the night potty breaks for a while. Remember, your puppy can only hold his business 1 hour for every month he is old.
- Routinely take him to the same spot every time. It will pay big dividends later.
- Develop a reward history for going every time in the correct spot using a “high value” food treat. This increases the likelihood that your puppy will learn that peeing/pooping in that spot works for him so eliminating there becomes a stronger behavior. Yea!
There, that wasn’t so bad, was it? If you’re diligent, avoid the two big mistakes above and focus on these four things to remember, you can really get your puppy potty trained more quickly and that will make everyone happy! I know you have questions so be sure to ask them below. Your question will help others who are wondering the same thing.
Remember: “Together, We Can Raise a Happy and Obedient Dog”
Jim Burwell, is Houston’s most respected dog trainer for 25+ years, serving over 10,000 clients. If you’re still having puppy training problems with your new puppy this will help you. Jim takes the science of dog training and shows you how to make it work with your family and puppy.