How to Potty Train Your Dog

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So you brought your furry companion home and he is adorable beyond words. But what about house-training him to make sure he doesn’t have any “accidents” inside the home? You don’t want your cute new puppy to think of your living room (or bed!) as his bathroom! Here are some tips to properly potty train your pup….

  • Puppies need to be put on an established routine. He needs to know when he is supposed to eat, play, lounge around, and go to the bathroom.

  • Puppies should ideally be taken out every hour for a walk. As the pup gets a little older, you should take him out in the morning, before going to bed, and after every meal. Follow the same route on your walk because pups tend to eliminate in the same place over and over again.
 
 
  • For every one month of age, pups can hold their bladder for about an hour. So if your pup is three months old, make sure he doesn’t have to suppress himself for more than three hours.

  • Reward your puppy when he demonstrates good potty training behaviour. Pet him and give him treats and lots of verbal praise. This is how your puppy learns that he did something good.

  • Learn to read your puppy’s body language. Puppies will generally start pacing around the house, whining, or pawing at the door if they need to eliminate. If you see these signs, take your puppy out immediately. This is also a good time to use a command like “Outside”.

  • If you catch your puppy in the act, clap twice (loud, but not too loud) and take him outside to finish. If he successfully eliminates outside, give him treats and praise. If he doesn’t, that’s okay.

  • If your pup manages to soil a room, never yell at him. Your puppy cannot connect the yelling with what he already did, even if it was just a few minutes ago.
What You Should Never Do

Never rub your pup’s nose in his urine or poop. Do not scream at him or hit him. He is not trying to upset you. 

Even the best trained pups will have the occasional accident inside the house. This is okay. Just be firm and consistent with your puppy and follow the steps outlined above until he learns what is acceptable and what is not. Most pups can be potty-trained by about six months of age but smaller dogs can take a little longer.

Remember that potty training takes consistency, time, and patience. Screaming at your puppy won’t get you anywhere, and it will only frighten and confuse your new best friend! Be gentle but firm.

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