Getting a proper plan together for potty-training your new puppy is one of the most important steps in succeeding, both in your teaching and in the puppy learning. Training your puppy to go to the bathroom in the right place ensures a long, happy life together. Unfortunately, soiling in the home is among the top reasons why animals end up in shelters, and the habit is harder to break later in life than in the formative, early stages.
One method is using a crate, kennel or cage. Dogs are naturally clean animals, and do not like to have a soiled rug or blanket any more than you do. Be sure that the crate provides adequate space for the puppy to move around, but not one that is big enough for him or her to eliminate in a far-off corner, then move to a clean area and relax. Once the puppy starts to whine or cry, it is an indication that it’s time to go to the bathroom. Act quickly to let your pup out of the cage and lead them to an appropriate place for the business at hand. In learning this process, the dog will later employ the same techniques when it wants to go outside, avoiding unnecessary surprises around your home.
Having a regular schedule is essential to potty-training. Puppies have tiny bladders and the same holds true for solid waste. You should expect young pups to want to go to the bathroom rather frequently – about as many hours apart as they are months old, probably up to about 8 or 9 months, depending of course on your individual animal. If you’ve ever tried ‘holding it’ for 9 hours, you’ll understand the discomfort. They will typically need to go after waking up, after playing, after eating or drinking, after napping, or after spending a certain amount of time in their crate or kennel. It takes work and dedication on your part, but it is a responsibility you need to accept when you bring an animal into your life.
Probably the single most important skill you need to master is praise. Punishment accomplishes nothing – if your puppy has an accident, clean it up and move on. Praise, on the other hand, reinforces your puppy’s feeling of accomplishment in that he or she has made you happy, which is something they thrive on. They will attempt to replicate the process as often as possible!
We love animals at Normandale Veterinary Hospital, so if there is anything we can do to help you with yours, don’t hesitate to contact us!