Getting a new puppy can be exciting, but you need to be ready with the responsibilities attached to adopting one. They might be cute and fluffy, but you have to deal with their mess. That’s why, especially if you are going to make it an indoor pet, you need to potty train them. Potty training is also called housebreaking or house training.
Reason for potty training
If puppies want to pee or poo, they will just move away from their sleeping area and release. They don’t care if it’s indoors or outdoors. Your newly vacuumed carpet, your stairs, and your grassy yard – it’s all the same for them. So if you won’t train them right from the start, they might get into the habit of peeing and pooping inside your house or in places outside your house you won’t like getting dirty.
A young puppy needs to go out every 30 minutes to one hour, unless it’s sleeping. The amount of time a puppy can control its bladder is affected by its age, according to experts. A two-month-old puppy can resist peeing for two hours while a four-month-old can hold it for four hours. This estimation applies up to the age of seven to eight months. When sleeping, a puppy can go without urinating for seven hours. However, every puppy is unique and this might not be the same for some.
Teaching them to eliminate their wastes in proper areas would keep them clean and help them avoid diseases. Some puppies can eat their own poo, which of course can make them sick. Also, if they are potty trained, you would easily know if they’re having bladder or bowel problems when they get older. If they are starting to eliminate in unusual areas, this might mean they are feeling something wrong.
The best part is that potty training actually does you more of a favor. If they are house trained, you can be sure to have a great time with your dog inside the house. You will also be able to bring them along while visiting houses of your family and friends without causing an embarrassment. You can also trust them to not bring dirt anywhere you tag them along, like in your favorite park, stores and markets.
Best age for potty training
The recommended age for potty training a puppy is between three to four months, because that’s when the puppy starts having enough control over its bladder and bowel movements. You can train them earlier, as long as you carry them to their designated toilet area yourself. Some say you can also train them as soon as they can step with their own paws.
If you adopted a puppy that is older than 12 weeks, it might have already developed some bad habits, so potty training may take longer.
Length of potty training
The more time you devote to training your puppy, the faster it will learn from you. It would depend on how much time a day you can spare for teaching your little one. Usually, potty training would last for about four to six months. Don’t expect them to be completely trained before the age of six months, even if they are doing really well. Accidental soiling can still happen.
Also, if the puppy had a previous nasty behavior, it will take you a longer time to reprogram their thinking and actions. But if a breeder has already taught some basics for your pup, then you would have fewer problems.
How to know when your puppy needs to eliminate
Since puppies have small bladders and have no instinct to hold on yet, they need to release more frequently than adult dogs. Plus, smaller breeds tend to have smaller bladders, so they have the tendency to go out more often. You need to take your puppy to your designated area for its urinating or defecating area after eating, after walking, after playing or anytime its bladder is full.
Usually, dogs need to go out when they are whining, sniffing the floor, circling, barking or squatting. Also, if your puppy seems restless and is scratching at the door, take it out right away.
Methods to potty train a puppy
There are different methods to potty train dogs:
1. Frequent trips outside
If you have a yard, you can choose one spot for your puppy’s toileting, and make sure it’s away from a main area. If you would train them properly, you won’t have a problem about those nasty brown patches in the middle of the lawn, and it will be easier for you to clean up their poo.
2. Crate training
Using a crate can be ideal for housetraining your puppy, especially while it is very young. Since you can’t be with it every second of the day and it still needs a lot of sleep, you can buy a crate for it to serve as its cozy den for sleeping and rest. The crate would also make it easier for you keep an eye on them, as it will not only keep them from making your home dirty, but it can also stop them from getting into mischief.
By confining the puppy in the crate, it would learn to hold its pee because he won’t like it if he would ruin his bed. Instead they would bark, cry or make noises to ask you to take them out and do their business. Choose a crate that is large enough for the puppy to stand, move a little, turn around and lie down, but don’t make it too huge for him to use a corner as a bathroom.
3. Puppy apartment
Puppy apartments make it easy for owners to potty train their pets. It’s just like a crate, but with the den or sleeping area separate from the bathroom but just adjacent to each other. Using a puppy apartment would the dog to feel more comfortable about urinating or defecating in a designated area. This would help them easily learn that they have a designated bathroom.
However, you should always be clean up their mess immediately. Once the smell lingers, they would avoid it and to look for another place to release.
4. Puppy pads or newspapers
The simplest way to restrict puppies from peeing or pooping anywhere is to cover the floor with puppy pads. If you want a cheaper option, use newspapers. Once you have them toileting there, start reducing the papers gradually, and move it closer and closer to the door, until they learn to start going outside to release once they’re adults.
Basic tips for potty training
Whatever method you choose, it is important for you to follow these general tips:
1. Keep a regular schedule for feeding and going out. Repeat the training consistently at the same time. If you keep an organized schedule for training, the puppy would learn faster.
2. Use cue words. When your dog starts toileting, you can say “wee,” whistle or introduce a hand signal so that they could pair their behavior with your command. Puppies won’t understand “Hey Buddy, come and pee here,” but if you say “wee” while they pee, he will remember it better. The next time you’d say “wee,” they would recognize that you are commanding him to pee.
3. Keep your pet with you at all times as you train them. You have to be there to communicate if they are doing the right thing. Take them on a leash with you so that you have control where they should go. When going to the yard, don’t tie the leash to something then go away; you might miss it when your puppy needs to release.
4. Be patient and use positive reinforcements. Potty training can be frustrating, since soiling accidents can still happen even if you thought your puppy already got it. However, you need to avoid punishing your dog because he will not understand you; the only thing he might be learning from that is you are to be feared. Just move on, clean it up and do it again. If your puppy is doing the right thing, reward him with treats immediately. It will motivate him to do the same thing over and over, since he is being rewarded from it.
5. Feed your dog with proper diet. Healthy meals would help digestion and regular bowel movement.
The goal of potty training is to teach puppies that their toilet area is not inside the home. Once you’ve reached this, it can surely help ensure a harmonious relationship with your dog while he lives inside with you.
If you’d like to learn more on potty training, you can visit these sites: