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Potty Training 101 for Puppies

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Let’s face it. Our puppies are not born with more than enough knowledge to understand everything. They are not aware that soiling around the house is generally unacceptable. It is up to you as responsible pet owner, to teach and tell them the right place where they can do their thing.

The first step in potty training puppies requires some clues that you need to understand as their owner. These clues are sniffing the floor, restlessness, or but not limited to them returning to their previously soiled spot. Keep in mind that your puppy needs a potty about 5-20 minutes after eating, sleeping or playing. If you take your puppy outside for potty, try to bring him to his previous soiling spot. Don’t let him play and be disturbed by others.  As much as possible, keep him focus on what he needs to do. As soon as your puppy potties, praise enthusiastically.

Use the power of rewards if you can. Give your puppy a small treat to reinforce the positive behavior. This will increase the chance of letting him know that he is doing the right thing and you like it. Be enthusiastic after your puppy is done.

While potty training your puppy, keep him close to you all the time so that he won’t have any opportunity to fail even though it may mean that you need to follow him.  Alternatively, you can attach a leash to your puppy while you’re holding the other end so that you will still have him at your reach while giving him a little “sense of privacy”.

If it’s not possible for you to watch your puppy all the time, put him inside a kennel. You can also let him stay outside if the weather is good. The kennel is one of the most preferable potty training tools. A young pup 7-9 weeks old should be in a kennel for no more than two hours at a time because if it takes longer than that, they may not be able to control themselves longer than that and may cause chaos.

Keep in mind that each puppy will learn new skills at different rates. It will definitely take time for him to develop a firm understanding of where it’s acceptable to potty and where it is not. It will also take time for him to consistently understand what potty training is for.

Puppies need to relieve themselves regularly. There are puppies that needs to potty as often as once an hour. Expect that there will be accidents especially during the first stage of training. Never ever lose your temper, and always try to use simple yet consistent one or two word commands. If you do not, your pup will be either be frightened or confused about what you expect and your training will be more of a failure and nightmare more than a success.

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