Potty training a puppy can get a little messy, and take some patience.
No one could deny that.
It doesn’t, however, need to be stressful – especially for your pup. I mean, who learns well when they’re stressed-out, or anxious?
Puppy potty training, in the end, is all about conditioning your puppy right.
And if your puppy is without his mama, it’s up to you to help him learn the right habits as early as possible. You don’t want to miss that train.
Dogs, like everyone else, learn best when they’re young – be it flashy tricks, or basic toilet training. And with these 3 simple tips, you can make potty training easier on both you and your dog.
1. Scheduling Walks and Potty-Breaks Around Meals
Because getting the schedule right will really help your pup get into the habit of going at conveniently predictable times.
And, if you observe how his mealtimes and potty-breaks have something of a pattern, it should lead you to one realization:
Puppy bowels move on the double!
You must have noticed how soon after a meal your pup wants to go do his business.
Usually minutes, right?
You can see the signs – trying to squat, circling the floor, sniffing around.
So scheduling him for a quick jaunt outdoors to his regular relieving spot after his mealtimes is a great way to stick to a regular and consistent schedule.
Remember, puppies need to relieve themselves a lot more frequently than grown dogs. So just breaks after mealtimes may not be enough!
And with this, you should be able to really cut down on many of the otherwise regular “accidents” in the house while potty training him.
2. Having the Right Energy to Reduce Stress and Aid Reinforcement
Like we established earlier:
Stress doesn’t help your puppy’s training.
In fact, it’s now widely understood that positive reinforcement is the best, and ideal, way to go about training dogs.
And the best way to ensure that there’s positive reinforcement alone in your training is to project a positive energy while you’re around your puppy.
That doesn’t only mean dealing with setbacks or the demands of training with patience.
It also means:
- Being consistent and on-time with rewards, as well as punishment
- A lot of patient supervision, at least in the early weeks and months
You must remember that your puppy thinks in very simple terms, and pretty much lives in the present.
So if you’re not on-point, like not praising or treating him for doing his business in the right spot immediately, or scolding him half an after he’s peed on the rug – he won’t get it. He won’t be able to associate your actions to his. He’ll just think you’re generally happy or upset with him – pleasing or scaring him, as is the case, and having no effect on training whatsoever.
So be very careful to act in the moment, so he can make those connections.
And be prepared to put in the time.
The first few weeks can be a little painful, but getting frustrated may send the wrong signs to your pup, who’s really tuned into your moods.
Be patient, be calm, so your puppy doesn’t get all confused.
3. Set a Spot Inside, or in the Yard for Emergencies
Let’s face it, you can’t watch your puppy all the time.
And you can’t make it to the designated spot outdoors on time every time, either.
So having a spot indoors, whether it’s out in your yard if it’s a house or corner away from the general living area in a flat, is a great idea to reduce the amount of cleaning you’re forced to do.
This is also a good idea for owners who live in apartments, or for seasons when you’re snowed-in in the winter, and can’t go out as frequently.
- Pick a spot that is well out-of-the-way in your home, and one with hardwood, vinyl or another easy-to-clean flooring.
- Spread some paper towels, newspapers, or ideally, puppy training pads on the floor, to mark the spot. Bulldogology’s highly absorbent Premium Puppy Training Pads are an excellent choice, that make cleaning and disposal of puppy waste really convenient.
- Be regular in taking your puppy to the spot inside, too. Potty train him for breaks both indoors and outdoors and reward him consistently too.
- When you’re cleaning up, make sure you leave a bit of his dried urine on the new pads on the floor – dogs recognize their regular relieving spots by scent.
Puppy training sprays and such that are supposed to attract your puppy to the designated spot are available in the market nowadays, even if the feedback on them is generally mixed.
A bit of dried urine would probably work just as well, but you can talk to your vet for his recommendation of brands.
Having your pup potty trained for the indoors would also help in situations when your pup needs to go at night time, and you can’t assist him on some such occasion.
Do you have any simple tips or solutions of your own for those facing puppy potty training troubles? Let us and other readers know in our comments section below!