Potty training a puppy in winter can be quite a challenge, especially if you live in a place that gets snowed-in a lot.
And if your dog isn’t really fond of snow, he will likely not be too keen on going out in such weather, and even pinpointing his usual spot for relieving may not be that easy.
That, unfortunately usually leads to more messes and cleaning up after your pup in the house.
But don’t worry, adjusting your methods to the climate can be easier than you think.
Read on for 4 simple and effective tips that will help you in potty training your puppy in winter, and even turn the conditions to your advantage in terms of training.
Well, for one, your puppy preferring to stay indoors gives you a great opportunity to focus on indoor potty training.
Indoor potty training is unfortunately quite neglected by many owners, leading to needless accidents when the puppy must stay home.
Also, the chill outside is a good incentive for your puppy to learn to get his business done with quickly.
Unless he’s gaga for snow, he should be eager to finish up and get back indoors as much as you.
So with that glass-half-full outlook, let’s dive into our tips for potty training a puppy in winter:
1. Teach Him to Go Quickly on Cue and Not Stay Too Long in the Cold
For this, first you yourself should be prepared to take your puppy out on her potty break quickly.
Have everything, including the leash, poop-bags, warm clothing for both of you, etc ready in advance.
Pushing off on chores can seem a real downer in the cold, and being prepared in advance helps thaw enthusiasm a good deal.
Don’t play or roam around, and go straight for elimination when you set off.
Using a cue like “Go potty” whenever your pup eliminates will also help quicken things eventually.
And remember to treat and show affection whenever your pup goes quickly or goes on cue!
2. Clear a Regular Path, and Possibly Mark His Regular Spot to Make Trips Quicker
Having a regularly cleared and maintained path to your pup’s regular elimination spot will really help speed things along, too.
For the spot itself, keep it clear of snow or ice as near the ground as possible, with room for your pup to turn and sniff around.
The scent of previous eliminations is perhaps the best cue for dogs, and keeping the spot clear will help with that.
3. Adjust His Schedule in Winter to Time Potty Breaks for Good Weather
To make trips easier, try to adjust your pup’s feeding and walking schedules for the winter to times when the weather is good.
For instance, you can time multiple trips during the day, especially at or near noon when it’s warmer, and make it so that dinner is earlier than in summer.
But keep in mind that mealtimes will need to be adjusted too, for puppies eliminate pretty soon after eating.
You will also need to keep a close eye on your pup for all the signals during the adjusting period.
And teaching her a signal – like ringing a bell near the door when she wants to go – is even better.
4. Insure Yourself Against Indoor Messes – Use Puppy Pads!
Lastly, indoor messes and accidents are virtually unavoidable – especially if your dog hates to go out in the cold.
In these situations, training her to eliminate in designated spots – or on puppy pads only – while indoors is really helpful.
And if you’re a dab hand at tools and construction – or have the means to get it done – building a potty shed or potty shelter out I the yard is the next best thing to walks.
In any case, a puppy well-trained in eliminating properly indoors can be real blessing in terms of saved cleaning-up time.
Bulldogology’s 6-layer premium puppy training pads – which come in a regular and XL size – are excellent for these situations.
They’re highly absorbent, block odor, and are quick and convenient to clean-up once your puppy learns to hit the spot.
So keep stock of such puppy pads around the house when the weather gets rough to save yourself trouble.
Did you find these tips for potty training puppies in winter helpful?
If you’ve been a seasoned dog owner living in cold regions yourself, and have more suggestions of your own for potty training a puppy in winter, do share them in the comments section below!
And don’t forget to check out the Blueprint – our definitive guide to quickly train your puppy into an awesome dog!