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Potty Training a Puppy


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First of all, when it comes to potty training a puppy there are a few things you should learn to expect. Firstly, potty training puppies will never be completely predictable no matter how many puppies you’ve trained. This is not to say it doesn’t get easier (and it’s not that hard in the first place) but I would never call it predictable.
potty training a puppy
Unless, somehow, you managed to achieve full 24 hour watch over your puppy then you’ll need to make yourself at peace with the idea that there are going to be accidents. No matter how good of a trainer you are and how well behaved that little puppy is, his (or her) bladder is too small and they lack proper control until they are older (around five to seven months). Not to fret though, there are steps you can take to minimise the damage to your home.

Potty Training a Puppy

The basic technique behind potty training a puppy is constantly moving them to the garden every hour (or less) and also before and after eating, playing, sleeping and meeting new people or things. Yes, that’s a big list but it needs doing. You also need to keep vigilant watch for signs of your puppy moving towards their usual potty area so you know it’s time to move them outside. You can make the potty training a puppy period a little easier in this respect by looking at how to potty train a puppy with a bell. If circumstances (such as adverse seasonal conditions or living in a high rise apartment) don’t allow you easy access to the garden our outdoor area then perhaps have a look at how to paper train a puppy or how to litter train a puppy.

Potty Training a Puppy

Once your puppy is in the correct potty area (be that outside, or on top of the paper, pad or litter tray) repeat a potty command. It can be anything but I tend to use something like ‘potty’ and repeat this command. You need to continually repeat this command and use this same command every time you potty train a puppy. As soon as your puppy does the correct action instantly reward them.

Potty Training a Puppy

Three things you need to know at this point. First of all potty training a puppy is all about learning by rote. By doing the same thing over and over and receiving a reward, the puppy quickly catches on to what is expected of him or her. You also need to know that with any kind of puppy training you need to move quickly and close the gap between the action and the reward, otherwise the puppy will think you are rewarding them for whatever they were doing at the point of the treat. This is where clicker training comes in useful. Lastly, puppies tend to aim for the same areas to use the potty so it makes it easier to pre empt.

Now that you know what you’re doing to reward the good behaviour – what about the bad? First of all you can only correct a puppies actions when catch them in the act. You can’t find a mess afterwards and scold the puppy for doing it – they don’t think the same way humans do and won’t understand what they did wrong. If you do catch your puppy in the act (and with the right vigilance, you will) you need to repeat a command such as ‘no’ and move the puppy to the correct potty area and repeat the potty command. If they then do the potty in the correct place you reward them before returning to clean up the mess.

You need to clean up a mess quickly, it’s hard to convince a puppy that they’r not meant to use the rug as a potty when that’s what it smells like. You can pick up sprays especially made for the job (they remove the mess, smell and are safe for the puppy) from pet shops and many department stores.

That’s all there really is to get started with potty training a puppy. Easier than you thought, right?


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  • About us

    Hello, Chris here and thanks for stopping by. I hope I'll be able to help you learn how to potty train a puppy without too much of a headache!

    There's nothing quite like living with a dog and I've potty trained a fair few in my time. I put this site together to help people who were having problems potty training a puppy.

    It doesn't have to be as hard as people make out and the guides you'll find here should make things nice and easy for you.