Potty training is the most essential skill you can teach your dog! After all, if you don’t you’ll have to deal with puddles all over your house! But potty training a puppy requires more than a few newspapers. It requires diligence, patience and most importantly consistency!
Crate training is one part of the potty training system. The crate is a place that your puppy will sleep and instinctively not go to the restroom. Crates should be just big enough for your puppy to turn around to prevent them from finding a corner to do their business. Small crates can be used for puppies, but they can’t be left indefinitely in their crates! That is a recipe for accidents. The rule of thumb is: their age in months + 1 = the number of hours they can be left alone. But once you come home, they have to go right outside! Puppies can hold it for a little while, but once they’re out of the crate they’ll be looking for a spot to go!
Supervision is essential for the first 6-8 months of a puppy’s life with you! Not only does it prevent them from chewing on things they shouldn’t, like carpets, tables and shoes, it helps keep accidents from occurring. Watch your puppy carefully for signs that they need to go and then immediately take them out! If they don’t show any signs at first, make it a point to take them out every hour or so and see if they need to go!
Positive reinforcement is an important part of training your puppy, from potty training to more advanced training. Punishing your pet for doing something wrong doesn’t teach them what to do instead, it only teaches them to fear punishment. Often they don’t even know what they did wrong! The best way to teach them what they should do is positive reinforcement. Praise and treats when they potty in the correct place! If they go in the wrong place, simply clean it up and make sure there isn’t a smell remaining that could encourage them to go there again.
Routine is what will cement your potty training efforts in your puppy’s mind. It’s important to be consistent with your training because if you aren’t you’ll just end up confusing your pup. Pick a routine and stick to it!
Have you potty trained a puppy before? What tricks did you use?
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