Bringing home a new dog is such an exciting time in your family’s life! However, all the excitement comes with a lot of new responsibilities. It is important that you start potty training your new dog as soon as possible. It may be a difficult task at first.
If you follow these tips, it will make the process less stressful for both you and your new best friend!
- Pick a potty spot outside. While on a leash, take your puppy to that spot each time you want him or her to relieve themselves. You should use the same phrase each time you bring them to the spot such as, “go potty” or “ok go.” Make sure you keep it consistent and short to help reinforce the action.
- Make a schedule. A general rule of thumb is that dogs can control their bladders for the number of hours corresponding to their age in months – up to nine months or nine hours. That means for young pups, be prepared to go outside frequently, even at night.
- Take away water two hours prior to bedtime. Puppies process food and water quickly. Each time your dog finishes eating or wakes up from a nap you should immediately take him or her outside to your designated spot. By taking away the water at night, it reduces your pup’s need to go to the bathroom (thereby allowing you to sleep longer between potty breaks!).
- Reward your dog. When your dog goes to the bathroom outside, reward him with a treat and verbal reinforcement. Positive feedback is key to reinforcing good behavior.
- Watch for cues. Eventually, you will start to notice when your pup needs to go and can preemptively take them outside and prevent an accident. Remember to stay with them outside until they are finished, then bring them back into the house.
- Lastly, be patient. Your dog is not going to learn all of this overnight. It will take time for him or her to understand that you want them to go to the bathroom outside. Just remember that your dog will only be a puppy for a short period of time – so stick with it.
Follow these tips and your pup will be potty trained in no time!