Everyone knows that one of the most frustrating parts of having a puppy in your house is potty training. Messy, annoying, and time consuming, potty training is no fun. Despite that, it’s kind of a necessity if you don’t want to be cleaning up household messes for a long time to come! In this post we explore different way to potty train your new puppy.
Many people use a crate when potty training, but this is a personal choice for you to make.
How to Potty Train on Pads
Using pads for potty training has a few pros and cons. Basically, you’re teaching your puppy where they can ‘go’ in an approved spot and then you work to move them outside once they’ve grasped that first idea. For most dogs this is the way to go, but some trainers feel this is doubling your workload. Its a personal choice, but most dogs do well with puppy pads from the start.
Make sure you have a good supply to hand and decide which part of the house you’re going to train your dog to go to. It’s best to choose somewhere well ventilated, for obvious reasons! Do not move the pad once you’ve started the process, otherwise you’ll confuse your puppy.
- Take your dog to the pad regularly and use the ‘potty’ command. This is the word you’re going to associate with your dog going to the toilet.
- Learn your puppy’s behaviours when they look like they want to go, when you see this, take them to the pad and say ‘potty’
- If your dog tries to run away and play, take them back to the pad – you need to be patient!
How to Move From Pads to Outdoors
Once you think your puppy is ready to transition outdoors you simply take your puppy outdoors when you assume it’s time, rather than to the pad. You can use the same cue, such as “potty”, or “go potty” when you’re doing this, to help them associate the place with the action.
- Move the pad outside, but do it gradually, e.g. take it a small distance away from its normal position every day, moving towards the door and then eventually outside
- You might need to make the pad a little smaller gradually, to help your puppy catch on
Dealing With Accidents
They’re going to happen, but it’s important to deal with them in the right way. For instance, puppy toilet training at night can be difficult, and this is when most accidents are likely to happen. In that case, a crate is a good option.
You should never discipline or shout at your puppy if they have an accident. The best way is to interrupt them if you see them starting to go somewhere they shouldn’t, you can do that by clapping your hands and saying “uh-uh”. You then take your puppy to the right spot.
If you see an accident that’s already happened, do nothing. There’s no point scolding your puppy for doing something if you didn’t see it, and your puppy won’t understand what you’re scolding them for. Instead, you need to be sure that you’re keeping a close eye at all times. Be sensitive to your puppy, remember they’re learning something new, just like a baby who is potty training.
The Importance of Praise
The most important element of how to potty train a puppy is praise. When your puppy does something right, e.g. they go to the pad and do their business, praise them, cuddle them and give them a treat. They will quickly associate the two actions and will continue to do it more!