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Potty Training Your New Puppy
02/05/16 at 10:07 AM | Published Under Dog Behavior
Potty training your new dog or puppy requires so much more than a few stacks of old newspapers. It also requires patience, commitment and consistency. Virtually every dog–especially puppies–will have an occasional accident in the house. That’s just part of the training process.
Here are a few tips to minimize your pet’s house-soiling incidents.
1) Establish a routine
A regular schedule during potty training teaches your dog or puppy that there are specific times to eat, play and potty. In general, a puppy can control his bladder one hour for every month of age. Don’t exceed this between bathroom breaks or he's certain to have an accident.
2) Pick an outside potty spot
Always leash your puppy before visiting a designated outdoor spot. While he eliminates, use a word or phrase like "go potty." After he eliminates, take him out for a longer walk or playtime.
3) Take your dog outside frequently
During potty training and afterwards, take your dog outside at least every two hours. This is especially important after he wakes up, during and after playing, and after eating or drinking.
4) Reward each time he eliminates outdoors
Praise your dog or puppy and give him a treat immediately after he finishes eliminating. This is vital since rewarding your dog for eliminating outdoors is the only way to teach him what's expected of him.
5) Establish a regular feeding schedule
Depending on their age, puppies usually need to be fed three or four times daily. Older dogs can be fed less frequently. Sticking to this schedule makes it more likely that your dog or puppy eliminates at consistent times as well–making housetraining your dog easier.
6) Pick up water dishes
While housetraining your dog or puppy, lift his water bowl before bedtime to reduce the likelihood that he'll need to potty during the night. If your pet does wake you up in the night, keep it low key when you take him out to do his business. Then return him to his bed.
7) Confine your dog when you can’t supervise him
Since you’re likely unable to watch your dog or puppy at all times, restrict him to an area small enough that he won't want to eliminate there. The space should be just large enough for him to comfortably stand, lie down and turn around. Or consider crate training your dog.
8) Take mistakes in stride
Expect your dog or puppy to have a few accidents during housetraining. It’s a part of the process. When you bust him, make a startling noise to interrupt him. And don’t punish him! Be sure to clean it thoroughly since dogs are highly motivated to continue soiling in areas that smell like urine or feces.
9) Plan for when you're away
If you’re required to be away from home for more than four or five hours daily, consider adopting an older dog that can wait for your return instead of a puppy with a more active bladder. If you already have a puppy, arrange for someone responsible to take him outside to eliminate when you’re away.