Potty training a puppy seems like a ton of work. While it does require time and discipline, puppies are eager to learn and definitely do not want to displease their owners. With a simple structure in place, your pooch will be marking their territory outside the house in no time. Here’s a few ways to make that happen as soon as possible.
1. Set a routine.
Dogs are creatures of habit. They know when it is treat time, walk time, and bedtime. You can make use of this desire to schedule by setting your puppy up with a potty routine. In general, you can expect a puppy to be able to hold their bladder for an hour for every month old they are. That is, a four-month old puppy should be able to hold it for four hours. However, don’t be afraid to take your puppy out more frequently than that. Always visit the same spot, and offer praise when your puppy does the job right. You should make sure to give your puppy an opportunity outside for these situations, in addition to the regular schedule:
First thing in the morning
Last thing before bed (Even try inventing a command word for this, like letting them out and telling them “last call”)
After heavy playing
After a nap
After time in the crate
Speaking of that last one...
2. The crate is your friend.
Don’t be upset by “confining” your puppy to their crate. Dogs love having a den - it smells familiar, provides protection and privacy, and gives them a territory of their own. Just like people, dogs want their living space clean. In general, a puppy will avoid going to the bathroom in their crate unless they absolutely have to. When not actively engaged with a puppy, keep them (within sight, if possible) in a crate. They will whine and scratch if they need to go to the bathroom; you will need to hustle! That’s your cue to get them outside. If they think it is okay to make a mess in their own home, what will stop them from doing it in yours?
3. Accidents WILL happen. Don’t freak out about it.
When a baby goes to the bathroom in their diaper, should a parent shove their nose in it and yell at them? Absolutely not. Just so with a puppy. If they make a mess on the floor in front of you, don’t throw a tantrum. Firmly instruct them that it is undesirable behavior so they associate it in that way. If they have gone on the floor while you were not present, there is little you can do besides clean the spot thoroughly and chalk it up as unlucky. If a puppy is routinely going on the floor, you need to change their crate time and frequency of going outside. Just like people, every puppy is different! Some will take longer to figure it out, and some will pick up on it immediately. Follow this advice to give them the best chance of success.
Accidents are going to happen while housebreaking a puppy. A strong stain eliminator and carpet cleaner like Bio-nihilator can make all the difference. Take care of those accidents, and keep your house smelling and looking clean while you train your puppy!