These do’s and don’t’s of potty training a puppy can help you make it through with minimal stress.
Because everyone knows Potty training a puppy can be an adventure to say the least.
It can also be a mess.
I’d love to tell you that you can get away without ever cleaning up messes in the house, but that would just be a big fat lie.
Instead, what I can do is tell you that it doesn’t have to be as horrible as you may have heard.
Potty training a puppy can be a relatively painless experience when you approach it the right way.
So let’s take a look at some do’s and don’t’s of the process.
The Do’s of Potty Training a Puppy
Do Be Consistent
This goes for all training, really. You need to be consistent when teaching your dog anything, but it’s even more important for potty training.
Establish a routine and stick to it. Always take your puppy out or to his puppy pads to go potty at the same times every day. This will help him get into the groove of going potty.
Do Use a Trigger Word
Trigger words aren’t mandatory when potty training a puppy, but I find it helpful. You simply use the same phrase every time your puppy does his business.
Over time, he will learn to associate this word with the act of going potty. Eventually, you’ll be able to take your dog out, say the phrase, and he’ll do his business.
Do Make it a HUGE Deal
When potty training a puppy, over the top praise is always a must. Make the fact that your puppy just went potty the most amazing thing in the world.
Make it the greatest thing your puppy has ever done. Make sure he knows that going potty where he’s supposed to makes him a superhero and makes you his superhero groupie.
Do Put Your Puppy on a Feeding Schedule
This makes life easier now and down the line. It’s easier to spot the signs that your puppy might want to make an extra trip outside to go potty when you know exactly how long ago he ate.
Along these same lines, pull up his food and water about 3 hours before bedtime. This won’t starve or dehydrate him, but it will make it easier for him to get through the night.
Do Crate Train
Crate training helps puppies potty train so much faster.
If you’re not a crate training type of person or you have other dogs who are not crate trained, at least separate your pooch in a room with a puppy pad and tile or hardwood flooring.
The night is a long time for a little bladder.
Do Be Patient
You need a deep, deep well of patience when potty training a puppy. While some puppies get the concept within just a few weeks, others can take upwards of 6 months to completely nail it down.
In any event, you have to have a lot of patience to make it through this period of training.
The Don’t’s of Potty Training a Puppy
Don’t Be Inconsistent
Just as consistency is key to any sort of training, inconsistency can be your downfall. When potty training a puppy always stay on schedule, no matter what.
Never wait because you’re in the middle of something. Puppy bladders are small and uncontrollable for those little guys, so always stay on schedule.
Don’t Feed Free-Choice
The quickest way to destroy your sanity when potty training a puppy is to leave the food down all day.
Puppies have a natural instinct to do their business after they eat, so if you have the food down at all times, you’re creating a completely out of control potty training scenario.
Another side effect of free-choice feeding with adult dogs is obesity.
Just like we don’t scold our children for accidents when potty training, we don’t scold our puppies, either. They don’t understand.
Remember, potty training is a taught skill. It’s not an in-bred trait. It’s only natural that it will take some time for our pups to learn and that there will be accidents.
Rubbing their noses in their mistake, yelling, or even worse, hitting the puppy does nothing but instill confusion and fear in our little buddies.
Don’t Leave Food and Water Down All Night
This falls under the free-choice feeding umbrella, but it gets its own blurb. If you leave food and water down all night, you are begging to wake up to a disaster.
Pull up the food and water about 3 hours prior to bed time and thank me later.
Potty Training a Puppy is Easier than You Think
Potty training a puppy doesn’t have to be the horror show we’ve all heard about. In fact, it can be relatively painless.
If you follow these do’s and don’t’s of potty training a puppy, you should be able to make it through the potty training process with the least amount of accidents and headaches possible.