Training a new puppy to sit, stay, stand, or lie down is easy and straightforward. A simple command word, a little time, and some tasty treats, and your puppy will learn the trick. When it comes to potty training, however, a lot more is involved. It involves a lot more effort, time, and patience. Remember, you are basically training a dog to control both his bladder and bowels just so you can enjoy a clean house. If you think about it, this is a trick that is much more complicated than the common sit or stay. Well, the truth is that potty training your pet dog may require a lot more from you but it is easy nonetheless. Here’s how.
- Start training a puppy. Training a full-sized pet dog can prove to be very difficult since older dogs tend to be more stubborn and set in their ways. Potty training is a lot easier when the dog is still a puppy. Technically, formal potty training is applicable to a puppy of at least 5 months.
- Avoid accidents. Obviously, since the dog is still a puppy, you will want him living close to you. Hence, you will probably set him up inside the house. The only problem is that if your puppy wanders about freely, your carpets, sofas, or anything else you hold dear may eventually have pee or poop all over it. To avoid that, dog trainers recommend confining or crating the puppy. This basically means that you will need to limit his movement and let him stay in an area where cleaning up accidents is easy. A nice crate or a small area cordoned off will do. Put down old newspaper sheets or towels to protect the flooring from bodily wastes.
- Introduce the area for potty. Typically, puppies tend to release their waste several minutes after drinking or eating. It would be a good idea to bring your puppy to the ideal area for potty about 5 to 10 minutes after eating. Play with him while you wait for him to release. When he does, praise him by saying “good boy” and pat or scratch him. Bring him back inside and repeat the process every single time.
- Stick to a schedule. Dog trainers claim that this is the most effective method in house training a pet dog. As soon as he reaches 6 months of age, start serving his meals and water on a fixed schedule. Two feeding schedules per day should be enough, one in the morning and one at night. Stick to this feeding schedule and include a 10 to 15 minute walk after meals. Walk the puppy outside on a leash. Bring him to the ideal place for potty and wait for him to drop his bombs. Do not go back in until he is able to release. Repeat the same procedure and stick to the same time daily. After a few weeks, the dog will get used to the schedule and he will eventually learn to hold his bladder or bowel until the appointed time.
If the puppy, during the training process, still pees or poops at the wrong times, never ever reprimand or spank him. This will only make the puppy fear you. Negative reinforcement may work but it is generally not a good idea when training a dog.