Puppies are cute and smart and full of energy. They melt our hearts and tire us out in equal measure. Probably the hardest part about a new puppy is that they don’t know the rules of your house: what not to chew, who not to chase, and where not to go to the bathroom. Potty-training can be one of the most exasperating times in your life with a new puppy. Here are five tips to make it easier for you and your pup.
Supervise your pup at all times
It is much easier to prevent accidents than to discover them hours after they’ve occurred. While your pup is potty-training, keep him with you at all times. Close doors to rooms you are not using, set up baby-gates, or keep your puppy on a leash. As you play with and supervise your puppy, you will start to notice how he behaves when he has to eliminate. Often he will start sniffing around, try to sneak off somewhere private, or even start whining. These are sure signs that he needs to go out.
Take your puppy out often
Your puppy has very little bladder or bowel control when he is young. He will need to go out every time he wakes from a nap, eats, drinks, or plays energetically. When in doubt, take him out.
Come up with a command for eliminating
This will make your life so much easier as your pup grows up. Come up with a command that you will use only when you want your pup to eliminate. Make sure it is a command that you are comfortable using in public. “Go pee,” might not be the best choice. Common commands are, “do your business,” or, “get busy.” Whenever you take your pup out, bring him to the spot you have chosen for him. When he does eliminate, say your chosen command and praise him lavishly. He’ll get the hang of it in no time.
Crates can be a dog-owner’s best friend. Because you’re pup needs constant supervision at this stage, it’s a good idea to crate him when you can’t be with him. This keeps him out of trouble, and keeps you from getting angry. Make your pup’s crate a special place by offering him chew toys, bones, and soft bedding. Most pups will not eliminate where they sleep, so this is a great way to prevent accidents.
Clean up messes promptly
If your dog does have an accident, don’t get angry. Take him outside, put him in his crate, and clean up the mess. Use a good cleaner that can eliminate the smell completely, so your dog isn't tempted to use that spot again.
Potty-training takes patience and persistence, but puppies learn quickly, and after a few weeks of this routine, your pup should be accident free.
Rianne Hunter is a wife, mother of three humans and one pup, and an independent writer on a broad range of subjects like home, family, and pets. She recommends getting great helpful tools and products for potty-training such as the UrineBeGone.com odor removal tool.