Puppy Class – Potty Training Success

By Emily Ridder-Beardsley
Puppy Page Editor

CHALUPA Photo courtesy of Rhonda Gregorio gregoriophotography.com
Photo courtesy of Rhonda Gregorio

This is my new baby, the to-die-for-adorable, Chalupa, who I Adopted two weeks ago.  When they are this precious, it’s not too hard to have patience… and patience IS needed!
One of the most difficult parts of puppydom – especially for first time dog owners – is potty training! Yes, it’s messy. No, it doesn’t always go as planned. YES, you can conquer it!
Don’t get bogged down by pet stores trying to sell you expensive solutions, there are DIY ways to take on the problem without spending a lot of cash.
The first step, and in many cases the most difficult, is time commitment. Make sure your puppy gets lots of outside time (when I adopted my first puppy, Pesto, I actually trained him to learn the words “Outside Time” and “Inside Time” – which was very helpful to me because he knew exactly what I was asking!).
The second, and perhaps most important is to remember to be patient! Getting angry with your puppy for having accidents will never help in the training process.
So, the first question is: when does my puppy need outside time? A puppy should be taken out during potty training every time he or she wakes up from a nap, after meals and before bed time or crate time (if you’re using a crate).  Beyond that, it is really helpful to find a schedule that works for you and for your family. The smaller the dog, the more frequently it will need to go out. If you have the time or help from your family, plan to take your puppy outside every 30 minutes to an hour for the first couple weeks. That way, you can preempt the possibility of accidents in the house.
Be sure to congratulate your puppy when they do their business outside! It is much easier to teach a dog good behavior with positive reinforcement! You can even bring small treats with you as a reward for doing the right thing.                                 pink treats good tum rub

Then, expect that there will be accidents. Instead of buying expensive potty pads from the pet store, line crates, kitchen floors or other areas where you leave your puppy unattended with old sheets and towels. The great thing about these is that they can be used, washed and re-used! Be sure to change out the sheets or towels after each accident and clean them before you re-use them. A puppy can smell where it has used the bathroom before and will continue to return to that spot if it is not properly cleaned. When accidents happen, take your puppy for outside time right away! That way they learn to associate potty time with outside time.

If you’re diligent, you’ll be through potty training in a few short weeks and the lessons will last a lifetime!  puppy care

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