A puppy who pottys on grass.

Potty Training Tips

When you get a new puppy, one of the most urgent tasks at hand is potty training. This is particularly important with big dogs, but even if you have a little dog like a Frenchie puppy, it is important.

Potty training should begin immediately and you need to do it with care. Mistakes made now can haunt you for months or even years in some cases. If you want to get your puppy started on the right track, here are some things that you need to do.

  1. Don’t be lazy.
    This is where many people fail with potty training. They fail to act and do what is needed.
    A small puppy comes with a small bladder and a lack of self control. This means that at a minimum, you should be taking your puppy outside once every hour. Even better would be every 30 minutes. This is a time commitment that you need to make.
    Besides specific times, also look for potty cues. Your puppy will likely need to potty at certain times such as immediately after eating and after playing.
  2. Use positive reinforcement.
    You want to reward the good, not punish the bad.
    One of the best ways to do that is with the clicker system. Get a clicker from a pet store and when your puppy potties where they are supposed to, give them a click and a treat. Unlike our voices, a click always sounds the same and your dog will recognize it as praise much sooner.
  3. Stick to a feeding schedule.
    You need to feed your puppy at regular times. By being consistent, you will quickly learn how soon after eating that your puppy needs to go potty. You can then make sure that they are in the right place so that you can get them used to going outdoors.
  4. Take up water at night.
    Take up your dogs water about two hours before bedtime. This should allow them to sleep comfortably much longer during the night. That can help prevent mistakes and can help you get a better nights sleep.
  5. Pick one spot.
    Your dog will pick a place to potty based partly on smell. This means that you should try to pick one general spot in your yard for them to use the bathroom. Take them to the same spot every time so that they recognize it as the correct place to go.
    A side benefit is that they can get used to using just one side of the yard. That can protect the rest of your yard from pet waste in the future.
  6. Learn how to clean.
    That same desire to choose a potty spot based on odor can work against you. If they make a mistake in the house, you are only reinforcing the behavior if you do not clean it up promptly.
    Find a good cleaning product and learn how to use it correctly. When they make a mistake, clean it up right away.
  7. Be patient.
    Above all else, be patient with potty training. Realize that it will take time and that you need to keep your head. Getting angry will not improve the situation. Stick to the plan, use positive reinforcement and it will happen.
  8. Fall back on crate training.
    If all else fails, consider crate training. Your dog will likely not want to use the restroom where they sleep and you can use this to your advantage. Although crate training can be controversial, it could be a useful tool. Just be sure to choose the right sized cage. You would not want to have your German Shepherd Dog in a cage built for a Beagle.

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