Have you just adopted a dog? Potty training is one of the first challenges you will have to face in the education of your puppy. Your puppy is still a baby, so he doesn't yet know that he has to do his business outside! But don't panic, potty training isn't that difficult if you follow the right advice.
#1: Don't punish him
First of all, you should know that a puppy under 6 or 7 months of age cannot control its sphincters. Therefore, it is quite normal for him to have accidents during the day or night. Above all, don't scold him! Picking up after your puppy is not pleasant, but it's not his fault. It's just that he can't hold his pee (or poo) in for very long. Punishing him will only make your dog fearful, and will harm your relationship. Moreover, if you scold him after he has done his business for a while, he simply won't understand. It's often said that you have to rub his nose in it to get him to learn his lesson, but you should know that this is a bad idea and doesn't work.
If you catch your puppy doing his business in the house, you can give him a firm "NO" and take him outside. This is the best way to teach him that this kind of thing is not done in the house.
Finally, don't clean up the mess in front of your fur ball, get him out of the room before you mop up. We also advise against using bleach to clean. The smell of bleach may remind your dog of the smell of urine, and this will encourage him to relieve himself in the same place.
#2: Establish a routine
The best way to get your puppy clean quickly is to establish a routine. This means that you should try to take him out at the same time each time to create a ritual. This way, your puppy will gradually learn to hold back until the next walk and become housebroken.
We recommend that you train your puppy from his first days at home. It may be necessary to take a few days off work when he arrives, or to hire a dog sitter. Indeed, as we have already said, a baby dog under 6 months of age cannot hold back for very long and therefore cannot be left alone for a whole day.
The ideal times to walk your dog are
- after waking up (after the night of course, but also after every nap),
- after each meal,
- or after playtime.
In general, you should take your furry friend out every two hours or so to relieve himself.
#3: Avoid distractions
When going out, make sure your baby dog is not distracted from its goal. This is not the time to throw the ball. You should also avoid going to the park at a time when he might encounter other dogs, so that your furry friend can concentrate on his business. A puppy's ability to concentrate is quite weak. If he is distracted, he will forget to do the main thing...and we all know how that will end!
#4: Using positive education
To encourage your puppy to become housebroken, the positive reinforcement method usually works well. This involves rewarding your puppy when he does his business in the right place (i.e. outside). Praising him will reinforce this behaviour, so he understands that this is what you want from him. And, as he is trying to please you, he will certainly do it again.
As far as the reward is concerned, it can be a dog treat, just a pat or even a verbal encouragement. Don't be afraid to use a high-pitched voice and make a fuss! Doggies love it!
#5: Getting to know your dog
Be observant to learn to spot the signals that your puppy wants to relieve himself. If you see him spinning around, or sniffing the floor, it usually means he's about to relieve himself. He may also start to whine. When you see these warning signs, don't wait any longer and take your furry friend out!
Now you know how to housebreak your puppy. If you follow our advice, it should happen fairly quickly. The tips we've just given you are useful for puppies, but they can also be applied to adult dogs. If you adopt an adult dog and it is messy, you should go back to the basic training as if it were a baby. First, check with your vet to make sure that the mess is not related to a health problem or separation anxiety . Don't hesitate to seek advice from a dog trainer if potty training is proving difficult.
If you have any questions about puppy potty training or other tips to share, feel free to leave a comment!