How to raise a happy dog – Part 8: Potty training your puppy
This is the 8th article of the series “How to raise a happy dog”.
This series is brought to you by Jacket Rust
Because puppies don’t typically wear diapers, house-training quickly becomes a high priority on most puppy parents’ list of must-learns.
According to the experts, your most potent allies in the quest to house-train your puppy are patience, planning, and plenty of positive reinforcement. In addition, it’s probably not a bad idea to put a carpet-cleaning battle plan in place, because accidents will happen.
Until your puppy has had all of his/her vaccinations, you’ll want to find a place outdoors that’s inaccessible to other animals. This helps reduce the spread of viruses and disease.
Steps to potty train
- Choose a permanent toilet area for your puppy. This should be at least 3x3m large unpaved piece of land -the lawn with few trees at the best case. Why to designate a certain toilet area? First of all you won´t have your dog’s toilet all over your garden and second your dog will get very fast what you want from him when you take him to his potty spot.
- Create a command as “Go potty”, “Go Pee” and “Go Poop” or what ever suits you and use this order when you arrive to the toilet area. By instructing your puppy to eliminate beforehand and by rewarding him for eliminating afterward, you will teach your pup to go on command.
- For the first few weeks, take your puppy outside on-leash. Hurry to his toilet area and then stand still to allow the puppy to circle (as he would normally do before eliminating).
- The potty training stands and falls on your, ability to predict when your puppy wants to relieve himself so you can show him where and offer well-deserved praise and reward. Thus your puppy will learn where you would like him to go. Puppies have a 45-minute bladder capacity at three weeks of age, 75-minute capacity at eight weeks, 90-minute capacity at twelve weeks and two-hour capacity at 18 weeks.
Here’s a list of the most common times to take your puppy out to potty
- When you wake up.
- Right before bedtime.
- Immediately after your puppy eats or drinks a lot of water.
- When your puppy wakes up from a nap.
- During and after physical activity.
Make sure to give lots of positive reinforcement whenever your puppy manages to potty outside and, almost equally important, refrain from punishing her when she has accidents indoors.
Knowing when to take your puppy out is almost as important as giving her praise whenever she does eliminate outdoors.
In our next article, we will be discussing your puppy’s vaccinations and healthcare. So stay tuned!
By Petra Wafa
Certified dog trainer, Jacket Rust