Potty training your new pet can often be infuriating. With consistency, a little bit of effort and some indefinite conditioning via positive reinforcement, potty training the puppy is entirely possible. The aim should be to let the puppy acknowledge what are good and bad potty practices so that an unforeseen issue does not arise in the future.
Our dog Daisy is a West Highland Terrier. We adore her, but she’s pretty stubborn. We started potty training straight away at age 8 weeks and we still have accidents and puddles. So summon up all of your patience and remember you weren’t born potty trained either.
It is important to note that while on average puppies take about 4-6 months to properly potty train, it is sometimes also dependent on factors like size and age. Smaller puppies have faster metabolic rates, which makes the litter visits more frequent and thus the practices more refined.
Experts suggest that the training should start at the ages between 12-14 weeks, and it should start off with routine. Your puppy should be put on a feeding schedule straight away and stick to the same times each day. Puppies are like toddlers in the way that they do much better with a consistent routine. We then set timers to take her out hourly throughout the day and used the potty bell method. It’s a simple bell hanging on your door, and you ring it every time you take your dog outside. She then learns to ring it when she wants to go out. We used this dog door bell, but it’s an easy thing to DIY with a ribbon and Christmas jingle bells. Our dog figured the bells out pretty quickly and just started ringing them to go play. So we were strict, when she rang the bell, out to the potty spot and back in. Then a few minutes later we would take her to play outside with no bell. This broke that behavior before it became habit.
When your dog uses the restroom outside, reward with treats and praise. I’m a big fan of positive reinforcement for dogs and toddlers too. Accidents happen, your puppy will have accidents. Adult dogs have accidents. Don’t punish your puppy, it wasn’t malicious. Our dog gets super excited sometimes to go outside and will have an accident while we are putting on her leash. The most effective action you can take is a firm no and take your pup right outside. I don’t think rubbing noses in urine works. Punishment doesn’t really work for dogs, their brains are not’ the same as ours. Be patient and remember dogs learn at different rates. It will happen and if it doesn’t, don’t be afraid to call in the professionals. Most pet stores have referrals or even on site dog trainers.
The Humane Society of the United States or in your neighborhood will also have a huge list of puppy training resources for you!
A protocol needs to be followed in order for the puppy to adhere to his potty training ethics: the food schedule of the puppy should be regular and it should be taken away during meals so that the puppy knows not to overfeed itself. Moreover, to develop a good practice the puppy should be taken outside to be done with his business first thing in the morning and then subsequently once every 30-60 minutes, depending on the puppy’s requirement. Also, take the puppy to the same, exact spot each time for his litter practices. His scent will encourage him to go, as it is familiar. It is also important whilst the puppy is potty training, his/her owner should stay outside with it to positively reinforce the said litter habits.
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