Potty training your dog as early as possible is best! Dogs are creatures of habit and it's best to start training them very young. Most of us get our puppies when they're about eight to ten weeks old. Do remember that the puppy has already learned a few cleanliness basics when it was in the litter.
Puppies that are part of a litter for some time will usually learn to release themselves some distance away from their sleeping place or den. This basic behavior needs further reinforcement from you when you bring the puppy home.
How Long Potty Training Your Dog Will Take
There is no magic formula guaranteeing an amount of time it will take to potty train your dog. Puppies learn at different rates and no two pups are alike. It's easier when you have two or more pups at the same time since they will learn from watching each others' behavior.
As a general rule, larger dogs will take longer to learn than smaller breeds because they take more time to mature. Remember that you will need lots of patience and lots of time spent with your pup if you want them to learn quickly.
Two Methods of Potty Training
There are basically two methods of potty training your dog that can be adopted. If you happen to live in an apartment or even a house without a yard, then you may want to start by making your puppy understand where it is allowed to do its potty and where it is not. The simplest method for this is to first define a sleeping and play area. It can be a crate that you have brought, a sleeping basket, or even some rugs thrown on the floor. Most puppies and dogs will not soil their sleeping area, but there are some exceptions to this rule. Still, limiting your dog's territory at night should cut down on accidents.
Place some old newspapers in another spot in the same room, at a distance from your puppy's sleeping area. The next step is to closely monitor your pup every time it has finished a meal, or just woken up from sleep. Puppies will usually want to go potty after a meal or upon awakening.
If the puppy appears restless or looks like it is searching for something in the room, it's probably looking for a spot to relieve itself. Quickly pick him up, take him to the newspapers and place him on them. Now, this may not work the very first time since puppies rely a lot on smell and will generally try and go potty where they have done so before.
Have some patience and simply pick him up every time that you notice him going potty elsewhere and take him over to the newspapers. Praise and reward him with a treat or some petting after he has been successful. The puppy will soon learn to associate the newspapers with the potty area and will realize that you are pleased when it does potty at that spot.
Helpful Potty Training Your Dog Tip
One tip is to always leave behind one soiled sheet of the newspaper when you change the paper since the pup needs the smell of the potty as a trigger. You must also thoroughly clean any other area where the puppy may urinate accidentally. Use a strong disinfectant to mask the odor so that the puppy does not use the same spot again.
Some Potty Training Dos and Don'ts
- Never hit your puppy, scold him or rub his nose into the potty if the puppy does the deed in a spot it shouldn't. Accidents do happen, even to the best of us.
- Your behavior will make the puppy understand that it must not do its thing where you can see it. When you catch your puppy in the act, remember that a firm "No" or a "Bad Dog. Bad dog" will work just as well, because the puppy will infer from your tone that it has displeased you. Immediately take the pup to its designated area, set them in the right spot and offer verbal praise.
- Always remember to spend time with your puppy immediately after mealtimes and when it awakes from sleep.
- Apply the golden rule - have lots of patience and just love the critter!