Successful Puppy Potty Training Depends On You
New puppies are great fun. They’re cute and cuddly; they’re playful and friendly. Who can resist the charms of a sweet, innocent puppy? Your new family member is so loveable that you can almost forget one of the biggest challenges you’ll face when that cute little puppy comes home – potty training.
Puppy potty training, also known as housebreaking your puppy, is rarely easy. In fact, at times, it can be downright frustrating and upsetting. However, there are ways to make sure you both get through the process successfully. Let’s start with these tips to get you and your puppy off on the right paw!
Know Your Puppy’s Potty Dance
You’ll want to catch your puppy in the act when possible, so you can teach puppy the right place to go potty. Start watching your puppy for signs of a ‘potty dance.’ These signs often come right after eating or drinking, and very often after a good bit of playful activity. After you feed your puppy, watch for signs of sniffing, circling, and squatting. Also, after you play, observe puppy for those same kinds of ‘looking for a place to piddle or poop’ signs.
Assign a Potty Spot
When you catch your puppy getting ready, you’ll need to show him or her where to go potty. If possible, the best thing to do is take puppy outside right away in order to help train him that the inside of the house is not a potty spot. If that’s not possible because puppy is too little to wait until you can get outside to the potty spot, then you will likely need to paper-train puppy first with a spot in the house. Puppy will be able to hold on longer and longer as time goes by, making it possible to plan an outdoor excursion to the potty spot.
I discovered, quite by accident, that you can assign a verbal cue to help your dog understand you want them to do a pee-pee. Shortly after we adopted our dog, Chloe, I was walking her and needed to leave the house for work. She was doing her doggy thing and snooping around instead of getting down to business. I tried to encourage her by saying, “Quick, quick! Do a pee-pee!” Much to my amazement, she squatted and did a pee-pee! I tried it again another time, and the same thing happened. While I will never know if her puppy potty training included that cue on purpose or by accident (she was sooo smart), I encourage you to give that verbal cue as soon as you see your puppy starting to pee. It can come in very handy when time is short.
Reward Good Behavior
If puppy goes potty in the right spot, a reward is in order. This can be your praise and affection or it could be a special treat just for potty time. A mixture of treats, praise, and playtime works very well for puppies. Because puppy wants only to please you and only to play with you, your praise and play means everything to them, and they will do anything to get it – including go potty in the right place. Never punish your puppy for making a mistake or for having accident!
Remember, puppy potty training is essential for a long happy life together with your puppy. There is a Part 2, because you have more to do in your puppy potty training adventure!