If you have a puppy, you probably already know they can be a bundle of joy. Puppies are full of fun, energy and good spirit. However, puppies can also be extremely challenging, particularly when it comes to potty training them. Getting a young dog to go to the bathroom outside can be difficult. Luckily, there are some simple tips you can keep in mind to help them learn not to go in the house, and to let you know when they need to go outside. If you want to potty train your dog simply and easily, check out these great potty-training hack ideas.
1. Stick to a Schedule
Start by taking your dog outside every day at the same time, even if he doesn’t have to go to the bathroom. As soon as you wake up in the morning, go out; right before bedtime, go outside, and so on. A routine not only gives a puppy many chances to go outside, but it also teaches him that these specific times are the ones when he should go to the bathroom.
2. Spend as Much Time with Your Young Pup as Possible
Your dog will catch on pretty quickly that going to the bathroom in the house is a bad thing. So, spend as much time with your pup as possible. He won’t want to do something bad in front of you, and when you see signs that he’s about to go, you can run him outside.
3. Take Him Out After Every Meal and Snack
Every time your dog has a meal or a snack, take him outside to the same designated place. Wait for him to go. This will give your pet the idea that outside is the place to go when he has to go potty.
4. Reward Going Outside
If your puppy goes to the bathroom outside, reward him with praise or a treat. Positive reactions reinforce good behavior.
5. Use Crate Training
Try keeping your puppy in a crate when you’re not around and when he sleeps. Dogs won’t go to the bathroom in their sleep area. When your dog is aware and ready to go out, you can take him from the crate and immediately outside, where he can go to the bathroom.
6. Use a Bell on Your Door
Connect a long bell to your doorbell that your dog can make noise with when he goes to the door to be let out. That way, you make sure you don’t miss him asking to be let outside.
7. Get Rid of Odors
Your puppy will probably have an accident at home from time to time. You want to make sure you get rid of the odor so he doesn’t find the same spot to urinate in again. One good way is to pour baking soda on the urine spot, then spray it with a mix of equal parts warm water and white vinegar.
8. Always Use the Same Spot
In the beginning, always take your puppy to the same spot outside to go to the bathroom. That way, he will learn to associate that specific spot (which is outside) with whenever he feels like he needs to go.
9. Try a Puppy Pad
You can use puppy pads inside your house as another way to teach him to go to the bathroom in a specific place. Teach him to go to the pee pad when he’s inside; then eventually move the pee pads outside.
10. Use Prompts
Try not only using the same spots for your dog to go to the bathroom, but also the same vocal prompts over and over again. You might say “outside” to indicate you’re taking the dog outside to go, then “do your business” when you want to prompt him to actually go to the bathroom.
11. Take Your Dog Out Before You Greet Him
Before you greet your dog when you get home, immediately take him outside to go potty. Use the commands you’ve made up. That way, you can ensure your dog goes to the bathroom first — outside — before you excite him and reward him with your attention.
12. Avoid Punishments for Accidents
If you find an accident in the house, don’t punish your dog. He won’t associate it with going to the bathroom in the house, and he’ll feel a sense of shame and sadness for no reason. If you do catch your dog going in the house, make a sharp sound to startle him (and stop him from going to the bathroom), and immediately take him outside to finish going.
13. Keep Your Dog on a Leash
When you’re potty training your pup, whether with pee pads or outside, keep him on a leash. Hold him in the place where he’s supposed to go for 5-10 minutes until he goes. If he doesn’t go, go back inside. The process takes patience, but ultimately, your dog will get the hang of it, and it will be worth it.
Getting a puppy is a great experience, but also one that requires a lot of responsibility. One of the most important things you can do as a pet owner is to train your dog to be housebroken so he can comfortably live inside your home and visit other peoples’ spaces. Another important step in caring for your pup at a young age is taking him to the vet regularly. Regular vet care can help detect diseases or illnesses early, and it can also prevent unwanted health conditions, like flea- and tick-borne diseases with NexGard. By putting a little love and care into your pooch at the get-go, he can enjoy a long, happy, healthy life alongside you.
What are your puppy potty train tips? Let us know by commenting below.