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Potty Training Your Puppy

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puppy training mistakes

Puppy potty training is rarely easy. In fact, it can be downright frustrating and upsetting at times. There are ways to make sure you get through the process successfully. Let’s start with these tips to get you, and puppy, off on the right foot, or 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 way 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. In other words, 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 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 straight outside in order to help train that the inside of the house is not a potty spot. If that’s not possible, then try paper-training puppy first with a spot in the house. Your 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.

Reward Good Behavior

If puppy goes potty in the right spot, reward him. Rewards can be your praise and affection or a special treat just for potty time. A mixture of treats, praise, and playtime works very well for puppies. Because puppy wants to please you and 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.

Schedule Potty Time

After learning the ‘potty dance’ signs and understanding the potty habits, you can set up a schedule. Most puppies will want to go potty about 30 to 40 minutes after they have eaten, awakened from a nap, or played hard. Feed puppy at a time when you know you’ll have time in 30 minutes or so to take puppy for a potty run. Set up your playtime in the same fashion and include that 30 to 40 minute time at the end for potty time.  If you stay consistent with your schedule, you can relax a bit.

Consistency is Key

You must keep consistent with puppy. If you are not dedicated to the training, expect failure. Puppies are creatures of habit.  Therefore, if you are providing treats as a reward during potty training, be prepared with them immediately. If potty time is 30 minutes after eating, make sure you get puppy out to the potty spot in 30 minutes. Remember, if you are not consistent, it is your failure, not the puppy’s.

Limit Food and Drink at Bedtime

With puppies, don’t expect more than approximately one hour of sleep for every month since their birth. So, if you bring home a three month old puppy, expect to set the alarm for every three hours during the night, or wake up to a puddle or pile. In order to stretch this time out, it’s a good idea to limit food and drink about three hours before bedtime. Schedule your puppy’s feedings earlier in the day to help you, and puppy, get a full night’s rest.

Being prepared with this type of information can help you get through puppy potty training smoothly without too much stress. Remember, consistency is key.  If you stick with it, your new puppy will be happily house-trained in no time.


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