Friday, January 15, 2010

Potty Training 102

Welcome to the second instalment on potty training your puppy or dog. Let's get started!

Have a cue word such as "Go Potty!" When your dog is successful, lavish them with praise and maybe give them a special treat to help reinforce their success.

If your dog does not go to bathroom after 5 minutes outside, bring them back in and place them in their crate for 10 minutes, then try again. No playtime until they've done their business!

A simple strategy for puppy's first night home:
Carry the puppy from the car to your yard and set them in the 'potty area' until they go. Tell them how good they are and bring them inside to play. Take them outside to potty every two hours after that. Feed them their dinner in their crate, and leave them inside for 30 minutes. Then carry your puppy outside for a potty break. This time, wait for a bowel movement. If it's taking a while, walk the puppy around a bit to encourage movement.

Always take your puppy outside first thing when you open the crate and always carry them. We want your puppy to feel that grass under their feet when they go!

Take your puppy outside one last time before tucking them into their crate. If your puppy howls during the night, take them out for a potty break. (Having a puppy is not THAT different from caring for a human child that wakes up in the middle of the night!)
Do not play with your puppy at night, as this will teach them bad habits. After a few nights, your puppy should sleep soundly until morning.

Establish a daily routine for your dog. Dogs love consistency. Set aside specific times each day for potty, play, eating and sleeping.

Example: First thing in the morning take your puppy outside to potty. After an hour of playtime, feed puppy breakfast in the crate. Wait 30 minutes then back outside for a bowel movement. For the first month or so, your puppy will be receiving 3-4 meals a day. So; potty, play, meal, potty, play, potty, nap, potty,play, meal potty etc....
Eventually your puppy will learn the routine and go potty accordingly, however if you ignore puppies signs and signals or move to slowly, you will have a mess to clean up and it will be your fault!

A note about paper training: Paper training your dog is not recommended as it makes the whole potty training process harder and take longer. We want to get through to the puppy that the only acceptable place to potty is OUTSIDE!

Male dogs: Your male puppy will start to lift his leg between 4 and 9 months of age. He will begin to mark his territory, possibly inside your house. This has little to do with potty training, because marking and reliving the bladder are two separate things.

If you have not done so already, have your dog neutered NOW to prevent this behavior as well as cutting down on his aggression and eliminating the chance of testicular cancer in his future.

Come back next time for potty training 103....Cleaning up the mess......

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