Learn how to potty train your dog
When learning how to potty train your dog, bear in mind that a puppy is really just like a baby and will need to be taught how to do things properly.
The steps to follow to successfully potty train your dog are:
- Using a crate
- Proper timing
- Managing praise
Using the crate
One of the best ways that you can potty train your dog is by using a crate which confines him so that he can’t eliminate in the house. Dogs don’t like to soil their sleeping areas, so using a crate teaches him to hold it. Do bear in mind that confinement inside his crate should never be used as a method to punish your puppy or to isolate him far out of reach of where the people in the house live and eat. Ideally, you want to the crate in the same area that your family is in the majority of the time, such as in the living room.
Make sure the crate you choose allows the puppy to stand up and turn around. If it is a larger crate, designed to fit him even when he’s eventually become a grown-up dog, block off a portion of it with an insert. If it is too big, your dog may decide to go potty in one end and sleep in the other.
When using a crate, you must make sure that you are giving the puppy plenty of options to go outside. The best time to take him out is just after he has eaten, since dogs eliminate between from 5 to 15 minutes after a meal. A good rule of thumb is one hour per month of the dog’s age.
You have to take your puppy out yourself and then observe his behavior. If you let him get out of his own, he may get so distracted by other things that are happening around him that he might forget to go. When you are with him, you can gently remind him to pay attention to the business at hand.
With time, your puppy will begin to tell you when he needs to get out. Some of these signals include circling, sniffing at one spot or standing at the door giving you the look. Make sure you are observant and responsive to his needs and signals.
Finally, your best tool to potty train your dog is to your own voice. Your puppy just wants to please you, so if you praise him when he goes potty in the right place, he will do what it takes to get that praise again next time.
Focus on praising him during the process, so he knows exactly what you are praising him for. Use an enthusiastic voice and be generous with your praise. If you catch him going in the house, firmly say “no!” then pick him up and take him out. With some luck, he will still have some business to take care of left which will allow you to praise him if he takes care of that remainder outside.
Cleaning up puppy accidents time after time can be frustrating, but you have to stick to it. If you shout at your puppy or punish him, you will damage the building of trust between you and him which will ultimately only damage the progress of his training. Doing things right from the start however guarantees a lifetime of good doggy habits!