Puppy potty training 101 – Part 5

Potty training a puppy can be a frustrating and challenging experience. However, if you do it correctly, it can be rewarding and bring you and your puppy closer together.

I highly recommend crate-training at first. Most dog training sites on the Internet say that crate-trained dogs are easier to house break and more likely to stay house broken than other dogs. Dogs do not like to eliminate where they sleep. The crate you get should be big enough for the puppy to turn around and lie down in. For a very young puppy, do not leave him in the crate more than 2-3 hours. A young puppy’s bladder is too small and the puppy can not hold it. During the day, someone needs to be able to come by and let the puppy out a few times. As the puppy gets older and its bladder gets bigger, it will be able to stay in a crate for up to 8 hours.

At first, you can line the crate with puppy pads or newspapers in case the puppy has an accident. This makes it a little easier to clean up. For overnight times, I always put water in the crate with the puppy, though it is entirely up to the owner. If the owner is going to get up every 2-3 hours, give the puppy water and take it outside, then no water is required. However, if you are going to accept that the first few weeks, the crate will be messy in the mornings, then allow water in the crate at night. For the water, I use a dog water bottle or dish that can hang on the side or front of the crate.

Before crating the puppy, take it outside. It is imperative that you stay with the puppy to watch it. As you are going outside, give the puppy a command like, “go outside” or “outside.” Once outdoors, give the puppy a command like “go potty.” Be patient. The puppy has no idea what you want it to do and is easily distracted.

When the puppy urinates or poops outside, immediately give it praise, like “good girl” or “good boy.” When you come inside with the puppy, you may give it a treat, water and play with it. After drinking, the puppy will likely have to potty again in 15 to 30 minutes. Take the puppy back outside to potty before putting it back in the crate.

When removing the puppy from the crate, the first thing to do is give the outside command and you start the process all over again. If the puppy has an accident in the crate, do not punish it. After all, the puppy can’t hold it and the timing for taking it out is just off. Just clean up the mess and try to time when to take the puppy out better.

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