Potty Training A Puppy: 6 Tips For House Training Your New Puppy

>> 1/27/09

Some people call it potty training. Others call it housebreaking. No matter what you call it, housetraining a puppy is something most new dog owners dread. Everyone you talk to will probably give you different advice, which can leave you pretty confused.

Here are six simple tips on how to potty train a puppy that any dog owner can use to make it as easy as possible for both you and your dog.

Tip #1: Have A Regular Feeding Schedule For Your Puppy

A lot of dog owners prefer free feeding to set feeding times. Free feeding means leaving a bowl of food out all day so your dog can eat whenever he gets hungry. This can work well with older dogs, but when you're house training a new puppy or dog it's much better to feed him a specific times, following a set schedule.

Most dogs need to go potty after eating. By having a set schedule, you can control when your dog eats and know when he will need to go potty. You'll have fewer accidents if you follow this important tip.

Tip #2: Have a Consistent Potty Schedule

Even though your puppy will be going potty after his meals, you will also need to take him outside as often as you can throughout the day. Create a potty schedule above and beyond meal time, and follow it - taking your puppy out at the same time each day.

This will help you to remember to take him out. And having a routine gives your puppy a sense of security. This is important in raising a puppy that is calm and confident. Without a set schedule, your new dog won't ever know what to expect - which causes him to become anxious. Anxiety causes digestive problems in dogs, which can make potty training that much harder.

Tip #3: Pick a "Potty" Command To Use - Then Use It Every Time He Goes Potty

Pick a verbal command to use whenever you want your dog to go potty. Be sure it's something you'll be comfortable saying in front of anyone. Some ideas are: "get busy" "go tinkle" "potty" or "go potty."

Once you decide on a command to use, you should say it every time you want your puppy to go potty. At first, don't ever say it until you are in the exact spot you want him to go. As he gets older, you'll be able to open the door and say "go potty" - or whatever command you are using- and he'll run over to the right place and go potty all by himself.

Tip #4: When Your Dog Has An Accident, Don't Scold Or Yell At Him

Almost every puppy has an accident while house training - some more than others. When this happens, always remain calm. Don't scold him - and whatever you do, never rub his nose in it. This is not just outdated advice it's also completely ineffective.

The truth is, making him feel bad about his mistake isn't going to make training faster or easier. Your dog can't help himself. If he's had an accident, it's probably because you didn't stick to a schedule or weren't paying attention to him. The best way to achieve success is to teach him that when he goes potty in the right place, good things happen. That brings us to Tip #5

Tip #5: Praise and Reward Him When He Gets It Right

It's just as important to reward your puppy when he goes potty correctly as it is when he does a "sit" any other command.

Puppies respond well to a combination of sincere praise and a little reward. This can be a show of affection, a special treat, or a short play session. The most important thing isn't what reward you choose - the important thing is that he gets his reward immediately when he goes potty. This way he will connect going potty in the right place with getting praised and rewarded.

To start, be sure to praise him verbally while he's actually going potty. Use a friendly, happy voice and say "Good boy! Good potty!" As soon as he's finished, immediately give him the reward. You can toss his favorite ball for a game of fetch, or if you're on a walk, bounce it and let him catch it. You could also give him a treat or belly rub.

The most important thing is that he gets his reward immediately. By giving him praise and a reward, your puppy will soon connect going potty for you with good things.

Tip #6: Crate Training Your Puppy Means Less Accidents

While proper crate training is beyond the scope of this article, here is why you should seriously consider it when house training a puppy

First of all, crate training lets you put your dog in his crate or kennel whenever you can't watch him yourself. Second, dogs are den animals and it's against their nature to soil their dens. This means your puppy will naturally wait to go potty after he's been let out of his crate.

The key is to never leave your puppy in his crate for long periods of time - and to take him out to go potty immediately when you let him out. What's great is he will usually have to go potty when you let him out - and by taking him outside, he'll be doing it when and where you want him to!

Your new puppy will love you as much as you love him - maybe even more. These six potty training tips will help you quickly housebreak your new puppy. By giving him the proper training, he'll become a dog everyone will love being around.

About the Author (Christine Andrews):

To get more tips on potty training a puppy, how to crate train a puppy, and so much more, visit www.TheSmartDogOwner.com This comprehensive, easy-to-follow training program shows you just how easy it is to raise a dog that's happy, healthy, and a joy to be around!

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Roxy January 28, 2009 at 7:58 AM  

Excellent advice. It's definitely a good plan to have a "go potty" command. I use "go for a wee" which ensures she waits till we're in a safe spot rather than just stopping anywhere on the pavement!

Samantha January 28, 2009 at 11:20 PM  

Roxy, thanks for visiting Training Your Dog Tips and sharing your method.


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