The sooner you potty train your puppy, the better. You want to establish good habits early on. And, a dog that has never used the bathroom in the house will never consider the house as a place *to* go to the bathroom. I have always found that the puppies we bought from real working farms (NOT puppy farms) were the easiest to house train. They only wanted to potty in grass or hay as they had only been in the barn or outside. Often they wouldn’t even go to the bathroom in a parking lot; we would have to find green areas on the way home so they could go to the bathroom.
Here are some home training tips that will help you, as long as you follow them consistently:
1. Closely supervise your puppy while he is potty training. Keep an eye on your puppy while he’s on the loose around your house! Look at it like you’re looking after a very young child who could get into trouble if you don’t keep an eye on him. A puppy is the same as a small child in this regard. Keep your puppy in a crate to keep him out of trouble when you can’t keep a close eye on him.
If you see your pup starting to sniff, take him outside (or to the selected potty area) right away. If you want the bathroom area to be outside, try to make the area outside from the start; and if for some reason you can’t do the outside area from the start, at least do the area near the door. This way, when you’re ready to move home, you can take your pup outside whenever he sees him start sniffing near the door. *When you can’t supervise your untrained dog, keep him in a crate*. Make sure you have the right size box too. Your pup should be able to stand up and turn around, but no larger. If you’re bringing your pup to buy the crate, the personal store should be able to help you select the correct size. Some people have tied their dog’s leash around their waist while potty training, but you still have to *pay attention*. (I once told my daughter that the problem with potty training her pup was that she wasn’t paying enough attention. One day she called me to say I must be right: her pup had two accidents that day, both of them! on his foot!)
2. If you find your puppy pottying in the wrong place, interrupt him by saying “NO!” in a high pitched voice – then immediately take him to the appropriate place to finish. (If he doesn’t catch it, he’s not watching closely enough.) It might help to put the paper towel you clean up the mess with where he wants you to go to the bathroom, so it will have the smell there. Be sure to *thoroughly* clean and deodorize the area where he has relieved himself in the house. Use special products made for this purpose, or you will go there again. In fact, watch him *very closely* and/or take him to his bathroom when he starts sniffing those areas.
3. Choose a place to go to the bathroom that is free of distractions. No play of any kind is allowed until the puppy has gone to the bathroom. DO NOT turn potty time into play time until after he goes potty. When he goes to the bathroom, give him a treat and then PLAY with him. Reward him abundantly and immediately!
4. Set a schedule. Maintaining a routine will help establish good habits. Control when your puppy eats and drinks. Feed your puppy 3 times a day when you first bring him home (or as recommended by his breeder). You can decrease this to once or twice a day as he gets older. Make sure you always have fresh water to drink. Take your puppy to his potty area about once an hour, and always take him to his potty area within 10 minutes after he eats or drinks, wakes up, and after exercising or playing. Allow absolutely no games or distractions until you have ‘done your job’. Once he’s potty trained, you can start taking him outside about once an hour for a very young puppy, and extend the time between ‘potty breaks’ as your puppy gets older and picks up good house training habits . But be sure to *watch your pup carefully* whenever he’s not confined or in an ‘OK to potty’ area.
5. Reward your puppy as soon as he goes to the bathroom in the appropriate place. Give him some very tasty special treat. Tell him: “Yes! Good boy!” And play with him! Make the moment he goes to the bathroom the moment the good and fun things begin. Dogs love a good thing and will usually do whatever it takes to get it So all you really need to do is make sure your dog knows what you expect of him, what it takes to get the ‘good stuff’.
This is a lot of work at first until the clothes are formed. But in reality, it is the most effective way and sometimes the only one that can be done. Be sure to take your pup outside as much as possible to increase his opportunity to relieve himself outdoors. If he doesn’t come out, DO NOT take your eyes off him when you bring him in. The most important thing: praise him generously, reward him and play with him when he goes out. With the use of patience, persistence, consistency, and generous reward, you will both be successful! For more information, free tips and advice on dog training, as well as free information on dog care, puppy care, canine health and nutrition, and free canine cooking recipes, visit: [http://www.e-dog-training.com].