Dog 101 Potty Training
By Feldun Woelfen
Potty training requires patience and commitment to achieve the objective which is to inculcate good bio habits in your dog. In this way, both of you can co-exist healthily in a clean home. Once your pet is house trained, this will reduce the stress levels on you, your family and your dog.
When to Start Dog Potty Training
Generally, you can take puppies from breeders when they are around seven weeks old. Ideally you should start potty training when your furry friend arrives at your house. This is because if the dog does its business unsupervised, there will be more work for you to change the spot. A dog is drawn to the same spot due to the scent. This means that if you don't like that spot you would need to wash that area well with enzymatic cleaner and spray with air fresheners so that there is no smell triggered for your pet to return to the spot.
How long it would take before a dog is potty trained is on a case-to-case basis as it can range from a few weeks to a few months. Factors that influence the duration are as follows.
- Dog breed
- Dog age
- Dog potty training history (for rescued dogs)
- Potty training methods
Below are some recommended routines to house train dogs.
- Feed your dog at regular consistent intervals. This would lead to regular excretion timings. While the reason for removing uneaten puppy food after 10 minutes is different from feeding puppy guidelines, this act will also help to gauge the next toilet break time.
- Take the puppy outside at regular intervals. Take him out first thing in the morning. Take him immediately after each meal as puppies tend to defecate soon after a meal. Take him out regularly like every couple of hours for a two-month-old puppy. If he is sleeping, let him continue sleeping and take him out when he has awakened. Before retiring for the night, do take him out.
- Guide him to the same spot. Use a leash to walk the dog to the area.
- Use short, simple words to encourage the excrement process. Do not rush him though. Remember even puppies can feel your energy.
- Praise him when he has accomplished his mission of pooping in the same spot. You would need to stay with him so that you can provide instant correction by saying "No" if he attempts to go to another area. Praise should be provided instantly so that he can associate why he got rewarded.
- Remove the water receptacle when the puppy retires for the night. This is important especially for puppies sleeping in crates because puppies don't really want to defecate and sleep in the same place
Potty Dog Training Guidelines
Confine your puppy to give you more control. This can be done by putting them in a crate/ enclosure or having them on a leash and securing the leash.
It is important to know the duration of confinement to prevent getting any bladder infections and unknowingly inflicting unnecessary cruelty. In general, a puppy's bladder control improves an additional hour every month. This implies that a two-month-old puppy can hold on without the need of relieving itself for two hours.
Even by following the routines properly, there will be times when your dog might have an accident. If this happens, do not shout and punish the puppy. Dragging the puppy to the accident spot and shouting at them would not work as they are not old enough to realize what they did wrong.
If a dog does not urinate or defecate in the house for two months, he is considered house trained.
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