As dog parents we engage a lot with our dogs. We love to do things with them such as exercising, walking, dancing, watching and cuddling. There is just this inseparable bond between humans and dogs. Hence, one of the things that dog parents and dogs do together is training. We love to teach them ways on becoming a healthier dog.
One type of training is potty training. It is of course a pat in the back when dog parents are successful in teaching their dogs on the proper ways of defecating. Who would want to see dog poop and urine around the house? No one, right.
With this, it is necessary for dog parents to potty train their pals. AKC provides us ideas on potty training puppies and dogs.
Crates as a Potty Training Tool
Many people new to dogs cringe at the idea of confining their puppies in a crate, but the reluctance to use this tool generally evaporates after a few days of living with a new pet. Crates make life easier. It’s a good idea to get your dog accustomed to one for many reasons, such as vet visits, travel, convalescence, and safety.
Dogs are den animals and will seek out a little canine cave for security whether you provide one or not. That makes it relatively easy to train your dog to love her crate.
The principle behind using a crate for housetraining is that dogs are very clean creatures and don’t like a urine-soaked rug in their living spaces any more than you do. It’s important that the crate is the right size—just large enough for the dog to lie down, stand up, and turn around. If it is too large, the dog will feel that it’s OK to use one corner for elimination and then happily settle down away from the mess. Many crates come with partitions so you can adjust the size as your puppy grows.
When he/she feels an urge, the puppy will usually let you know by whining and scratching. That’s her signal that she has to go and wants out of her little den. Now! Don’t delay because if you let your pup lose control in her crate, she’ll get the idea that it’s OK to mess up her living space. Then s/he’ll think nothing of leaving little packages around where you live, too.
Puppy Pads and Paper Training
Dr. Burch says the use of puppy pads and paper training can be “tricky because you’re reinforcing two different options for the puppy.” In an ideal situation, pups would learn to hold it indoors and only eliminate at specific spots outdoors. But some cases may require a bit of creative thought, such as a person who has a job that makes it impossible to get home several times a day, or for a tiny dog living where the winters are brutal. Puppy pads give a dog the option of relieving herself in an approved spot at home. After the dog matures, the owner can then work on having the dog do her business outdoors all the time.
Make a Schedule
This is vital to housetraining success. Puppies have tiny bladders, and water just runs right through them. The same holds true for solid matter. Goes in. Goes out. You have to make sure you are giving your puppy ample opportunity to do the right thing.
A good guide is that dogs can control their bladders for the number of hours corresponding to their age in months up to about nine months to a year. (Remember, though, that 10 to 12 hours is a long time for anyone to hold it!) A 6-month-old pup can reasonably be expected to hold it for about 6 hours. Never forget that all puppies are individuals and the timing will differ for each.
Monitor daily events and your puppy’s individual habits when setting up a schedule. With very young puppies, you should expect to take the puppy out:
- First thing in the morning
- Last thing at night
- After playing
- After spending time in a crate
- Upon waking up from a nap
- After chewing a toy or bone
- After eating
- After drinking
This could have you running for the piddle pad, backyard, or street a dozen times or more in a 24-hour period. If you work, make some kind of arrangement (bringing your pup to the office, hiring a dog walker) to keep that schedule. The quicker you convey the idea that there is an approved place to potty and places that are off limits, the quicker you’ll be able to put this messy chapter behind you.
Observation and Supervision
You also have to watch your puppy carefully to learn her individual signals and rhythms. Some puppies may be able to hold it longer than others. Some will have to go out every time they play or get excited. Some will stop in the middle of a play session, pee, and play on. As with human babies, canine potty habits are highly idiosyncratic.
Control the Diet
Puppies have immature digestive systems, so they can’t really handle a lot of food. That’s why it is recommended that you break up the feedings into three small meals. Another thing to keep in mind is the food itself, which should be the highest quality. Whatever you choose, make sure it agrees with your puppy.
Examining their stool is the best way for an owner to figure out whether it’s time for a change in diet. If your puppy is consistently producing stools that are bulky, loose, and stinky, it may be time to talk to your vet about switching to a new food. Overfeeding may also provoke a case of diarrhea, which will only make the task of housetraining that much more difficult.
Scolding a puppy for soiling your rug, especially after the fact, isn’t going to do anything except make her think you’re a nut. Likewise, some old methods of punishment, like rubbing a dog’s nose in her poop, are so bizarre that it’s hard to imagine how they came to be and if they ever worked for anyone. On the other hand, praising a puppy for doing the right thing works best for everything you will do in your life together. Make her think that she is a little canine Einstein every time she performs this simple, natural act. Be effusive in your praise—cheer, clap, throw cookies. Let her know that no other accomplishment, ever—not going to the moon, not splitting the atom, not inventing coffee—has been as important as this pee.
If you catch the dog starting to squat to urinate or defecate, pick her up and immediately rush outside. If she does the job outdoors, give her praise and attention. Remember that when it comes to housetraining, prevention is the key.
To be more equipped on potty training, let’s also be reminded on the following do’s and dont’s on potty training from WebMD:
- Punishing your puppy for having an accident is a definite no-no. It teaches your puppy to fear you.
- If you catch your puppy in the act, clap loudly so he knows he’s done something unacceptable. Then take him outside by calling him or taking him gently by the collar. When he’s finished, praise him or give him a small treat.
- If you found the evidence but didn’t see the act, don’t react angrily by yelling or rubbing his nose in it. Puppies aren’t intellectually capable of connecting your anger with their accident.
- Staying outside longer with puppy may help to curb accidents. He may need the extra time to explore.
- Clean up accidents with an enzymatic cleanser rather than an ammonia-based cleaner to minimize odors that might attract the puppy back to the same spot.
If your dog succeeds in proper defecation, don’t forget to reward them! Rewarding them will eventually make them be more determined through trainings. Plus, they definitely deserve a reward from a long work of training. Rewards like dog biscuits will also increase their happiness!
You also need to be reminded that potty training doesn’t take only a day rather it takes time. Mistakes are inevitable to happen hence you shouldn’t be angry when they make a mistake. Potty training requires patience and perseverance from the parent and obedience from the dog. It requires both.
Take your time. Eventually, your dog will develop good manners and obedience through potty training.
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