Adopting a puppy is a big decision, akin to having a baby. You need to prepare yourself for it greatly. Puppies are just like babies, without a mind of their own. Hence, if you want to make yours and your puppy's life comfortable, you need to train it as per your requirements. Potty training, which forms the crux of dog training, is the most difficult of all. It requires tremendous patience on your part, and a willingness to handle any 'accidents' that may occur during the process. Given below are some tips that you can consider while potty training your puppy.
Potty training techniques may vary depending upon the breed of your dog. Some dog breeds are easy to train while a few others are pretty difficult. You can also buy a puppy from a responsible dog breeder who has already provided some potty training to it. This will make your task much simpler.
The Right Age
The sooner you start this training, the better. Younger puppies respond better to it than the older ones. Older puppies may find it difficult to unlearn their old ways. Thus, ideally, you should begin training your puppy as soon as you get it home. Of course, you can spare a few days before you develop a bond so that it begins to trust you.
Once you decide it's time for the training to begin, it is important to fit your pup in a regular schedule. Always feed it at the same time everyday and also select an appropriate time for snacks, walks etc. During the training period, give your dog as little water as possible. However, make sure you are not dehydrating it, especially during hot, humid days. Make it a point to take your dog out after every meal, nap, and playing session. This will help you to understand the time it prefers for relieving itself so that you can take it out at the same time everyday. Do not give water at least 2 hours before bedtime. Younger puppies might find it too difficult to control their bladder for the whole night. You might have to wake up and take it out, particularly if it turns noisy.
When you get a small puppy home, you are likely to keep it in a crate. The interiors of the crate are mostly comfortable and enjoyable for your puppy. Hence, no matter how young it is, it is least likely to relieve itself inside the crate. Hence, do not forget to take your puppy out of the crate whenever you think it's relieving time. It is recommended that you don't lock your puppy inside the crate for long hours. Keep it in the crate only when there is no one around to watch over it.
Training pads can be very effective during the potty training period. As soon as your puppy starts relieving itself, pick it up and immediately place it on the pads. When you repeat this a few times, your puppy will get the hint about where it is supposed to relieve itself. Eventually, move the training pads closer to the door and then outside, wherever you want your puppy to poop. Pads are easy to clean and do not absorb any liquid.
You should be extremely patient and kind towards your pup during this process. Do not scold or punish it if it accidentally ruins your carpet. Clean the mess without saying a word and ignore your pup for a while. Similarly, do not play with your dog until it finishes its business while you take it out. When it does, use praise and reward. During the training period, it is better to contain the pup in a room with tile flooring so that cleaning becomes easier. Keep the area clean and odor free.
If you experience potty training problems with your dog even after 4-5 months of training, you should consult your vet to check if there is some medical problem that is preventing your puppy from holding its bladder.