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House training your furry friend takes patience and consistency, but it will be well worth it in the end. Take a look at these considerations when potty training your pup.
It is recommended that puppies begin potty training between 12 weeks and 16 weeks old. This is because at this age, your pup has enough control of their bladder and bowel movements to learn to hold it.
Consistency is important when house training your furry friend. First thing in the morning, take them outside to take care of business. Throughout the day, take them out after meals, naps and playtime. When you take your pup out, exit out the same door and head to the same area each time. Use a leash to help you to direct your pup to their “potty spot” so you are close enough to indicate to them to go to the bathroom. At this distance, you can also immediately praise and reward them when they go.
Puppy pads can be used to aid your potty training, but just remember that it is a temporary solution. Getting your furry friend to go to the bathroom outside should be the end goal. If using puppy pads, use them at the beginning of your training and slowly move the pad closer to the door until they learn to go outside.
Your dog may whine, circle, sniff, bark, or scratch at the door when they need to relieve themselves. They may also wander away from family members or become overexcited. When you notice any of these signs, take your puppy outside as soon as possible.
Some owners prefer to bell train their dog during house training so their pup has a way of indicating when they need to go outside. Bell training involves hanging a bell from a door handle and ringing the bell as you head outside. Then, reward your pup when they learn to ring the bell on their own when they need to go to the bathroom.
As with anything else in life, accidents happen, especially when learning something new. If you catch your pup going in the house, you can clap loudly or make another loud sound to get their attention to potentially stop them. Next, gently grab them and bring them outside to finish up and praise them after. If you were not present when they had the accident, don’t punish your pup. They will not be able to connect your anger with their accident since time has passed.
Your pup will be drawn to go in the same area if it is not picked up properly. Try to use an enzymatic cleanser when cleaning up accidents rather than an ammonia-based cleaner to minimize odors that can draw a pup back to the same spot.
It’s perfectly normal to leave your home during the potty training process. Consider using a crate to keep your pup in one spot and reduce accidents. If you don’t know how long your puppy can hold it, add one to the age of your pup (in months) and that is about the maximum amount of hours your furry friend can hold it.