By Schylar Postle
Professional Dog Trainer
Potty training can be one of the biggest challenges in raising a new puppy. It takes a tremendous amount of consistency and attention in order for you to be successful. Keep in mind the following tips and you will be on your way to having a successfully potty trained pup!
Use a Crate Any Time Your Puppy is Unsupervised
Keeping your pup in an area like a crate or exercise pen anytime they are unsupervised is extremely important. Puppies typically do not use the restroom where they sleep because they prefer not to sit in their own mess! I highly recommend the use of a crate sized big enough for the puppy to stand and turn around- any larger may cause them to use the bathroom on one end and sit away from the mess on the other side.
How long should your puppy be able to stay in the crate?
A good rule of thumb to follow is the puppy’s age in months = one hour per month. For example, if your puppy is two months old, they should not be left in the crate longer than two hours. It is important that you allow your puppy enough time to eliminate outside before being left in the crate. I will allow my puppies the chance to eliminate 2-3 times before crating them, to ensure they will not be uncomfortable or use the restroom in their crate. Anytime your puppy is let out of the crate, they need to be taken out immediately to avoid the opportunity to go where they are not supposed too.
While vacationing at Holiday Barn Pet Resorts, our Deluxe Doggie Lodging is a perfect accommodation for your pup while he is crate training. Our Deluxe rooms simulate the crate experience in that they have a defined area for eating and sleeping, adjoining their own large, private patio for stretching their legs and attending to nature’s calls. Additionally, we recommend the “Puppy Steps” activity package to provide consistent handling and activity which is so important to a growing, learning puppy.
Get Your Puppy on a Regular Feeding Schedule
Keeping a consistent feeding/water schedule for your puppy is ideal for keeping track of when your puppy might need to go potty. Young puppies will have a feeding schedule of 2-3 times per day, depending on vet recommendation. Always keep in mind that if your puppy has eaten its lunch and has had water, he/she will probably need to go in the next 30 minutes to an hour.
Be Proactive in Taking Your Puppy Outside
All too often, I get complaints from customers that their puppy is not using a “signal” to let them know they have to potty. Be proactive and let your puppy out to potty before they have to chance to sneak off and eliminate on your favorite rug! Before allowing them the freedom to play with toys or roam around the living room for the first time, be sure that they have gone potty to prevent an accident from happening in the house.
It is important to teach your puppy that the first thing they need to do outside is potty. If you are certain that your puppy needs to eliminate, but all they want to do is play, put them back in their crate for a few minutes and then let them out again. Elimination earns the freedom to prevent accidents in the house! Using this approach will also teach your puppy down the line to give a signal as to when they need to potty.