Just looking into that sweet, soft, furry puppy face you know she is just the most beautiful and perfect thing on earth. At least until she pees or poops on your carpet. Those first weeks at home will be the most impressionable on your newest family member. The bonding doesn’t take more than a few pets from your hand, a cuddly nap in your lap, and a few bites of food. Puppies are smart and they pick up on things quickly, but it is up to you to teach them. Potty training is obviously at the top of that list.
#1 Start your puppy on a schedule
Like children, puppies also learn through repetition. Setting a schedule for your puppy will help her learn when she should go potty. Take her out to potty right after waking up from the night and after all naps. You will also want to get her out to potty within 30 minutes after eating each meal.
#2 Pick your potty area
When it’s time to potty, take your puppy outside to the area where you want her to go. It is best if you pick a small area rather than your whole yard.
#3 Put your puppy on a leash
By putting your puppy on a leash, you can lead her to the area that you want her to go potty. This will also force her to stay in that area rather than wandering off chasing a butterfly or leaf that might catch her interest.
#4 Have some patience
You may be running on a schedule yourself, but you must take the time to let your puppy do her business. You may have to walk her around, in your selected area, to get things moving. They usually pee first and then do their business. Don’t be fooled though. If you think your puppy should be doing more than just peeing, but she just won’t go, odds are if you take her in right away she will go in the house. Please allow her and you up to 30 minutes. By giving her time, you will increase her ability to make a habit of going outside in the yard instead of inside the house.
#5 Have a party
As soon as your puppy starts to pee or poop, clap, cheer, dance, and have a party! Celebrate that your puppy went potty. While your neighbors might think you look crazy, your puppy will realize very quickly that this act pleases you and she will want to continue to make you happy.
#6 Have plenty of treats on hand
Most puppies are very “food motivated.” By handing your puppy a few treats after she potties each time, she will learn to associated going potty with good stuff. You can’t treat your puppy enough during the first couple of weeks!
#7 Limit food and water at night
Just like having a newborn, your puppy may not sleep through the night for the first few days. If you limit the amount of food and water you give her at night will help her to sleep a little longer.
#8 Do not punish your puppy
Some people think that if your puppy pees or poops in the house then they must be punished with a spanking or rubbing their nose in it. If your puppy pees or poops in your house, it is your fault not the puppy. If the act isn’t caught immediately, your puppy will not understand what she’s done wrong. Say “No!” in a loud firm voice. If she poops in the house, do the same thing and then pick up the poop and throw it out in the yard where you want her to do her business. Never put your dog’s nose in urine or poop-this can cause infections.
#9 Attach a 6 foot leash from your puppy to yourself
By attaching a 6 foot leash to yourself and your puppy, everywhere you go the puppy will have to go also. This is one way to ensure successful potty training. She can’t run off and potty where you can’t see her.
#10 Do not let your puppy play during the potty time
When it’s time to potty, put your puppy on a leash, walk her out to your pre-chosen spot. Hold onto the leash so she will only have a 6 foot radius to wander in. This will help her to know she is to only potty in this area.
An added recommendation is to crate train your puppy so that if you can’t be with her 100% of the time, she can’t potty in the house if she’s in her crate. Make sure it is small enough that she can’t potty in one side of it and still be able to sleep in the other.