At East Valley Animal Hospital in Gilbert, AZ, we consider our pets to be part of our family. By this logic, we know that a puppy is like a baby. Any pet owner will assure you as much responsibility is involved! Just like potty training a toddler, potty training your puppy will take a lot of time and patience. The process will be different for each trainee. Here are some tips from our team on how to potty train a puppy:
Your puppy’s mind is fresh and malleable. He’ll adjust to habits you establish from the day you bring him home. Don’t waste any time—start your daily routine immediately. Take him outside to go potty first thing in the morning, always through the same door and leashed.
Take him out again after he eats his breakfast, then again after every meal. Puppies should be fed three or four times a day, so it will be often!
Pick a Potty Spot
Scope out a spot in your yard to make your puppy’s “potty spot”. This area can be a place you choose on your own, but it’s likely that your puppy will find it himself, especially if he’s a male and can smell other markings. Leading him there every time will teach him that his business may be not be done anywhere else.
Potty training your puppy is a process that can take months, and one that will certainly be worth it in the end. Like any worthwhile process, blips are bound to occur. You wouldn’t get angry with your toddler if she wet the bed, and you shouldn’t get angry with your puppy if he wets the crate, either. Yelling at your puppy will only serve to make him afraid of you, and that’s not the goal here; the two of you are partners in this potty-training endeavor. Becoming frustrated is normal, and a firm “no” is fine—but in the end, you need to aim to teach your puppy, never punish him.
Break out the Treats
It’s no secret that a dog responds best to positive reinforcement. Knowing a treat is waiting for him will inspire your puppy to follow just about any command. As we stated earlier, the focus should be to encourage good behavior, not to discourage bad behavior. Have treats in your pocket for when your puppy uses the potty spot, so he knows it’s the place to “go.”
Recognize your Puppy’s Individual Training Needs
The ease with which your puppy can be trained depends on a few different factors, such as breed and temperament. Whereas a lab puppy just wants to please, a German Shepard might be a little more stubborn, so there’s no way of knowing how smoothly the process will go until it actually begins. Potty training your puppy will provide a time for the two of you to get to know each other and give you the opportunity to understand what methods he responds to as you train.
If any questions or concerns should arise as you potty train your puppy, feel free to reach out to us at East Valley Animal Hospital in Gilbert, AZ. And be sure to bring him in for an appointment to ensure he’s up to date on all his vaccinations. We look forward to meeting the newest addition to your family!