When you bring a new puppy home, you’re at the beginning of a lifelong relationship that’s going to bring you and your furry friend unlimited joy. It’s no walk in the park, though. You’ll need to work hard in the beginning to end up with a well-behaved and happy adult dog. The first three months are vital when it comes to all types of training. Patience, positive reinforcement and consistency will be your three most powerful potty training tools.
Proper training instills good habits and helps build a bond between the two of you based on trust and respect. It usually takes around four to six months for a pup to be fully house-trained, but it can take up to a year for some. Size is often a decent indicator of how frequently your dog will need to eliminate. For example, small dogs need to urinate more frequently because they have small bladders and a faster metabolism.
When Should House-Training Start?
Most experts recommend starting the potty training process at around 12 weeks old. Before this point, dogs don’t have enough muscle control to hold it in. Even though they’re animals, puppies are still self-conscious when it comes to toileting. So make sure you don’t get angry or punish your pup for accidents, because it’s likely to make training harder. Rewarding good behavior has proven to be the most effective way to approach house-training.
5 Steps for Potty Training a Puppy
When your pup first arrives, it’s a good idea not to let them roam freely around the house. Keep them in one room or a spacious crate while they’re learning, and gradually give them more freedom as they learn they need to go outside to potty. Being consistent about the essential aspects of their daily life, such as food and sleep, will help make them more obedient and trusting overall. Follow these steps when you start potty training your new puppy to give them the best chance of winning:
- Be super-strict when it comes to mealtimes and feeding. Provide meals at the same time each day, and only give the recommended amount for your breed. Never feed them between meals or give in to begging! It will undermine your authority with the puppy.
- Take them out every half an hour to an hour, depending on size and the individual. Always take them out after meals, when they wake up and before they go to bed.
- Let them do their business in the same spot each time. They’ll detect their scent and it will prompt them to go.
- Never let them go unsupervised during the early stages.
- Give your clever little furball a treat every time they potty outside. It doesn’t always have to be food; playtime, a walk and copious praise are all highly effective rewards.
How to Crate Train a New Puppy
While your puppy adjusts to its exciting new life in your home, crate training might be a good way of gradually introducing them to more freedom. It helps you keep track of progress and build trust in each other.
Puppies instinctively prefer not to eliminate where they sleep, so as long as they’re old enough to hold it in, the crate method is an effective way of learning the signs your pup wants to go and preventing accidents inside. Here are some basic guidelines for crate training:
- Ensure the crate is big enough for the pup to stand up and turn around, but not large enough that they can use the opposite corner to eliminate.
- Keep a supply of fresh water in a dispenser attached to the side of the crate so the little guy doesn’t get dehydrated.
- Stop using the crate if the puppy is eliminating inside it, and consider the reasons they might be doing it. They might be too young, they might not get outside enough or the crate might be too big.
There Will Be Setbacks!
Accidents are inevitable and should be expected for up to a year. Provided you stick to a strict schedule and take them to the same spot at regular intervals, setbacks will be minimal. Remember to be confident and firm but fair. The puppy will respond to your manner, so if you’re assured and consistent, they’ll be the same. When accidents happen, tell them no in a strong but calm voice and take them to their toileting area.
Buy a New Puppy Today
Potty training can be a rewarding challenge and there is a formula to getting it right. As long as you follow the recommended advice and keep rewarding them for a job well done, you’ll be able to potty train them as fast as possible. If you and the rest of the family feel ready to bring a new addition into the household, find Florida puppies today.