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Potty Training a Puppy: What to Do for Best Results

Apr 15, 2008
Potty training a puppy is not difficult to understand, though it does require patience to do! There are just a few simple points that cover the basics, and I will describe them here. Keep your puppy right with you as much of the time as possible. Take him or her to his pottying spot at certain times. Clean up any messes calmly. Repeat this over and over. Sooner or later, you will have a potty-trained puppy.

Here is more information on each of these four points:

1. Have your puppy as near to you as you can, as much of the time as you can. That way, you will be more tuned in to when he needs to go out. Sometimes you will catch him just as he starts something and you can firmly say "No" and carry him or walk him to where you want him to be.

One way to keep your puppy with you is to attach his leash to a belt around your waist. That way, whatever you are doing around the house, you know right where your new best friend is. This method is excellent for bonding between you. Very young puppies really want to be right with you all the time anyway.

Whatever ways you devise to make it work for you, do keep your puppy close at hand as much as possible. Consider crate training for when you need to be away. This article doesn't get into crate training -- it's a big topic in itself -- but there are some pages on it at my website on dog training.

2. As you potty train a puppy, he will gradually come to understand what it is you want. You want him to go to his pottying spot and do his business there. He will learn this faster if you take him to his place whenever he may need to use it. This includes:

*** Every single time he wakes up, whether first thing in the morning or after a nap.

*** A little while after every meal, or ideally even after a large drink of water.

As you will soon discover, he wakes up, eats, and drinks many times in the course of a day! It's also a good idea to take him out just before you go to bed.

A word about his pottying spot: If you have a fenced yard, that is great and you can even take him to a particular part of it if you wish. If you will be walking him on leash in your neighborhood, take a plastic bag or two for cleanup. You can also train him to use papers or even a litter box indoors, and this can be the best choice if you live in a high-rise apartment, for example.

3. Calmly clean up anyplace that his urine has soaked or that he has left a pile. Yelling at him does not help, because he really will not understand why you are upset. If it helps you, as it sometimes has helped me, you can remind yourself that this process should last a lot less time than if you were potty training a little human!

4. Repetition is a very important part of the potty training process, as dogs learn that way. So keep on doing each step, as often as you can.

There's lots more to say about potty training a puppy, but these tips will get you well on your way to a successfully trained dog!
About the Author
Potty training a puppy is just one of many lessons to teach your pup. Clicking on the link takes you to Rosana Hart's website, which emphasizes positive, pain-free methods of training dogs of all ages.
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