I know the title simply screamed at you, “Read me now, there is no other help!” So, welcome to my site. I’m here to shed some light on a topic near and dear to any puppy owner’s heart. How to get this critter to understand where the bathroom is. Not an easy task. As a child, I believed my Mother to have some magical spell that house-trained all of our dogs…..and we had plenty. It wasn’t until I had a dog of my own that I realized what a special skill this was. I will do my best to enlighten you.
Old recordings in my head said, “Go out and gather many many piles of newspaper to use for training” Well, the actual work is far from that these days. What I know now, is that my puppy and your puppy, require a pretty strict schedule for potty training. The best scenario would be for you to spend the first 3 months attached to your pup, that way you can get outside every 30 minutes and tell your pup, “Go potty” No luck for most of us in getting maternity leave to care for our pups. Next best thing is crate training coupled with timely outside visits that include tasty treats for being good pups. You can find information on crate training in my article, “To Crate or Not To Crate”. In this current article, I want you to know that the crate is your first step of action and the second step is potty training. Most dogs will not soil in their crate. Therefore, once your pup is used to the crate and acknowledges that this is NOT where we potty, you get to introduce where to potty and when. Did I say you have to be really consistent with this? well, I should have! Be consistent. Your pup should go outside as soon as you get home. He comes out of the crate and straight outside. No cooing, no cajoling just outside. Place him on the ground and say the magic words, “go potty”, or “do your business” or “get busy”; whatever you want to call it and it must be consistent. You will have tasty treats in your pocket to reward your pup because you are an awesome pet owner and you have treats all the time in your pocket. As soon as that pup has finished tinkling, that treat is in it’s mouth. No delay and be consistent!! I like to use hot dogs as the special treat. Buy good kosher franks and you will get a quality treat your pup will love. Cut the frank crosswise and then into quarters to make the perfect size for small pups or cut in half for larger pup treats. I will emphasize that this treat is ONLY used for potty training. The reason being, it is a prime treat and we can’t just go around handing out prime treats for less than prime behavior. This is a big lesson and we want the pup to understand how serious we are about it. Now our pup is back inside and we want to play. Why else would we have a pup if it weren’t for the play factor?? Typically, a pup will need to go potty after a good round of play. When you see any behavior that looks like your pup is distracted, pick him up and take him outside and use the “magic words”. Now, wait and wait and wait. When the pup begins to sniff, give him encouragement, ” good pup, go potty”; be sure you are using a low calm voice. Your high pitched “good pup” can trigger his play and he will totally forget about pottying. I use visualization when working with pups on this training. As you say the magic words, imagine your pup squatting to tinkle or poop. ” Is she crazy?”, half of you just thought. No, I just find that it works for me— think it’s crazy, don’t do it. Now we are back inside and we have our own lives to keep up with. First, we feed the pup. Once this chore is done, guess what? Time to take pup out again. You will find that your pup needs to go out after being crated for any period of time, after play and after meals. Other potty breaks should be scheduled to fit your routine. It sounds very simple and it actually is, we just tend to get a little lazy when we are working on something that takes so much time. I also want to caution that some pups take longer to train than others. Do not despair and don’t start comparing your pup to someone else’s. They are all different and they learn at different rates. Your pup will keep you really busy for the first year with training and all but it is so worth it to have a pup who knows his manners