Getting a new puppy can be a very rewarding experience for both you and your family. The excitement of a new puppy can easily be doused when small puddles and 'chocolate bars' appear around your house. This is why house breaking your puppy is a top priority after your dog is properly acclimated to its new home.
When starting potty training it is important to remember that your new puppy doesn't know any better, he can't distinguish between the right and the wrong place to use the bathroom. Before your dog matures he has little to no control over his bladder and will go when he needs to. Before you being to train make sure you have a dog cage
or a dog pen of the appropriate size set up. Dogs naturally don't like to soil their 'den' so by keeping them in their dog cage it helps promote holding their bladder. One final thing to keep in mind before starting to train is that rewarding your puppy for the things he does right makes a bigger impact than punishing him for the things he does wrong.
Now you are ready to start training, the first thing you want to do is designate a single spot or area for your dog to use the bathroom. This will be the place where you take him every time he has to go. The more specific the better, it will make it easier on you in the long run because you'll know where he goes making clean up easier. Make sure you don't give you puppy the run of the house, letting him off a leash or out of his dog cage will lead to destroyed furniture and messes all over your house.
Every hour or so take your puppy out to his spot and pick a phrase to say when he goes to the bathroom. I like to say, 'Go Potty!' in an encouraging tone. After he, 'Goes Potty' be sure to reward him immediately with a treat and praise. It must be directly after he finishes or else he might not remember what he did right. A few times a day after a successful potty break be sure to play with him, let him run around supervised of course and have fun. He will associate going potty with playing and it will encourage him to go in the proper place. If you have waited 5 minutes or so and your puppy doesn't have to go then take him back inside and come back in 15-25 minutes. Make sure you take him out every hour and return him to his dog cage after each break.
Night breaks, though annoying are essential to potty training your puppy. Because he isn't mature, his bladder can't take long periods of time without relief. Make sure you take him out at least twice a night and then put him right back in his dog cage. Your puppy will let you know when he has to go by barking until you come. If he doesn't try setting an alarm twice a night. To prevent any extra accidents during the night be sure to take the water dish out of his dog cage and replace it first thing in the morning.
Avoid feeding your puppy right before bed, dinner should be given an hour to and hour and a half before allowing for ample time for him to digest and get settled. After feeding take your puppy out with in 10-20 minutes, eating often endues bathroom breaks in puppies and older dogs as well. Finally be sure to take your puppy out first thing in the morning, directly following naps and right before bed.
By following this routine your dog should be fully potty trained in no time. It is difficult at first but with hard work and dedication on your part it will make the entire process easier. Making sure you have an appropriate area for your dog to stay, like a dog cage or dog pen, this den will make the process easier and make your dog feel more at home.
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