Pet Tips for Potty Training
Start Young and Keep a Schedule
- The old saying goes "Old dogs can't learn new tricks." Although this isn't true at all, it is easiest to train a puppy for new behavior. The biggest perk to this is that it allows you to set a routine for your pet to get used to. You control when your pet eats, drinks and goes outside. Take your dog out for a walk after feeding and watering, immediately after it wakes up and after letting it out of a doggy crate if you use one. Praise the dog for doing its business outside and eventually it'll pick up the idea.
Paper Training While You're Out
- It's best to keep your puppy close at hand for a number of reasons, not the least of which is being there when it shows signs of needing to be let out. But realistically you can't be expected to spend the entire day monitoring your puppy. The best answer to this is to find a puppy-proofed room, preferably with hardwood or tile flooring, and lay out newspaper over the entire floor. At the start of your paper training, the dog will go anywhere it pleases, but over time it will start to prefer one area over another. You can slowly begin to take some paper away once the dog has staked out its territory. Eventually, the dog will only go on paper no matter where you put it down.
Keep the Leash on Hand
- We mentioned above keeping a room specifically for the dog while you're out, but this room is also useful while you're in the house. A room specifically for the dog (the garage is a good place with a little cleanup and puppy-proofing) is the perfect place to hold the dog in lieu of a crate. Whenever you're not playing or actively training the dog, keep it in its room. If you can't spare a room, then leashing it to some furniture in the house surrounded by paper works just as well. This is so the puppy can't run off and hide any little surprises in your shoes. And when you let the dog out, treat even an enclosed yard like a room in the house until it is properly trained.
Some Things to Expect and Remember
- As we already said, the puppy will go where and when it wants until you've trained it. It's up to you to learn and control your puppy's urges the best that you can. Even a room that is completely papered isn't safe because the puppy will be tempted to tear up the paper and play with it. If your puppy does have an accident, resist the urge to rub its nose in it. Just clean it up and do not acknowledge the puppy has done anything wrong. Always be sure to praise the dog when it performs and eventually it will pick up the lessons.