Potty Training a New Puppy
A schedule and consistency are the most important pieces of the puzzle. Your dog does not have the ability to control themselves for very long – your dog also has not learned what behaviers are acceptable – we need to teach both of these things.
- Crate train your puppy. This means that when your puppy is in the house they are in a crate, or they are interacting with you. At this stage we do not allow them free roam, it is too difficult to actively manage what they are doing. You’re puppy comes out of the crate and goes outside to potty. If your puppy goes potty they get to come inside and spend time with you outside the crate, if they do not potty, they go back into their crate and you try again a little later.
- Defining a feeding schedule. A regular feeding schedule is key to potty training, do not allow your puppy to graze or “free feed”. You should define the times when they are fed, give them access to food during that time and pick up any leftover food afterwards. Your puppy is growing fast and will need to be fed 2-3 times per day with a high protein puppy food. Remember, what goes in must come out… take your puppy outside for a potty break 15 minutes after they eat/drink. If they do not go potty, your puppy should be put back in their crate and try again 15 minutes later.
- Set a schedule to take your puppy outside. In the beginning this should be every hour… and remember, 15 minutes after they eat/drink.
- When your puppy goes potty outside, CELEBRATE! Give them a GOOD BOY!!! GOOD GIRL!!! Get excited and throw them a toy or give them treats. We need to reinforce this good behavior.
- Your puppy will have an accident inside… don’t scold or punish them for this. Quickly and thoroughly clean up the mess. We do not want the scent to attract them back to this spot in the future.
- Make Time. This will be a serious investment of your time and energy until your puppy has their routine down. Stick with it, the results are well worth the effort
One question we get frequently is “Should I use puppy pads?” We believe the steps above are all you need to quickly and effectively potty train your puppy. We never encourage or attract puppies to use the potty inside the home.
In a shameless plug, we all have busy schedules and having a new puppy it may not be realistic for you to be home letting them out frequently. Enlist the help of a Pet Sitter/Dog Walker for those mid day potty breaks or take your puppy to Doggy Daycare. Socialization, Playtime, and Potty Training all in one!