Are you having trouble teaching your puppy to do his business outside? Maybe you want to teach your puppy to go to the bathroom in a specific spot in your yard? This guide will take you through the process of how to potty train a puppy.
How Often Should I Take My Puppy Outside?
This is a very common question and really has no exact answer. We’ve all heard that small dogs cannot hold their urine as long as large dogs due to their smaller bladders. That is completely false. All dog’s bladders are proportional to their body size. The best rule of thumb I have found is that for puppies less than one year old, they can hold it for the number of hours equal to their age in months. For example, a three-month old puppy can hold it for roughly three hours straight before needing to go out.
I recommend pee-pad training for owners that need to leave their puppy home alone for a few hours at a time. Pee-pads are available at any pet store, and you can also get them online from Amazon. The pads contain a scent marker that helps to draw your dog to them, so training is actually fairly simple. You need to make sure you place the pad away from your dog’s nesting/sleeping area. Dogs naturally do not go to the bathroom where they sleep. If your puppy does not want to go on the pad by himself, you can lead him to it with a leash.
Training a Puppy to “Go” Outside
Since dogs respond well to routines, I recommend establishing a bathroom word(s) to indicate to your dog that it’s time to do his business. For my two girls, our bathroom words are “Potty time!” Every time I say those words, my girls immediately go and wait by the door while I grab their leashes. I suggest using a word or phrase that you don’t use in every day conversation, so you’re not “faking out” your dog.
When you go outside, walk your puppy around your yard for 5-10 minutes and allow him to relieve himself. If you want to train him to go in a specific area of your yard, only allow him around that area until he goes. Starting out, you should bring training treats and a clicker. As soon as your dog finishes his business, click your clicker and reward him with a treat. Rewarding him after he goes will yield two helpful results: 1) it will reinforce the fact that the bathroom is outside, and 2) he will want to do his business more quickly to earn the treat. While potty training my girls, I would make a big show of letting them smell the treat and watch me put it in my pocket before we went outside, as a sort of reminder that they should be good and pee quickly.
What Should I Do If My Puppy Refuses To Go?
As tough as it will be, don’t get frustrated. Keep your cool and stay as relaxed as possible. If he doesn’t go in the first 5-10 minutes of being outside, bring him back inside and wait 15-20 minutes and try again. You may find that during the first couple weeks of potty training, it could be challenging to get your puppy to go quickly. He will get distracted by smells and sounds and people walking by and cars driving past; this is completely normal. The most important things to remember during potty training are to be consistent and to be patient.
My puppy had an accident in the house right after we were outside… What now??
Refer to the previous paragraph… This is a completely normal occurrence during potty training. Your dog has not quite made the connection yet that the only bathroom is outside. He’s accustomed to going immediately when nature calls. In this instance again, it is paramount to remain calm and not get upset with your puppy. It never helps to rub his nose in it. He will never make the connection that you are punishing him for peeing in the house. He will think you are just punishing him for no reason, and will lead to him being frightened of you.
Thanks for the help, where can I get more information?
Please leave me a comment with your specific questions and if I cannot answer them myself, I will provide links to the best resources for you.