Potty Training your New Pup!
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They [dogs] never talk about themselves but listen to you while you talk about yourself, and keep up an appearance of being interested in the conversation.” – Jerome K.
Looking back on my first few years as a dog-owner, I am reminded of just how bizarre it was in being spared the ‘Potty Training’ regime with literally all of our canine family.
But on the farm, the entire back-yard and surrounding acreage was ‘the potty’, and our little fella’s were free spirits when it came to relieving themselves.
At other times – in the car, visiting friends, going on holiday, the dogs remained ‘outside dogs’…and with age, became bladder mature.
I count myself fortunate!
Not that we haven’t experienced an accident or three, but in researching this subject, it has made me giggle at how unpredictable your new puppy’s toilet needs might be.
Of course, young puppies drink more water than dogs and, they’re learning to eat new foods… or any foods (rubbish bin antics included), it can all make toilet training just that little bit more colourful!
There will be other tricks and tips you can research depending on where you live and what limitations your abode brings to your puppy’s ablutions.
For instance, do you live in an Apartment without a back-yard?
Training pads of fresh grass, synthetic grass or even the old newspaper trick can work a treat depending on your accomodation, life-style and time available to tend to your new puppies toilet training requirements.
So do not fear this process, we only encourage you to never give up.
With a clear plan, your new puppy could be successfully toilet trained in a matter of weeks.
After all, they’re smarter than you think!
Now let’s get started.
A person can learn a lot from a dog, even a loopy one like ours. Marley taught me about living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, about seizing the moment and following your heart. He taught me to appreciate the simple things -a walk in the woods, a fresh snowfall, a nap in a shaft of winter sunlight. And as he grew old and achy, he taught me about optimism in the face of adversity. Mostly, he taught me about friendship and selflessness and, above all else, unwavering loyalty.” –
When bringing home a new puppy, owners often think about the positives: puppy breath, the pitter patter of tiny paws, cuddle time, and the Instagram opportunities.
For many, the challenges of puppy ownership, such as potty training, are distant thoughts.
Don’t wait until you put your foot into a wet shoe (or worse!) to consider potty training.
Everything you need to know to make the task quick and easy is described below.
Before you begin teaching your pet that it’s inappropriate to view the house as a toilet, there are a few important tools that you should purchase.
The first is high-value rewards, such as liver-flavoured treats, to reinforce for your dog that pottying outside is a good behavior.
The next is an enzymatic cleaner that removes urine proteins from upholstery.
This product is crucial, as dogs will continue to potty in the same spot of the house repeatedly unless certain “calling card” enzymes from the urine are destroyed.
You should also arm yourself with a positive attitude, because nothing is more embarrassing than being caught on your hands and knees pleading with a 16 week old dog to stop pooping in the closet!
Importance of Routine
The most important aspect of potty training is creating a steadfast routine.
Choose 4 – 6 times throughout the day that you will take your puppy outside, such as first thing in the morning, after breakfast, at lunch time, mid afternoon, after dinner, and before bed.
Remember, your puppy can only be expected to “hold it” for as many hours as she is months in age; so a 3 month old puppy should only go 3 hours between potty breaks.
Each time, take your puppy to the same spot in the yard and wait until she does her business.
When she goes, use a command (such as “go potty”), and provide profuse positive praise as soon as she is finished.
Sticking to the same routine every day will make potty training a breeze, as routine for dogs are what coffee and fiber supplements are for humans.
Besides following a set routine, owners should keep a close eye on their puppy at all times.
Look for signs that she is about to relieve herself inside, such as sniffing the ground, whining, or circling.
Take your puppy outside immediately if you see these actions to avoid an accident.
If necessary, keep your pet on a leash during the potty training phase so that she never has a chance to sneak off and do her business in a pile of dirty clothes.
To Crate or Not to Crate?
That is the question!
As discussed in Chapter Twelve – ‘Tips on Crate Training your Puppy.’ According to the RSPCA, a crate is an extremely effective potty training aid, but not all owners feel comfortable confining their pet to an enclosed space.
Rest assured, however, that as den animals, dogs find comfort in small spaces. Especially if you are unable to keep a close watch on your puppy at all times, keeping your pet in a crate for a few hours at a time can ensure you don’t come home to any messes.
Even though your pup may be rude enough to soil your space, she knows better than to potty in her own area.
Ultimately, potty training your pet does not have to be a terribly frustrating endeavor if approached properly.
By starting the process with the proper tools (including a positive attitude!), developing a strict routine for your dog, being vigilant throughout the day, and using appropriate training aids as needed, your puppy’s bathroom habits will be properly developed in as little as two weeks.
Pup-Update – Nine Months
Jerry’s now nine months old and loving life. His first Summer, the pool, BBQ’s and an adoring Insta-family. He’s maturing daily, although what does that mean for a Cocker Spaniel puppy? One whiff of a scent and he’s off, so not one for Off the Leash while roaming the neighbourhood. The Dog Park has become our favourite friend where Jerry’s been socialising and running amok. Cannot believe his energy reserves… also a good reason for the park, as he can run off some steam with others of the same ilk. Of course, selective hearing has become the new thing (there’s always something to learn), so I’ve been taking back my power… all the while, Jerry getting treats for coming when called (so I can’t really say who’s actually winning). Such a handsome dog, we’re thoroughly enjoying our time with him and figure if we could keep him at nine months for the rest of his days -we’d be over the moon!.
Ash Sukhwani a.k.a. Mother of Jerry
Jerry – Born ‘Royoni Naughty-on-Arrival’ June 17, 2017
Follow Jerry’s adventures on Instagram @jerrythecockerspan
Now that you know how to keep your house free from unsightly messes, the next step is to call the veterinarian and set up an appointment for spay or neuter, which will be discussed next!
Watch this space – Chapter Fourteen – Coming Soon
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Photo Credits: Dudley, Lily @lilylashes_cavoodle, Lewis @lewis_cavoodle, Benji @benji_the_cockerspaniel, Coco @coco_the_peekapoo, Boris, Summer, Milo, Bear @littlebrownbearlab, Molly @molly_poppoodle, Jerry @jerrythe cockerspan