Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Potty Training…. The Right Way

The Challenge 

Probably the biggest challenge to owning any dog, and especially owning a dog in the city is potty training. Obviously it is very important for your canine companion to know the difference between using the bathroom outside as opposed to inside on your rug/carpet/hardwood floor etc, and the process of making your pup understand this distinction can be a tiring one, but if you follow these steps you can get your dog potty trained as soon as possible.

The Process

When you pup is really young (8 weeks-12 weeks) your best bet is probably to get them pee pad trained first so you can save yourself a little bit of sanity, because they are going to be going to the bathroom constantly and without pee pads it will be very challenging to try and get them outside each time. After your pup is about 3 months old however you need to start getting them outside to use the bathroom as much as possible so they can get used to it. I found that the key to potty training my dogs was to anticipate their bathroom needs based on when I give them food and water. A lot of people mess up at this point, because they give their dogs access to food and water 24 hours a day, however for potty training purposes I suggest feeding and watering your pup 3-5 times a day and making sure to take the food and water away after about 30 minutes then about 5-10 minutes later take them outside to go to the bathroom and eventually they will make the distinction and realize that outside is the place to go. Now when your dog does have an accident inside, which will happen, its important to not get too angry and yell because your dog really does not understand why you are even upset, in their mind the choice was simple they had to go, they went, they feel better now. When your pup has an accident I found that the best way to handle it is a simple and gentle spanking and then a THOROUGH clean up of the mess. I capitalized “thorough” because getting all the smells and mess up is by far the most important part of potty training. Dogs see everything through their nose and if their nose smells pee or poop in an area, they will not think twice before using that area to go to the bathroom again. Eventually, if you keep with these simple instructions you are going to have a dog that will not have accidents and who eventually you can trust to not soil your home whether your watching him/her or not, and once potty training is over all that’s left is to enjoy the friendship and love of your four legged companion. 

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