So, you’ve recently added a new addition to your family. Now what? It’s time to potty train your four-legged pal! Housebreaking a new dog can be frustrating. But with a little persistence, you can make potty-training your dog a cinch!
1. Be consistent
When it comes to housebreaking a dog, it’s important to be consistent. The idea is to develop a routine for your pet. This way, he will know exactly when it’s time to eat, exercise or go to the bathroom. Puppies need to go out often. As a good rule of thumb is however old the puppy is in months, he or she can hold it for that number of hours plus one. For example, a three-month-old puppy can only hold it for four hours. Therefore, it’s important to be consistent with potty breaks!
2. Use the “potty” cue
The most common method of housebreaking is teaching your dog to go potty outside of the house. Look for pre-potty signs, such as walking in circles or sniffing the floor and take your dog out immediately. The easiest thing to do is pick the puppy up and take him outside. This step is important so that the puppy doesn’t have any accidents on the way. After you place the puppy outside, give your “go potty” verbal cue. When the puppy goes to the bathroom, praise him with a happy voice or treats.
3. Stay calm
Remember, puppies have accidents! Rather than scolding your puppy for making a mistake, try to remain calm and assertive. This will allow you to teach your puppy the “right way,” rather than displaying negativity. If your puppy happens to go to the bathroom inside, simply distract him with a light touch or sound, pick him up and take him outdoors immediately. Punishing your pet can lead to instability and behavioral problems.
4. Crate train
Many pet owners are weary of crate training. However, it’s very natural. In the wild, wolves live in dens. The den is their home where they sleep, raise families and hide from danger. They also do not go to the bathroom in their dens. Similarly, puppies view their crates as their “dens” and do not soil them. During crate training, puppies should be placed inside their crates when their owner cannot watch over them. This could be while the owner is at work or out of the house. An important rule when crate training is to always take the puppy to the bathroom before and after they go in their crate. Also, no food or water is necessary in the crate. A blanket and chew toy will suffice just fine.
5. Exercise often
Loving your dog goes beyond the hugs and kisses. You can show your dog love by giving him plenty of exercise. Puppies especially have a lot of energy. If they don’t get the chance to burn it off, they can demonstrate negative behavior. On average, most dogs need between 30 to 60 minutes of exercise a day. Therefore, a walk around the block won’t cut it! Allow your puppy to exercise both their mental and physical muscles. Hiking, playing Frisbee and long walks are great exercises to do with your new dog.
Lisa Podwirny is the owner of Ketchum Mfg. Connect with her on Google+