MY NEW PUPPY
How exciting... you got a new puppy! With time and patience you will get through the challenges of owning a new puppy. You must understand puppies need structure and boundaries within the home. As long as you understand what it will take and are ready to take on this new and fun adventure lets begin...
SAMPLE PUPPY POTTY SCHEDULES
OWNER IS AT HOME ALL DAY
7:00 Puppy goes out
7:15 - 7:30 Free Time
7:30 Food & Water
8:00 Morning Walk / Go Out
8:15 Free Time
8:45 Crate Confinement
12:30 Go Out
12:45 Free Time
1:15 Crate Confinement
5:00 Food & Water
5:30 Go Out For Walk
6:15 Crate Confinement
8:15 Go Out
8:30 Free Time
9:00 Crate Confinement
11:00 Go Out & Then Crate Confinement For The Night
OWNER IS WORKING DURING THE DAY
6:00 Puppy Goes Out
6:15 - 6:30 Free Time
6:30 Food & Water
7:00 Go Out & Then Crate Confinement
6:00 Go Out As Soon As Get Home
6:15 - 6:30 Free Time
6:30 Food & Water
7:00 Go Out
7:15 Crate Confinement
9:30 Go Out
9:40 Free Time
10:15 Crate Confinement
11:00 Go Out & Then Crate Confinement For The Night
NOTE: These are just samples. You can adjust the above schedules to fit you and your dog.
THE SECRET TO PUPPY POTTY TRAINING
CHERRIE KAMINSKY, OWNER & PUPPY SPECIALIST
It would be hard to find a pet owner who doesn’t wish his dog was properly housetrained. In fact, behavior problems are a common cause of dogs ending up in shelters, and inappropriate relieving habits are reported to make up a big chunk of the reason.
While keeping a poorly trained dog confined outdoors is one solution, it does little to establish a strong bond between a dog and its owner. And keeping a social species such as the domesticated dog confined and alone is likely to result in a relatively poor quality of life for the dog.
Just like a child, love, consistency, patience and positive reinforcement go a long way in shaping your furry friend’s behavior.
Although there are many facets to training and correcting dog behavior but in this book, we intend to focus on how to potty-train your puppy.
More importantly, my key objective is to share with you behavior modification techniques that do not inflict emotional or physical stress to your dog and achieve the actual purpose.
LAYING THE BEHAVIORAL FOUNDATION
The first few weeks of owning a puppy are some of the trickiest and most important as this initial period has the greatest impact on its behavior. Baby puppies, under three months of age, have limited bladder control and reflexes. They usually don‘t know they‘re going to “go” until the moment they do. It‘s not a realistic expectation to have them let you know ahead of time.
If you observe with a keen eye, you‘ll see that a puppy who‘s looking for a place to go potty will suddenly circle about while sniffing the floor. The sniffing is instinct; he‘s looking for a place that‘s already been used. If he can‘t find one, well then, get ready for a soiled carpet! By preventing accidents in the house, you‘ll teach it that the only appropriate bathroom is the one outside.
When potty training a puppy; patience will be your best friend. It’s really not fair to blame the puppy if you didn’t put in the required effort! Just like our children, puppies do best when they consistently receive clear expectations and are rewarded for good behavior. It is up to you to set clear, consistent rules your dog can follow.
Here’s what you need to do to lay the foundation of acceptable potty behavior:
1. Designate a general potty area outdoors (realize a dog can‘t tell the difference
between piddling on grass or petunias). It’s important to understand that once
the puppy relieves in a chosen space in the general potty area, it‘ll use the odor
from the first visit as a sign to tell her where to go in the future.
2. Guide your dog there to do his business.
3. Enthusiastically praise your puppy when he goes. It plays a key role in reinforcing
WHY TIMING MATTERS
A general rule of thumb is to equate your puppy’s age in months with the number of hours it can hold its bladder. So for example, a six- to eight-week-old puppy should be taken outdoors every one to two hours. Older puppies and older dogs can generally wait longer between outings. It’s important to pay attention to its needs. Make sure to take your puppy out:
1. After waking in the morning
2. After naps
3. After meals
4. After playing or training
5. After being left alone
6. Immediately before being put to bed
The idea of keeping a schedule is to prevent accidents. If a puppy is not allowed to relieve itself at the above times, it will most likely have an accident. It’s not a good idea to wait for the dog to “tell” you that it has to go out. It’s too late by then. Just assume that he needs to go and put him outside.
MAINTAINING A PUPPY DAYTIME SCHEDULE
Establish a regular schedule of potty trips and feedings. This helps you to control the times he has to go out and prevent accidents in the house. First thing in the morning, carry the puppy outside. It can then come in and play for an hour. Feed breakfast and then put the puppy in the crate and in about half an hour carry him outside for potty. Puppies usually have a bowel movement after each meal so give it time to accomplish it.
Now it can have another inside playtime for an hour or so. Don’t give him a free run of the house, use baby gates or close doors to keep him out of rooms he shouldn’t go in. This is will allow you to keep an eye on it so there aren’t any accidents. After playtime, take him outside again then tuck him into his crate for a nap.
For the first month, feed it three or four meals per day. Repeat the same procedure throughout the day: potty outside first thing in the morning, one hour playtime, potty, a meal and then in the crate, potty, playtime, potty, nap, potty, playtime, meal, etc.
Eventually, the puppy will be letting you know when he needs to go out. But make sure NEVER to ignore its request otherwise you’re asking for a soiled corner!
Yes, it does take effort but trust me it is well worth it! Both you and the puppy will be happy. It’s important to understand that some breeds are easier to potty train than others and how the puppy was raised before it came to you matters as well. Pet store puppies who were allowed to use wire-bottom crates have less inclination to keep their crates clean. Puppies that were raised in garages or other large areas where they could “go” wherever will also be a little more difficult.
WHY PAPER TRAINING IS NOT A GOOD IDEA
It seems to be a good idea to leave paper in every corner as an “insurance policy”, especially if you regularly go out for work. However, paper training your pup will make the overall job of potty training that much harder and take longer.
The key idea behind only allowing the puppy to relieve itself outside is that you’re teaching it that it’s not acceptable to use the house. Using newspapers will reset this training. Also, be aware that many puppies get the idea that going potty NEAR the papers is as good as going ON them. If you must use newspapers when you’re gone, follow the regular housetraining schedule when you’re home. Take the puppy outside often enough and don’t leave papers out.
Keep your dog‘s yard clean of old stools. Many dogs choose a specific area to use as a bathroom. If left to become filthy, they‘ll refuse to use it and do their thing in the house instead. Picking up stools helps you keep tabs on your dog‘s health as well. Stools should be firm and fairly dry. Loose, sloppy stools can be an indication of worms, health problems, stress or digestive upset.
The key to effective potty training is prevention. You’ll notice much faster progress if you take the time to take your puppy as often as needed to relieve rather than taking reactive measures after the accident happens.
Be gentle and never use harsh corrective measures. Also, never correct your dog for relieving in the house if you didn‘t see him do it. If you catch the puppy in the act, stay calm. A sharp noise, such as a loud NO or simply providing a moderate, startling distraction such as a quick stomp on the floor, is all that is usually needed to stop the behavior.
Don’t be too loud or your pet may learn to avoid going in front of you, even outdoors. Scoop the puppy up immediately and carry him outside to an area he‘s used before. As you set him on the ground, tell him “GO POTTY” and praise him as he finishes the job. Keep him out a few more minutes to make sure he‘s done before bringing him back in.
Any other corrections such as rubbing its nose in it, smacking with newspapers, yelling, beating or slapping will only confuse and scare the dog. If you come across an “old” accident, there’s no point getting worked up about it.
Dogs aren‘t wired to connect a past act with your present anger and it won‘t understand what you‘re so angry about. He‘ll act guilty but it‘s only because he knows you‘re mad at him. He has no real idea why. The only thing you may want to do is to point the spot out to him and say “WHAT IS THIS?” and that should be it.
OTHER FACTORS THAT MAY CAUSE AN ACCIDENT
Factors such as health problems, changes in diet and emotional upsets such as moving to a new home, adding a new pet or family member can cause temporary lapses in housetraining.
Urinary tract infections in both puppies and adults can cause dogs to have to urinate more often. Urinary infections in young female puppies are common. A symptom is frequent squatting with little urine release. If you spot such symptoms, immediately get your puppy checked up.
Sudden changes in dog food brands or overindulgence in treats or table scraps can cause diarrhoea. Dogs don‘t need much variety in their diets. If you make a change, do it gradually by mixing a little of the new food with the old, gradually increasing the amount of new food every day. A sudden change of water can cause digestive upset, too. If you‘re moving or travelling, take along a couple gallons of “home” water to mix with the new. Distilled water from the grocery store can also be used.
CLEANING UP THE ACCIDENTS
If your puppy does its business in the house, clean the area immediately and thoroughly. Dogs have a keen sense of smell. It’s quite likely they’ll be drawn back to the same spot by their own scent.
Put your puppy out of sight while you clean up the mess. The idea is that you don‘t want your puppy to think that you will clean after it.
There are several homemade and commercially available “odor killers” that are helpful. White vinegar will also work to help get rid of the odor and the ammonia in the urine. Sprinkle baking soda on the spot to soak up moisture and to help remove odor, vacuum when dry. A diarrhea stain on carpeting can be cleaned with a solution of lukewarm water, dishwashing soap and white vinegar.
Puppies are attracted to urine odors. Even when using a commercial odour killer, a small residue is left behind that puppies can smell. Keep an eye on that spot in the future.
SOME IMPORTANT POINTERS TO REMEMBER
1. Observe the pattern of times he may need to relieve. Little puppies cannot
wait very long.
2. The puppy will need to relieve more often if it is feeling stressed.
3. Do not go overboard with water right before bedtime. The idea is to strike
balance, make sure not to restrict water intake too much as it can make the
4. Feed the last meal early in the evening ideally before 6:00 p.m. so his bowels
can empty before bedtime. Always give an extra opportunity to relieve after its
last meal of the day.
5. Observe the body language for signs when he needs to go
a. Some pups sniff the ground or floor intently or start circling just before
b. Other pups may walk differently or suddenly interrupt an activity when
hey feel the need to relieve.
c. It may have a whine or bark which signals he needs to relieve.
d. Observe if he needs to relieve more than once each time out.
e. Take it out when it signals, even if it‘s in the middle of the night.
6. Walking activates the bladder and bowel.
7. The younger the puppy, the more frequently he needs to relieve.
8. Nervousness activates the bladder and bowel.
9. Wait for a while before taking him back into the house if you think he may
need to relieve again.
10. It is also important to remember that young puppies have very little
self-control, so, when it is little, your relieving area should be very close to the
door. As he gets older, gradually move the relieving area further away from
11. As it gets older, you can begin to gradually extend the time between relieving
TEACHING YOUR PUPPY TO RELIEVE ON COMMAND
Teaching your puppy to potty on command can save you quite a bit of time as you won’t have to wait long for your dog to relieve. Here’s how to go about it:
1. Start by taking the dog, on-leash, to its relieving area at your home. Young
puppies in a hurry may need, at first, to be carried to the relieving area.
2. At first, use the same area as the odours in that area may stimulate the dog
3. Once you are at the relieving area, allow it to sniff the ground.
4. Stand still and never permit your puppy to drag you over to objects or
different areas when it wants to relieve. Stay in the area where you are
standing while it relieves. It is ok to let it move around on the end of the leash,
just don’t follow the puppy when it tries to move farther away than the end of
5. Leash relieve every time for several weeks.
6. The moment it begins to relieve, simply repeat a command, such as “hurry up”,
“Potty,“ or “Do your business” in an upbeat tone of voice followed by
enthusiastic praise. It is important, in the beginning, to wait until the puppy is
actually relieving to say your unique command. This will help him relate what
you are saying with what he is doing.
7. Once it seems to understand the connection between relieving himself and
The command, the next step is to say the command immediately before he
starts to relieve.
8. When you have done this a few times, try saying the command while it is
Showing other signs that it wants to relieve but hasn‘t actually started.
9. Finally, begin saying the command as soon as it reaches the spot that you
use for relieving. Keep your voice calm.
It may take a while to learn what is expected of it, so be patient when your puppy has an accident. The fewer opportunities it has to relieve in the house, the easier it will be for it to learn to relieve outside.
After a few weeks of training, you’ll notice that when you say the command your puppy will begin sniffing, circling and then relive shortly after you give the command. ALWAYS praise your puppy for his accomplishments.
TEACHING YOUR PUPPY TO RELIEVE ON DIFFERENT SURFACES
It‘s very important to regularly practice relieving on different surfaces such as concrete, gravel and asphalt and not just grass, especially during the first weeks.
1. Begin by using different relieving sites in your yard.
2. Stay with each new spot until he will reliably, 3-4 times in a row, leash-relieve at
3. Advance to new spots in your yard with gradually increasing frequency until
he goes anywhere in your yard on command.
4. Advance slowly to different spots outside of the yard.
5. If your dog is reluctant to leash relieve away from home, try to start with his
favorite surface and then gradually try other surfaces away from home.
6. Praise, praise and praise.
Indeed, the process of proper potty training will take time and effort. But know the majority of pups learn quite quickly if you’re willing to be patient and offer plenty of praise for the correct behavior. Understand that potty training is a skill just like reading or writing that takes practice, time and patience.
Most importantly, as with all problems, the key is to remember that solutions do not occur overnight and that practice, patience, and consistency are the formula for lasting, humane results.