While young puppies provide many precious moments, they, like infants and toddlers, require an extraordinary amount of time, planning and energy—usually much more than one predicts. One of the most trying tasks associated with having a puppy is potty training. Some people think that potty training is as easy as just keeping the pup on a regular eating, drinking and potty-outing schedule where he is taken out every several hours. Or they think that the pup will be completely house-trained in just a week or two. For some pups this might be so, but for others it may take a different approach. Here are some good tips for those puppy’s from our veterinarians in Tampa FL.
Take your puppy outside frequently, at least every two hours—and immediately after he wakes up, during and after playing, and after eating or drinking. If your dog is peeing in the house, they are not trying to teach you a lesson, get back at you for leaving them all day or drive you up the wall, they just are not 100% house trained. Leave no evidence, clean the spots that have been soiled with an enzymatic cleaner that will remove any trace of urine, other cleaners will still leave the smell of urine which is an invitation to pee on again.
Reinforce the right location, Bring the puppy to the location you wish to be the bathroom, let them sniff around and before the dog starts to pee as they are just about to squat, say your cue whatever it may be “Go potty!” if you wish. When the dog is peeing you can praise your dog quietly and feed the dog an amazing treat afterwards. You are essentially conditioning the dogs neurons to tell it “THIS IS THE BEST PLACE TO PEE!”
Put your puppy on a regular feeding schedule. What goes into a puppy on a schedule comes out of a puppy on a schedule. Depending on their age, puppies usually need to be fed three or four times a day. Feeding your puppy at the same times each day will make it more likely that he’ll eliminate at consistent times as well, and that makes house training easier for both of you. Our animal hospital in Tampa has many recommendations for feeding your puppy.
Pick up your puppy’s water dish about two and a half hours before bedtime to reduce the likelihood that she’ll need to potty during the night. Most puppies can sleep for approximately seven hours without having to eliminate.
Expect your puppy to have a few accidents in the house, it’s a normal part of house training. Here’s what to do when that happens:
- Interrupt your puppy when you catch him in the act of eliminating in the house.
- Make a startling noise (be careful not to scare him) or say “OUTSIDE!” Immediately take him to his bathroom spot, praise him, and give him a treat if he finishes eliminating there.
- Don’t punish your puppy for eliminating in the house. If you find a soiled area, it’s too late to administer a correction. Just clean it up. Rubbing your puppy’s nose in it, taking him to the spot and scolding him, or any other punishment will only make him afraid of you or afraid to eliminate in your presence. In fact, punishment will often do more harm than good.
These are just a few helpful tips for house training your puppy from our veterinarians in Tampa FL.