If you’re one of the many who adopted a pandemic puppy while stuck at home during quarantine, congratulations! Nothing beats the companionship and unconditional love that comes with owning a dog. It’s also a big responsibility – and one of the biggest challenges of pet ownership is potty training. Some dogs pick it up quickly. Others, not so much. The following tips from The Humane Society of the United States will help you potty train your pup like a pro!
Keep a Schedule
Dogs are all about routine, so be consistent with the times you take your puppy out. You’ll figure out pretty quickly how long they can hold their bladder. If that is, say, a couple of hours, make sure to take your dog out every two hours. As they get older and can hold it longer, maybe tie the potty schedule to your dog’s other daily tasks. That might mean taking them out when they get up in the morning, after meals, right before they go to sleep, etc. – whatever works for you and your dog.
Consistency Is Key
Make sure you’re consistent in where you take your pup to use the bathroom. Maybe it’s a special bush or a preferred patch of lawn in a designated pet area. They’ll quickly begin to associate those areas with relieving themselves. Also be sure to be consistent with the language you use. For example, you might emphasize saying, “Let’s go potty,” every time you take your dog out. If you use the word “potty” every time, your dog will quickly pick up on that.
If your dog is food motivated, reward him or her with a healthy treat after every successful trip to the bathroom. If your dog is all about the love, offer up plenty of praise for a job well done. The goal is to get them to associate the behavior with the positive reaction.
When to Admonish Them
Your puppy is going to have accidents. It’s part of the process. If you do catch your puppy doing their business inside, stop them and take them outside to an acceptable potty spot. If you find an accident after that fact, don’t punish them. Puppies live in the moment – and they won’t know why they’re being punished.
Remember: Your puppy is, well, a puppy. Perfection takes time. Don’t get discouraged if they don’t figure it all out right away. Be calm, clear, and consistent in your training and your dog will get there – eventually!
When All Else Fails, Call a Pro
Tried everything and still need some help with the potty training process? Don’t give up. There are plenty of professionals out there who can help.
Looking for the perfect pet-friendly community for you and your new puppy? Get in touch with our team at Olympus Waterford today and find your favorite floor plan!