Now you have your new puppy, dog, cat, etc. It’s time for some basic training. You can train your dog, cat, bird, or guinea pig to do basic commands that will make your lives together much easier. Birds can be trained to potty on command and to go in certain places, just like dogs or cats. Guinea pigs and other rodents are also very intelligent and can learn basic commands. In this blog, I will concentrate on potty training your puppy.
Potty training a puppy is really very easy. It just takes a watchful eye and repetition. The key thing to remember is that puppies can hold it for approximately one hour per month of age. So an 8 - 12 week old puppy can go about 2 to 3 hours between potty breaks. So take your puppy out every 2 to 3 hours and stay outside with them.
Use the command ‘Go Potty’ or ‘Potty’ repeatedly until you see your puppy go potty, (When we were training Mirage we used the command ‘Go Potty’ to go pee and ‘Finish Your Business’ to go poopy). Then immediately use a high pitched tone of voice praising your puppy for a good job. “Good Girl!!! You are such a Good Girl!!! You went potty!!!” Give you puppy lots of love and petting and voice telling them what a good job they did. Go overboard!! They love it.
You can also train your puppy to go potty in the same spot in the yard every time. This is good so you can see when you puppy potties and easy clean-up of the yard. If your puppy does have an accident in the house, and they will, do not let the puppy see you clean it up.
If you catch the puppy in the act, in a low pitched tone of voice (do not yell or shout), tell the puppy they were bad. “Bad Girl!! Shame on you!!! You go potty outside!!!” Then immediately take the puppy outside…and stay out with the puppy till you see it potty. Then when you bring the puppy back in, put it in time-out in a kennel. Then go clean up the mess. Take the paper towel and mess outside and put it in the spot in the yard you want the puppy to go potty.
Then the next time you take your puppy outside, take it to that spot and put it down. When the puppy sniffs at the paper towel, in a high pitched tone of voice, praise the puppy. “Good Girl!! Yes…that is where you go potty!! Good Girl”. Keep steering the puppy back to that area until you see the puppy potty. Then again go overboard with the praise. Repetition is key.
If you do not see your puppy make the accident, do not punish the puppy. They have short term memory and will not know what you are unhappy about. Just clean up the mess and take it out to the spot in the yard you want the puppy to potty in.
We highly recommend crate or kennel training your pet. This will keep your puppy safe and out of trouble when you are not home, and limit the mess to clean up when they have accidents. Put your puppy in a kennel when you are leaving or going to bed for the night. This will also help hasten the potty training as they will not want to lay in their mess. When you do let your puppy out of the kennel, immediately take them outside. Teach then that when they get out of their kennel they have to go outside and potty before they can come in and play with you. Play time can also be a reward for a job well done.
You should also keep an eye on when your puppy drinks and eats. About 20 – 30 minutes after eating or drinking, take your puppy outside to do their business. Kennel training is also good for this. You will know when your puppy is eating and drinking if you keep their food and water in their kennel. We do not recommend free feeding for puppies (leaving a bowl of food down at all times). We recommend feeding on a schedule. This way you will know when your puppy needs to potty. We feed once in the morning and once in the evening.
Follow these steps and before you know it your puppy will be potty trained. Be patient, be consistent. Tone of voice is key. Do not yell or swat your puppy with a paper. Use high tone for praise and a low tone for disappointment. They will understand. One hour for every month in age is how long they can hold it, so don’t expect your puppy to be able to hold it all day until they are 6-8 months old. Good Luck and Be Patient!!
Be Well & Be Happy,
He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.