So you’ve just brought home a puppy. Congratulations on your new addition to the family! Puppies are fun, cute, sweet…
And they pee everywhere.
Don’t lose heart — although properly potty training a puppy takes time, it may not drag on as long as as you’d think. Read on to learn how to train your puppy the right way in a short amount of time.
Provided it is the right size and kept clean and comfortable, a crate is an excellent way to help your puppy understand what you need of him in a short period of time.
In Everything You Need to Know About House Training Puppies & Adult Dogs, certified dog trainer Lori Verni explains, “Most dogs will instinctively keep their confinement area clean…. Let’s say you’re going out for 2 hours. If your dog is in an area where he doesn’t want to eliminate, he will ‘hold it in’ until you get home.”
Verni also lists off 3 benefits of consistent crate training:
- “There are no ‘gifts’ on your rug when you return.”
- “As soon as you return home, you will walk your dog and have the opportunity to praise him for going in the right place (outside)!”
- “Your dog is building up muscle control so he can eventually last for the needed periods of time (e.g., a reasonable work day or overnight).”
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Use a Designated Bathroom Area
Using a designated spot outdoors is another way to consistently train your puppy.
Choose a spot that is relatively easy to access in all 4 seasons. “Remember,” says Verni, “if you don’t want to wade through waist-high snow (or leaves, sticks, or whatever), neither will your dog.”
Start bringing your puppy to that spot frequently. When he eliminates there, praise him effusively and reward him. He will quickly learn that when he eliminates in this one special area, he will get rewarded handsomely.
“The area will quickly become a ‘trigger,’” says Verni. “Every time you bring your dog to that spot, he will go if he has to. In fact, most dogs will at least squeeze out a few drops simply because of the subconscious need associated with that area, combined with the desire to receive your praise.”
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Consistency is key to house-training a puppy quickly. Monitor how often your puppy needs to eliminate and try to get him outdoors before any accidents happen. If you do this consistently, your puppy should quickly catch on fast.
Shirley Kalstone confirms the importance of consistency in her book How to Housebreak Your Dog in 7 Days: “When a healthy dog cannot be [trained] within a week, give or take a few days, it’s probably due to the owner’s procrastination or inconsistency.”
People who are not consistent will find that their puppy takes longer to train because he is not getting the same message every time he eliminates. Plan to have someone home with your puppy at all times, and be ready to get up in the middle of the night.
Check out these useful tips for early crate training for your new furball:
Never Use Violence
People should never use negative behaviors to train their puppy. Screaming, yelling, angry looming, striking or other abusive behaviors will not get your message across — and they may even damage your dog’s emotional well-being. Your puppy will not understand why you are angry and then fear you, making it that much harder to send the training message through.
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Puppies who are scared may even submissively urinate or urinate out of fear, which results in exactly what you are trying to avoid: urine on your floors.
Use positive reinforcement tactics such as praise, treats or toys to get your message across. You’ll end up with a trained dog who loves — not fears — you.
Training can be an enjoyable experience for both you and your new dog. You’ll spend time getting to know each other and bonding while you teach a lifelong behavior. How you handle the training is key to a successfully trained and happy puppy.
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