Potty training your dog is step numero uno when it comes to bringing a puppy into your life. A housetrained dog can save you tons of pain and trouble, and keep your house spick and span. So how exactly do you potty train a pup? What do you need for potty training?
Let’s take a look at 5 super tips for house training your dog!
1. Get the Right Tools
The most important thing for house training your dog is to get your potty training equipment on hand, the moment you bring your new pup home.
- A comfortable crate or exercise pen
- Puppy pee pads/Potty boxes
- Pet Stain cleaners
- Tasty Training treats
Crates may not seem like a likely tool for potty training, and can even be considered cruel by some.
But in reality, a proper crate like Dr.Cage’s Foldable Dog Cage will make house training your pup a breeze. If you’re worried about how your dog will feel in a crate, make sure to give them proper crate training and take them out of their crate often.
The idea behind using a crate for potty training is because dogs are clean creatures - they dislike urinating where they sleep.
Crates limit the areas that a pup can walk around in, preventing them from doing their business in their crate. This gives you plenty of time to get your dog to a proper peeing area before it’s too late!
Depending on your pup, you might need to consider different setups for their peeing area. For pups that urinate a lot, consider getting extra absorbent pee pads like Absorb Plus’ Antibacterial Pee Pads. They also carry an Odor Eliminating Charcoal Pee Pad that’s great for preventing bad odors in your home. For some extra help with aiming, pee trays like Stefanplast’s Dog Pee Tray With Turret can help!
2. Supervise at All Times
In the early days of potty training your puppy, you’ll definitely have to keep an eye on them. Depending on their age and general bladder strength, they may need to go to the washroom quite frequently.
Puppies under 16 weeks, in particular, have a hard time controlling their bladder so be patient! They may even require the potty every 15 minutes. Older dogs will need the bathroom less, but should still go every few hours.
For the first few weeks after bringing your dog home, you should make sure at least one member of the family is accompanying your dog at all times. Setting an alarm to go off every 15 minutes to 2 hours may help prevent accidents from happening.
Supervising your pup also gives you the chance to observe them, clueing you in on the signs that your pup needs to pee. Some dogs sniff the ground, circling - others whine and claw at their crate. This is why potty training sprays like these ones from NaturVet to teach your pup where to pee.
3. Routine, Routine, Routine
When it comes to potty training a puppy, routine is key!
Whatever your dog eats, they’ll have to eliminate eventually - and if you keep your feeding, walking and general schedule consistent, eventually you’ll be able to figure out when your pup will need to go. For example, most puppies need to go when they wake up in the morning.
Once you figure out when your puppy probably needs the toilet, make sure to let them out of their crate to go to the washroom.
Routine also comes in where your pup goes to eliminate. Make sure to keep your dog’s peeing area away from their sleeping area, and keep that space consistent for your dog. Avoid moving around your dog’s pee pad too much while you’re training your dog.
You may also want to encourage your dog to do their business outdoors. If so, make sure to bring them on regular walks every day. Carry a Zee.Dog poop Bag dispenser to avoid leaving your pup’s business in a public place.
4. Praise your Pup
Yes! Your dog finally went to the toilet in the right place! Now what?
Even if your pup has done it once, it doesn’t mean they already know where they should go. To reinforce that they’re doing a great job, make sure to shower them with praise and treats. Tasty training treats like Small Batch’s Freeze Dried Beef Hearts are perfect for training treats. The more you encourage this behaviour, the faster they’ll understand where they’re supposed to go.
Make sure to keep your pup’s treats near their peeing area when you’re housetraining them. Immediate rewards are key to linking good behaviour with praise.
With easily distracted dogs, you may need to leash them indoors and walk them to their potty every now and then. Once they’ve done their business, unclip them and let them walk freely. This makes freedom their bonus reward for doing their business in the right place.
5. Be Calm as a Cucumber
With house training, there are bound to be accidents.
Your pup is still learning and getting used to their new home - so be as patient and understanding as you can. In fact, avoid overreacting or scolding your pup as they’re unlikely to fully grasp why you’re mad at them.
Instead, it might help them develop some anxieties around peeing. Punishing your pup in the act of peeing elsewhere may actually teach him not to go in front of you - leading to accidents in hidden places like behind your couch or in your bedroom!
If you do catch your pup having an accident, don’t scare them. A calm and simple hand clap or signal like “No” or “oh-oh” may stop your pup mid-stream. Immediately bring your pup to their potty pad. With any luck, they may still need to go and will do so in the right area this time - this gives you a great opportunity to reward him for a job well done.
If they stepped in their business, make sure to wipe them down with an antibacterial wipe like Woosh’s Baby Powder Antibacterial Wipes. As for the accident area, make sure to clean all accidents with an enzymatic cleaner. These clean up any sign of your pup’s accident.
Since dogs have a strong sense of smell, they’ll tend to do their business where they smell the scent of their previous business. Cleaning accident areas with the right cleaner and using odor eliminators like Urine Off Odor & Stain Remover can therefore help prevent repeat accidents!
House training your dog is all about patience. While you’re housetraining your dog, you should definitely assume they will have accidents everywhere that you let them roam. So make sure to keep them away from carpets, beds or any other surface that you don’t want them to dirty.
Take the time to understand your pup and keep your schedule consistent - eventually, your pup will be a potty trained pro!
Tammi writes articles about anything from data analytics to animal health, and loves doing the occasional craft. But most importantly, she loves hanging out and doing photo-shoots with her dog.