Potty Training your Puppy

Puppy potty-training often becomes an unnecessary burden to both puppies and their new parents. It creates stress for both parties and can also instil fear in your puppy which should be avoided at all costs. Here are some toilet-training tips that will ensure an easier, more pleasant journey to a house-trained pooch.

What it Takes for the Parent

House-training your fur baby requires immense amounts of patience and consistency on your part, as the parent. Showering them with positive reinforcement for favourable behaviour will also fortify the loving and trusting relationship between the both of you.

House-training can take between 4 – 6 months and in some cases, even up to a year so try to maintain a sense of humour throughout this sensitive process.

Size Matters

Smaller dogs tend to have faster metabolisms and obviously smaller-sized bladders than their larger counterparts, so they’ll need more frequent trips to relieve themselves.

Appropriate Age to Commence

12 – 16 weeks is considered a fitting age for a puppy to start learning where to do their business.

How to Commence

  • Maintain a regular feeding schedule for your puppy and don’t allow them any treats to snack on in between meals as this will set in cause for confusion.
  • Take your puppy outside onto the lawn immediately after a meal. Feeding generally stimulates the digestive system and puppies usually need to urinate approximately 15 minutes after eating. Mother Nature generally calls after your puppy has woken from a nap, so lead them outside to the same spot in the garden to do to their business.
  • Ensure your puppy has gone to the toilet just before you retreat to bed as well as just before you leave them alone for any amount of time.
  • Lead your pup to the same place to relieve themselves every time and stay with them until they’ve completed their task.
  • The most important thing is to make a fuss of your puppy with reassuring praises and scrumptious healthy treats.

Parental Blunders to Avoid

  • By punishing your puppy, you are not only causing them to fear you, which is unacceptable and damaging to the special bond between the two of you, but you’ll jeopardise all the hard work you’ve both put into the house-training process thus far.
  • Using ammonia-based cleaning products will only encourage your puppy to urinate again in the unsolicited area as the scent of these detergents resemble that of urine.
  • Rugs and carpets that bear a resemblance in texture to grass, should be either locked up or closed off from puppy’s reach until house-training is successfully achieved.
  • Set an alarm at intervals during the night to let your puppy outside to relieve themselves. They are too small and too young to go through the entire night without urinating.
  • Laziness on the parent’s part, especially in the middle of the night, is not an option when house-training. Your diligence and hard work will pay off and will swifly speed the process along.
  • Over feeding your pup or feeding them meals at the incorrect times will only stand to confuse them and put the whole system out of sync.
  • It’s unfair to leave your puppy alone for extended periods of time, thereby forcing them to relieve themselves indoors.
  • Exude a calm, patient and supportive attitude throughout the training process. Your intuitive little bundle of fur will pick up if you’re agitated, nervous and impatient with them and this will impede all you have both worked for

Remember that house-training is not a race! It requires patience and empathy from the parent and is also a wonderful opportunity to strengthen your bond with your puppy! By ignoring unfavourable behaviour and reinforcing positive behaviour through encouragement, praise and treats, you’ll be on your merry way to having a house-trained pup in no time!

Written for inFURmation
by Taliah Williamson

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Disclaimer: The information produced by Infurmation is provided for general and educational purposes only and does not constitute any legal, medical or other professional advice on any subject matter. These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. Always seek the advice of your vet or other qualified health care provider prior to starting any new diet or treatment and with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you suspect that your pet has a medical problem, promptly contact your health care provider.