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House Training Your Dog Fast
Potty training is the most important thing you will do when you bring home a new puppy. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to achieve this quickly and efficiently.
After a puppy eats, drinks, plays, sleeps or chews, it must soon be potty trained.
o Up to 6 months, more than 12 times a day.
o From 6 to 12 months, more than 7 times a day.
Take your dog outside to relieve him as many times a day as you can. The more he goes outside, the more it will be ingrained that outside is the place to do his work.
Always use a leash when taking your dog out to potty. If you use a crate, which I highly recommend, remove your puppy from the crate, pick him up, clip him to his leash, and take him outside. Place him on the grass in the designated area and keep repeating “go potty” over and over.
There should be no excessive talking or playing. It’s not time to play or walk. This is potty time. Just stand in one place and let your pup have as much as he wants on your 6-foot leash. But that’s all. Keep repeating his name and “go potty”.
When the mission is completed, reward your dog with a treat (ALWAYS HAVE AN OFFER) and a “good boy” or “good girl”. Bring the dog back home immediately.
If he doesn’t miscarry in about five minutes, return him to his crate and try again in about 15 minutes. If he does go potty, (both types), go back inside and keep your pup with you as you prepare for your day. Always keep him on his leash indoors. It is helpful to keep a leash on your dog at home when potty training. They are easier to find when they are hiding behind a chair or sofa, although your puppy should NEVER be unattended during potty training.
In the early stages of the break-in, always pick him up and carry him outside. Do not allow him to walk, because he may squat and have an accident on the road.
Adjust times and amount of food. I recommend feeding twice a day for puppies under 1 year old. Read the portion size on the bag. Divide the daily portion in half and feed one in the morning and one in the evening before 7pm
Leave your dog’s food on the floor for no more than 10 minutes. If your dog does not finish his food, pick up the bowl and do not feed again until the next scheduled time. Leaving food and water out all day sets your dog up for failure. Allowing constant access to food makes it harder to predict when your dog will need to relieve himself.
Watch your dog for signs that he needs to go outside. Tracking, sniffing and circling are signs that a trip out may be in order. Learn to recognize the signs and take your dog out BEFORE he has an accident in the house.
Feed your dog a high quality dog food. Cheaper brands are full of fillers and chemicals that are difficult to digest, which can lead to inconsistent stools and an inability to hold them until they pass. Even the well-known national brands contain ingredients that dogs cannot digest, such as corn, chicken offal, (heads, wings, feet, beaks), wheat, sorghum, and other things I will not feed my dogs.
Do not feed your dog “people food” as a steady diet. You can use it as an occasional workout. A dog’s digestive system works very differently than ours and the vitamins, minerals and enzymes your dog needs will not be provided.
Do not change dog food at the same time. If you change food, do it gradually, mixing 75% old with 25% new for a week, 50% of each for a week, then 75% new with 25% old for a week, and finally 100% new.
Know and track when your dog relieves itself (ie after meals, playtime, or waking up from a nap) so you can develop the pattern and timeline your puppy follows. All dogs will vary somewhat in their potty habits.
I recommend using a crate when potty training. When your puppy is going to be left alone all day, then a small enclosed area is recommended. Use the cage day and night, and especially when everyone is asleep.
Crate training should be done in small steps and build up gradually. Do not force your dog into the crate, or he will see it as punishment. Never use a cage as punishment. Dogs love their crates and they become their own personal “carcass”. There they feel safe and secure. The crate should be seen by your dog as a good place to be.
To get your puppy used to his crate, remove the wire door. Use a treat to lure him into the cage. When he voluntarily goes into the crate, give him the treat and say “good boy”. Then let him leave the cage on time.
Repeat this process several times. Then put the door back on the crate and lure your puppy back into the crate. Give him the treat, praise him, then close the door and wait five seconds. Open the door and invite your dog outside. This is very important. Your dog must wait until invited outside. A light touch on his chest and the word “wait” should do it. Repeat this process. Start with very short increments of time and increase the length of time in the cage gradually.
Once again, never force your dog into the crate or he will see it as punishment. We want him to have positive experiences going in and out of the crate. Put a toy and an old t-shirt or towel with your scent on it in the crate. This will also convey to your puppy that the crate is a good place to be. You will find that in no time your dog will go into his crate voluntarily when you are not even paying attention. Never leave the dog in the crate for excessive periods of time:
o no more than 2-3 hours if the puppy is under four months old
o 4-5 hours from 4-6 months
o 6-7 hours if the puppy is 6-9 months old
These estimates vary depending on the breed, size of the dog and achievements so far.
If you work all day and are going to leave your puppy alone for several hours before potty training him, crating may not be an option as that is too many hours to be confined to a crate. Instead, consider a small space like a bathroom, laundry room, or block off a small section of any room you choose to limit your puppy’s space.
I recommend an adjustable pen sold at most pet stores. The heavy-duty plastic type works best. Each section is about two feet wide and there are usually 8 sections. This allows you to increase the size of the pen as your dog grows. Adjust the size of the pen so that there is room for his blanket or bed at one end and a potty at the other, with very little space in between.
The goal is to ensure that your dog hits the pillow when he relieves himself. If successful, gradually increase the pen size. Ultimately, you can give your dog more freedom by allowing him a larger and larger area, making sure to leave the potty accessible. Try placing the pad in front of the door you use most often to take your dog out. Give your dog a chew toy to occupy his time when confined to his pen.
Constant supervision is critical when the puppy is not in its pen or crate. Always keep your puppy on a leash in the house so he doesn’t wander off and potty unattended. This also helps the puppy get used to wearing the leash so that it is not afraid or afraid of it.
If your puppy starts to hunch over, quickly pick him up by saying “no”, immediately take him outside, put him on the grass on a leash and say “go potty”. Give him time to refocus and squat again. Say ‘trifle’ and ‘good boy’ or ‘good girl’.
When the puppy finishes, give a treat and praise it. Bring the puppy straight back home. Allow 30-45 minutes of supervised free time outside the cage or pen. Then return the puppy to its crate or pen for about 1 – 1 1/2 hours and repeat the process. If you have to leave the house, always return the puppy to the crate or pen.
If your puppy finishes urinating or defecating in the house and you don’t catch him, don’t bother disciplining him. It’s too late at this point. After a few seconds, he won’t know why you’re scolding him. He should not shout, rub his nose and hit. You will confuse him and make things worse. Just clean it and move on.
Be sure to clean with the right products to remove any scent your dog may be tempted to return. Quite a few are sold in pet stores. Make sure you don’t clean with anything that contains ammonia, as the smell of ammonia will attract the pup back to that spot for a repeat performance.
Teething can cause your puppy to make mistakes around the house. The discomfort in his mouth can cause irregular urination. Be patient during this time – it will pass.
Before you go to bed at night, take time to play with your puppy to burn off some energy. Take him out on the potty one last time and then put him in the crate or pen for the night. You may want to bring the crate into the bedroom with you so the puppy can see and hear you and still feel part of the pack. First thing every morning, remove it from the crate or pen, pick up the puppy and take it outside. In the first few weeks, the puppy may wake you up very early (4 or 5 am). As they get older, they will sleep more and be able to hold themselves for longer periods of time.
Above all, patience and consistency!
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