This may seem like a time-consuming and overwhelming task! The key to success is consistency and patience. The process can take 3-4 weeks depending on how the puppy responds. Be attentive to your puppy’s body language that indicates he needs to potty. There are several signs to watch for:
If you recognize any of these signs, take him outside immediately. If he goes, praise him. Never punish an accident, if you do, he may learn to go when you are not looking. Crate training is a successful way to promote potty training. It may be difficult to get used to the idea of putting your furry friend in a crate, but dogs are actually den animals. They find comfort and security in their cave crate environment. This makes it easy to train your dog to love his crate! The principal in using a crate is that dogs like their "den" clean and avoid going to the bathroom near their eating and sleeping areas, so their instinct will be to keep their crate clean! Keep your puppy in the crate during crate time and in the exercise pen whenever you are not directly supervising them.
We have doggie doors that our puppies will learn to use while they are here. They will be able to go in and out freely, so they will start to learn to go to the bathroom outside from their mother.
Following a Potty Schedule is a key factor to success in training!
Here are some guidelines for setting up a potty schedule. When creating a schedule be sure to include potty times when they are more likely to need to potty. These times include:
- First thing in the morning
- After eating
- After drinking
- After napping
- Before bed
- Once in the middle of the night
Take the puppy outside every 2 1⁄2 hours and 1⁄2 hour after eating (once during the night). Take him out the same door and to the same spot every time. Once again be patient and be consistent!
Here is an example of a Detailed Puppy Schedule:
7:00 A.M. Wake and go potty, play time
7:30 A.M. Food and water. Remove leftover food.
8:00 A.M. Go potty, play time
9:30 A.M. Rest time in crate
11:15 A.M. Go potty, play time
11:45 A.M. Food and water. Remove leftover food.
12:30 P.M. Go potty, play time
2:30 P.M. Rest time in crate
4:45 P.M. Go potty, play time
5:30 P.M. Food and water. Remove leftover food.
6:00 P.M. Go potty, play time
7:45 P.M. Rest time in crate
9:00 P.M. Go potty, play time
9:30 P.M. Water only. Remove leftover water- no more water after this time
10:30 P.M. Go potty, play time
11:00 P.M. Go potty and place in crate over night
* Keep in mind to schedule an overnight potty break between 2-4 AM
As your puppy begins to recognize the schedule, it will become easier. Remember to also watch your puppy’s body language and take him out immediately if he indicates he needs to potty.