GENERAL CONCEPTS OF PUPPY POTTY TRAINING
Puppy potty training is perhaps one of the most frustrating aspects of getting through the puppy stages of life. It sort of sounds like frustrated parents trying to get their first child potty trained lamenting, that “you will probably go off to college wearing diapers”! Point taken and understood! No matter how good one’s intentions are, things can get frustrating.
Puppy potty traing is much more difficult to accomplish for a toy breed versus a large breed of dog. The majority of Yorkshire Terriers are impossible to train and a lot of owners simply use “wee wee” pads and change them as needed. On the other hand most retrievers, shepherds and other large breed dogs are experts at puppy potty training at 12 weeks of age! Why that happens, I do not know.
What I do know is, that if you already HAVE an adult dog in the house it is much much easier puppy potty training the puppy. The little guy follows big brother outside and watches, smells and repeats the older dog behavior of urinating and defecating. This makes life lots easier.
WHAT TO DO
Here are some suggestions for puppy potty training. The first thing to do is paper train (or use pee pads) the puppy. If you have the animal confined in a gated small room, line the room with newspaper. As time goes by and the puppy is going potty, gradually take away several sheets of paper at a time. Soon you will be down to several sheets and ready for step #2.
What works for one dog may not work for another. Most puppies have to urinate and defecate about ten times a day. With the new puppy it is important to take the puppy outdoors in an area that you want the animal to use. This is to be done: after the puppy wakes up from a nap, after eating and after getting up in the morning. The main goal is to get the puppy to associate grass or whatever surface as the place to go. Once that happens reward the animal with praise! Give it a small treat. Puppy potty training takes a lot of time but definitely worth the effort. As time passes, the dog will make a “unique sound” or a “unique look” by the door letting you know that it needs to go outside. The puppy is also growing and its internal organs are growing. The bladder is getting bigger and can hold more urine. You have almost won the puppy potty training battle!
What throws a wrench or cold water on the situation is when people live in colder climates with snow. Snow really annoys a lot of dogs and they lose concept of where to go since the ground is covered. You have to shovel the area where the dog used to go and than things will be fine.
Every situation is different. Some people have tiny dogs in high rise apartments or condominiums and train their dog to go inside on canine pee pads. This will not work for large breeds of dogs.
WHAT TO DO IF THAT DOES NOT WORK
You may not be doing anything wrong puppy potty training your pet but may need just a bit of fine tuning. Never put food down for the puppy all day long. You can get away with that with cats but not dogs. If you are leaving the food bowl down all the time and the puppy is grazing, its GI tract is working all the time hence it will want to go ALL the time! Put the food down and if there is food left after 20 minutes, pick it up!!
It can be difficult getting the puppy to hold it until morning. Many pups will bark and need to be let out half way through the night. With time that will end. Keeping a pet confined in an area will help. Dogs do not normally want to defecate in areas where they sleep. This will be discussed further in Puppy Confinement.
Lastly, make sure your puppy is on the best diet possible. One that is the most digestible. This means less stool and more of the nutrients going towards the puppy’s development.