Potty Training

Train Your Puppy to Potty Right!

House training your puppy is about consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement. The goal is to instill good habits and build a loving bond with your pet.

It typically takes 4-6 months for a puppy to be fully house trained, but some puppies may take up to a year. Size can be a predictor. For instance, smaller breeds have smaller bladders and higher metabolisms and require more frequent trips outside. Your puppy’s previous living conditions are another predictor. You may find that you need to help your puppy break old habits in order to establish more desirable ones.

when to begin house training for a puppy

Experts recommend that you begin house training your puppy when he is between 12 weeks and 16 weeks old. At that point, he has enough control of his bladder and bowel movements to learn to hold it.

If your puppy is older than 12 weeks when you bring him home, house training may take longer. You will have to reshape the dog’s behavior — with encouragement and reward.

steps for house training your puppy

Experts recommend confining the puppy to a defined space, whether that means in a crate, in a room, or on a leash. As your puppy learns that he needs to go outside to do his business, you can gradually give him more freedom to roam about the house.

When you start to house train, follow these steps:

  • Keep the puppy on a regular feeding schedule and take away his food between meals.
  • Take puppy out to eliminate first thing in the morning and then once every 30 minutes to an hour. Also, always take him outside after meals or when he wakes from a nap. Make sure he goes out last thing at night and before he’s left alone.
  • Take puppy to the same spot each time to do his business. His scent will prompt him to go.
  • Stay with him outside, at least until he’s house trained.
  • When your puppy eliminates outside, praise him or give him a treat. A walk around the neighborhood is a nice reward.

marking – understanding it, stopping it

Dogs gather essential social information using their sense of smell, whether smelling other dogs directly or sniffing their urine and feces. That’s why dogs urinate much more than required to simply empty their bladder. Marking serves as a way to claim territory, advertise mating availability and to support the social order. Dogs like hierarchy; it’s what they understand. They communicate age, gender and status within their packs via the pheromones in urine. Both male and female animals can engage in marking behavior. A dog uses urine marking to help make a new environment smell like home, masking the unfamiliar odors with his own scent.

Humans also engage in marking behavior, though it usually takes such forms as moving in a favorite chair and hanging pictures on the wall. In addition, marking functions as an efficient way to protect a dog’s perceived space than physically challenging each interloper who approaches that space.

Animals also mark to advertise their sexual availability, which is one reason why it helps to neuter and spay dogs. The earlier, the better, since early neutering can keep young dogs from ever developing the impulse to mark.

Urinating in the house and other inappropriate areas can also be a sign of urinary tract disease, so take your dog to the vet before ruling out this possibility.

Urinating in the house can also stem from lack of housetraining or lack of an appropriate place to urinate, or having to hold it longer than the dog can physically wait. Consider having someone visit your dog for a mid-day walk if you work long hours.