So you have bought this cute little puppy into your home. You go to make a snack a well-earned snack. You walk towards your living room, and you step in poo, how!? why!? Well, where did you expect them to do it? In this blog, I will give you tips on how I have trained my dog. Hopefully, you can take bits and pieces from it to help prepare your puppy and successfully stop these little accidents.
What you put in will come out
Potty training can be extremely tiring and can be very frustrating. It will get easier with time if you are consistent and repeat the same process of communication. Some people forget that when you feed your puppy during their early months, they will pee and poo within 30 mins to an hour after eating. My rule of thumb is if your puppy is three months old, they will release their bowls within an hour. 4 months with 2 hours, 5 months with 3 hours and so on and so forth. This will be easier to do if you have a garden, then you can let your puppy out accordingly. If you live in a flat/apartment, you will place your puppy around the pee/poo pad. I would suggest to have a feeding routine and literally have a stopwatch to hand to see how fast food will go through their system. Example of a 3-month-old feeding routine 0700, 1100, 1500 and 1900. With their water bowl only put enough in there, so they are not continually peeing and also time how quickly they go to use the toilet after drinking so you have it down to a system.
Where is your puppy?
Now a crucial part of this is you will literally be studying your puppy. Watch for certain habits to know when they are about to go. To successfully potty train you will need to continually keep your puppy in your sight. What I notice with my dog Thanos is that he would spin around twice before doing a poo. If he needs to pee, he would suddenly stop doing something and released himself. These were my vital signs which I use to either pick him up and put him on the pad and then praise him heavily for doing his business. I will hold my hands up that with my first ever dog I did the technique which I frown upon now. Which was putting your puppy’s nose in their accident. Positive reinforcement gets much quicker results than negative, that is for sure. Screaming and shouting at your puppy will not help either. So if you are going to get this process right, you will need a lot of patience and time.
Praise, praise and more praise I can’t stress this enough. When you start to transition from your home to outside. You will definitely need to take this up a level. So if you are like me and give your dog 1 cheese piece as a reward, if they did it outside, I would give 2/3 pieces. After a while, they will link that going outside is better than inside.
Out we go again
If you live in a flat/apartment, this part might not be viable until your puppy is around 5 months old. If you live in a house, you now need to let your dog out every hour to 2 hours. This will be the easiest way for your puppy to understand what you want from them and when they do their business praises them. If they don’t do anything, it is alright as prevention is better than cleaning up. The more you do this, the quicker your puppy will understand what you want from them. Communication between you and your puppy will go from strength to strength if you continue this process consistently.
They are weirdly smelling the floor
So hopefully, after 2 weeks, you will start to notice certain habits your puppy is doing before them doing their business. Your friends might look at you weird if you jump up and say “his walking backwards he needs to go to the toilet!!”. This is you understanding your puppy, and you are starting to understand their communication type. Every puppy has their own unique way to communicate they need to go.
When can they hit the mat?
Yes, your dog is inevitably going to make a mess from time to time. Puppies tend to be attracted to spots they have already peed on so make sure first of all you have the right products to get rid of it. Believe it or not, but bleach is very successful at getting rid of the smell but only for you as a dog’s strongest sense is their smell. So if they continue to do it in the same spot it is because they can still smell the pee, they did in that spot previously. I suggest two things, if you are using pads, I would leave a pad out that your puppy has peed on next to another one so they can smell for where they need to do it. Now to clean up the accident, you will need a product specifically used for cleaning up pet urine odours and stains.
So just to recap the golden rules
- If it’s tranquil, maybe your puppy is doing something they are not meant to. So always have your eye on them.
- Praise, praise and more praise
- Like a traffic light, watch out for the signals
- Timing – start to time how quickly they let their bowls go after eating and drinking.
All for you dog