It’s a joyful time when you bring your new puppy home for you and your family. A new pet always brings new challenges, potty training being the biggest. How do you teach a puppy to pee outside? Some puppies learn quicker than others. Nevertheless, remember to be consistent and patient.
So, let’s consider how to potty train a puppy to go outside. Your new puppy must trust and respect you before you can teach him to obey your commands. Establishing a bond with your dog is essential for things to run smoothly.
Once your puppy has warmed up to you and your family, you must establish your expectations. If you want your puppy to spend all of his time outside, don’t let him explore your house by himself.
How To Potty Train A Puppy To Go Outside: Step-By-Step
Step 1: Establish a Routine
Puppies thrive on a regular schedule, which teaches them when to eat, play, and go potty. A puppy can control the need to relieve himself for one hour per month of age. For example, if your pup is three months old, he can control his bladder for about three hours.
Step 2: Know Your Puppy’s Cues
During potty training, you must watch your puppy at all times, so you will know when he needs to do his business. Look out for signs like whining, circling, barking, sniffing, and any sudden behavioural changes. When you see any of those indicators, go outside immediately.
Step 3: Interrupt Accidents
Accidents are to be expected when potty training your puppy. However, when you catch him in the act of defecating or urinating inside, you must say the word “no” or make a sudden noise, such as a clap. Then lead him outside.
Step 4: Determine A Potty Area
It helps to choose an exclusive area outside to take your puppy every time he needs to go. Make sure other dogs don’t visit the spot and that it’s easy to clean up afterward.
You should bring your puppy out on a leash when you’re teaching him to go in that specific location. You can keep a closer eye on him, so you’ll know when he’s done.
Step 5: Choose a Specific Word
Every time you bring your puppy outside to their area, use the word “go” or any other command, even a sound. This teaches the puppy to go to that particular location.
Make sure only to use that command when he needs to urinate or defecate to avoid confusion.
Step 6: Celebrate Success
Praise your puppy when he uses the appropriate location. Be consistent with this; your approval gives him the emotional incentive to go potty in the right place.
Step 7: Make Potty Time A Positive Experience
It helps to make potty time a rewarding and calm event. This encourages your puppy to wait patiently and look forward to going potty until you let him go.
You will notice that when your dog does his business, he is enjoying himself. You should never interrupt him when he relieves himself where he should, as this can create confusion.
Let him relax and loosen up. Always pick him up after he defecates. Feel free to give him a little treat afterward as an encouragement, though it can also be a distraction.
Step 8: Immediately Clean Up Any Accidents
When your dog accidentally goes indoors, you must clean the area thoroughly. This helps prevent the dog from wanting to go to the exact location again.
Use an enzyme cleaner, not one containing ammonia. This helps to remove the odour and the dog’s interest in that area. Urine smells like ammonia, so ammonia cleaners can attract dogs to leave their own scent.
Dealing with Accidents Inside the House
When house training your puppy to go outside, accidents will inevitably happen. It’s crucial to know how to properly handle these situations in order to ensure your puppy’s progress isn’t derailed.
- Avoid Punishment: Remember, puppies are still learning. If you catch them in the act, refrain from yelling or punishing them. This can often lead to fear and confusion, making the training process more challenging.
- Interrupt and Redirect: If you catch your puppy starting to go inside the house, quickly but gently interrupt them and bring them outside to the designated potty area. When they finish their business outside, praise them or offer a small reward.
- Clean Up Thoroughly: If you didn’t catch the accident when it happened, focus on cleaning up. It’s important to thoroughly clean the area with a pet-friendly, enzyme-based cleaner. This type of cleaner will eliminate the smell and reduce the chance of your puppy being drawn back to the same spot for another accident.
- Stay Vigilant and Consistent: Accidents often indicate that you might have given your puppy too much freedom too soon. You might need to supervise them more closely or adjust the frequency of your potty breaks.
Signs Your Puppy Needs to Go Outside
Understanding your puppy’s signals is a crucial part of successful potty training. Here are common signs to watch out for, indicating your puppy might need a bathroom break:
- Change in Activity Level: Puppies often become particularly active when they need to go. This can include frantic running around, or it might be more subtle, like suddenly getting up from a nap.
- Circling and Sniffing: These are classic signs associated with looking for a spot to do their business. If your puppy starts sniffing the floor and starts walking in circles, it’s likely they need to go outside.
- Whining or Barking: Some puppies might whine or bark to get your attention when they need to go outside. If there’s no other obvious reason for this behavior, it might be a signal that it’s potty time.
- Going to the Door: An older or more advanced puppy might go to the door that leads outside when they need a bathroom break. This is a clear sign they’re asking to go outside.
- Changes in Body Posture: This might include arching the back, squatting, or restlessness. Each dog will have their unique signals. The more you observe and learn about your puppy’s behaviors, the easier it’ll become to spot these signs.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it typically take to potty train a puppy?
It typically takes between 4 to 6 months to fully potty train a puppy. However, some puppies might take up to a year to be fully house trained. Factors such as the puppy’s size, breed, and individual temperament can affect the training duration.
Can I still potty train an older dog?
Yes, it is entirely possible to potty train an older dog. Though it might take a bit more patience, consistency and positive reinforcement will yield results regardless of the dog’s age.
My puppy keeps having accidents at night. What should I do?
Try to limit your puppy’s water intake a few hours before bedtime and make sure to take them outside for a bathroom break right before you go to sleep. If accidents persist, it might be worth considering taking them out for a bathroom break in the middle of the night or early in the morning.
Is it better to use puppy pads or go straight to outdoor potty training?
While puppy pads can be helpful, especially for those living in high-rise apartments or with limited outdoor access, training a puppy to go outside from the start can help avoid confusion later on.
What should I do if my puppy doesn’t seem to be catching on to potty training?
Consistency is key in potty training. However, if your puppy is struggling, it might be worth consulting with a professional dog trainer or your vet to ensure there are no underlying medical issues causing the problem.
How can I reinforce potty training if I’m not home during the day?
Consider hiring a dog walker or asking a friend or neighbor to take your puppy out during the day. Consistency is key in potty training, so ensuring your puppy gets regular bathroom breaks is essential.
My puppy seems to be scared to go outside. What can I do?
Try to make the experience positive by offering treats and praises when they go outside. If the fear persists, consider consulting with a professional dog trainer to help your puppy overcome their fear.
What’s the difference between potty training a male and a female puppy?
While both male and female puppies require consistency and patience when potty training, male dogs sometimes have the added challenge of “marking their territory”, which can prolong the training process.
Do certain breeds potty train faster than others?
There can be some variation in how quickly different breeds potty train, but overall, the differences aren’t significant. Consistency and positive reinforcement are the most important factors in successful potty training.
What can I use to clean up after accidents?
Use an enzyme-based cleaner to thoroughly clean the area. These cleaners break down the proteins in the urine or feces, which helps to completely remove the smell and discourage the puppy from soiling the same spot again.
When you begin training your puppy to go outdoors, there may not be much of a set routine. The early puppy stage comes with lots of challenges, and you will likely catch them going in inappropriate places.
In these circumstances, remain calm, firm, and consistent. Hold your ground, but don’t punish your dog for accidents, as this doesn’t help.
When you are outside with your puppy, don’t go back inside until he uses the bathroom, as this shows him you don’t mind where he relieves himself.
Keep a regular feeding schedule and organise potty trips around mealtimes. Schedules and established expectations are what your puppy needs to be more cooperative.
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