Puppy Potty Training Tips
Puppy potty training can be very frustrating at times since it is hard for them to tell us when they need to go. Crate training is the easiest and most effective way I have found for puppy potty training. Dogs are den dwelling animals and do not soil where they eat and sleep. Over time we want your dog to view the entire house as their den, but most people rush this process. When do I consider a puppy potty trained? Between 1.5 – 2 years. I’ll give you a moment to soak that in. This does not mean they have accidents that long and some people get lucky with a dog that catches on quickly, but most owners want to be done with puppy potty training and crate free at 4 months. It’s just way too much responsibility for your pup and really unfair for you to expect them to understand.
Some people like to teach their dog to ring a bell to go out. I have found that the dog will learn to ring the bell for various reasons. They may want a treat, or they may want to go outside and play, but it is not always to go potty. When your dog is an adult they will develop a “tell”, but for that first year or two it is all about conditioning and micro managing. I have successfully raised many dogs who have never had a single accident because I take my time and do not rush the process.
When you are puppy potty training your pup should be in one of three places.
1. In their crate
2. Outside for potty or play (you should be with them)
3. With you inside (attached to a leash or in a blocked off area)
Sound like a lot of work? Keep in mind young puppies sleep about 18 hours a day so if you can not be with them then let them sleep in their crate. Trust me, they need it.
It is important for your puppy to drink plenty of water, but keep in mind that with the increase in water there will be an increase in bathroom trips outside. Also monitor the amount of water they drink. I usually pick up water in the early evening and do not leave water in the crate. I know if I drink a bunch of water before bed then I will be uncomfortable, well the same goes for your puppy.
Any kind of extra excitement can interfere with puppy potty training and add to puppies having “accidents” in the home and crate. The best way to avoid this is to let your puppy rest in their crate after play and take them out once they have become relaxed again. This may mean another trip outside 30 minutes after the last one, but when puppies get excited they tend to drink more water than usual.
There is a difference between a puppy potty training accident and a puppy that submissive pees. A puppy that pees out of fear is different from normal puppy potty training and should be addressed separately. If your puppy pees when you reach to pet them or during play, this may be submissive peeing. It is also important to rule out any medical problems. If your puppy is peeing more often then you think they should (on average a puppy can hold their bladder an hour for every month old they are) and there has been no excitement in their regular routine, then make sure to take them to your vet to check for a urine or bladder infection.
Puppy potty training is a process and can be frustrating at times, but above all else remember they are learning too. When your puppy goes potty in their crate don’t get angry or frustrated, instead think back; what was puppy doing last? Did they just meet someone new? Go someplace new? Excitement and stress are major accident factors when working on puppy potty training. Even though they “just went out,” it’s probably best to make that extra trip.
When in doubt, take them out!