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Your Puppy Needs to Potty More Often?

I’ve got a client who called me for pointers while potty training their puppy. Here’s how the scenario goes.

They had the puppy in the larger crate with their older dog. The puppy was having accidents in the crate, so they put the young dog in its own, smaller crate. The crate was just big enough for the pup to stand up and turn around. This was a good move.

They told me that they let the puppy out every couple of hours to go potty, but they were having trouble with the dog still having accidents when outside of the crate. She was doing fine when confined in her crate for the allotted time.

Here’s the deal. Yes, a puppy can, and should be able to hold it’s potty for a while. The basic rule is that for every month of age, the puppy can hold it’s potty for the number of months of age, plus 1. So, for example, a 2 month old puppy can hold it’s potty for 3 hours, a 3 month old should be able to go for 4 hours, and so on.

However, this is just a basic rule. The thing to remember is that EVERY animal is different. My clients told me that their puppy couldn’t even seem to hold it for 15 minutes!

Now, this puppy was younger than 10 weeks old. So this was another factor that affected their puppy potty training.

My advice was that if this was the case, then they need to take the pup out to go potty every 15 minutes until the animal proves that it can hold it longer. What’s the alternative? Well, you could let the puppy potty in the house and give up on your potty training.

The puppy wasn’t making any messes inside its small crate, just outside of the crate. They were following all of the basic rules for potty training with regards to crate training, feeding and watering, taking the puppy out to go potty after meals, when the puppy first wakes up from overnight sleep or naps, and going in the allotted time frame.

This puppy was really just a baby. Yes, but this could pertain to older puppies too. If the puppy seems to need to go potty every 15 minutes, then that is what you need to do. Simple as that, if your going to have your puppy out of the crate. Remember, she said that the puppy was doing fine in her little crate. It was just when the pup was out when she couldn’t seem to hold it.

You are responsible for your puppy, and you need to do whatever is necessary to properly potty train them. Let me know what you think!

Puppy House Training | Implement Your Plan

Stage 3—Implementation
At this stage you will implement the puppy house training method that you have chosen. Your puppy will need time to learn, he will need practice, encouragement, and loads of positive reinforcement. Constant supervision is needed in order to gradually decrease the amount of accidents that he will have.

Have no illusions—your puppy will have accidents! Yet, also like humans, harsh reactions and punishment will not be effective in the way you would like; in fact, they will achieve the opposite effect. If you punish your puppy for his mistakes you could traumatize him, or bring out negative behavior patterns. So please don’t do this. Also understand that if you missed an accident, and only discovered it some time later, just clean it up. Do not rub your dog’s nose in it, because he will not understand what you are doing. It is not his fault for having an accident, you should have been watching!

Keeping all this in mind as you continue to read following posts and make an informed decision as to which potty training method is best for you and your dog.

Puppy House Training | Establish a Routine

Stage 2—Establish a Routine for Your Puppy House Training

Puppies need and appreciate a routine—set a firm framework for yourself and your puppy. This way, both you and your dog will know what to expect.

Draw up a day plan which covers all the activities of the day—waking, eating, napping, playing, eating, napping, more playing, eating and sleeping. Then schedule frequent visits to the designated potty place in between each activity. Stick to this routine religiously! This will help to condition both your puppy’s body and mind and will help him understand what is expected from him and when, and will help him greatly in his house training.

Tips for Establishing the Ideal House Training Routine

Now, I just told you that feeding your puppy at specific times is best for house training purposes. This is because of the “what goes in must come out” rule. Around 10–20 minutes after eating or drinking, your puppy will need to go potty. So soon after every meal time, schedule a visit to his potty place.

Please note: The time after eating will vary with each puppy, depending on your puppy’s age, and the development of your puppy’s body, and various other factors. Your puppy may need to go potty as soon as they eat.

When writing up your day plan, keep in mind that for every month of your puppy’s life, he can wait one hour before relieving himself. In other words a two month old puppy must be taken out every two hours. Don’t push this rule however; it will be much easier for your puppy if he is taken out well within his limits.

If your puppy is under four months old he will not be able to get through the whole night and you will need to take him out in the middle of the night.

Take a look at the sample schedule below which can be adapted to suit your needs.

Spot’s house training schedule
Time Duty
3:00 am Wake up Spot to go potty. Do not engage him in play, use verbal potty command, wait until he has done his business and then return him to his crate.
7:15 am Take Spot to go potty, return him to crate
7:30 Feed Spot meal 1 in crate
7:45 Take Spot to go potty and return him to crate
11:00 am Take Spot to go potty, bring him inside for a play session. After the play session take him to go potty. Return him to the crate.
1:00 pm Give Spot meal 2 in crate
1:15 pm Take Spot to go potty and return him to crate
4:30 pm Take Spot to go potty. Play outside, take him back to the potty place to see if he wants to go again.
7:00 pm Feed Spot meal 3 in the crate; leave him in the crate for a while longer.
7:45 pm Take Spot to go potty, play, return him to crate
11:00 pm Take Spot to go potty, return him to crate to sleep

So, in this schedule I have you returning your puppy to his crate. Anytime that you are home, you can put him in his daytime pen, or if you can watch them 100%, your puppy can be out with you.

Remember that your puppy will need to be taken out first thing in the morning and he cannot wait for you to shave and shower. Please make sure that whoever is awake first, takes him out promptly.

Puppy House Training | Research, Decide, Prepare

Like children, puppies need to have reached a specific developmental stage in order to understand when they need to go potty, and to hold it in until they have reached the designated spot. Each puppy develops at his own pace, but as a general rule some time between nine and twelve weeks your puppy should be able to identify his own need to go potty. Having said that, it is important to start puppy house training as soon as you get him.

There are a number of very successful methods for puppy house training. In the following parts of this series, I will tell you about the different options and you can choose what works best for you.

Three Rules of Puppy House Training

Whatever method you choose, please remember the three rules of puppy house training:

  1. Don’t panic
  2. Be understanding but firm
  3. There will be accidents

Keep in mind that house training a puppy is never a quick fix; it is a process which has a number of stages. Make sure you are aware of all the stages before you start and you have the equipment and time available to implement them.

Stage 1—Research, decisions, preparations
In my ebook “Quick and Easy Puppy Potty Training”, I have provided information about the best puppy house training methods, along with suggestions of equipment you will need to implement them. After reading the book, you can decide what method you want to use. Base your decision on what will best suit you and your lifestyle.

If you are bringing the puppy into a family home, you also need to decide at this stage who is in charge of the house training and who will be involved in the training. Remember that leadership issues are involved here—therefore do not put your children into a power struggle situation with the puppy—they should not be actively involved in the training and should not discipline the dog.

Decide where you want your puppy to do his business. This will be based on what kind of house/apartment you live in, what size dog you have, and how much you will be around to let him out. Most people prefer that their dog goes potty outside but I will also talk about other options.

Set aside time for this project. The first few days of puppy house training are very intense. It would be wise for you to make sure that you will be at home with the puppy for these days, maybe even for a week or two. The more time you devote to this, the quicker the puppy will learn and the faster he will master house training.

Puppy House Training | Puppy Supplies

Supplies for Puppy House Training

There are a number of items that you will need for your puppy as a one time investment. Pet stores have lots of puppy accessories these days, but just concentrate on what you will need for your puppy house training. Your new puppy will need to chew and while you are house training him, he will have accidents. Where you can, I recommend that you use old stuff, if you have it already.

Puppy Crate

You want to create a place for your puppy that he will regard as his retreat, his private space, like a den. A puppy crate is the most important tool you will use. This will be very useful when it comes to house training your puppy.

Blanket, toys and bones
You may feel the need to put an old blanket inside his crate. I don’t suggest this. Soft bedding may tempt your puppy to go potty in his crate, which you do not want. Save that bedding for after he has been house trained. You can have bedding for him to relax on outside of his crate, after you know for sure he has done his potty. Make sure it is old, because he will either chew it, go potty on it, or both.

At a later stage you will treat your puppy to new bedding, but in these first few months a nice used blanket or bed will do fine. Some people want to buy a nice basket for their puppy to sleep in. While these baskets are very cute, they are impractical, hard to clean and chewable. I don’t recommend it until your puppy is older.

Puppy House Training Products

For puppy house training, you will need some old towels or dish cloths to clean up any mess. You will need newspapers or puppy potty pads to cover and protect your floor. Make sure that you have a good rug and floor cleaner which completely neutralizes the urine and feces, such as Nature’s Miracle. You don’t want any cleaners that just cover up the odor.

It is important to provide your puppy with toys that he CAN chew on. You can get some great chew toys at your pet store.

Although they are available on the market, do not to give puppies rawhides, or real bones, as they are not easy to digest and they can cause choking and splintering. They are simply too dangerous. They can also cause your puppy to become sick, and house training a puppy with diarrhea is much more difficult.

Collar and leash
You will need to get your puppy a collar. Because your puppy is growing quickly he will outgrow his collar a number of times in the months ahead. For this reason I recommend that you get a simple collar. You should measure your puppy’s neck to get the right fit (or ask the breeder to measure it if you are getting it in advance). Get tags with your name, phone number and address to keep on your dog’s collar.

It is important that your puppy adjusts to wearing a leash from a very young age. You will need to use the leash and collar in your puppy house training as well. You will need to lead your puppy to the area for him to do his potty. This is key to your success.

You will want to get a cheap nylon leash that is around 6 feet long. As your puppy grows and his obedience training starts, your leash needs will change, but this one will be good initially. Your puppy will chew his leash, so wait until you are sure he won’t chew it anymore before you buy a nice one for him.

Food and water bowls
When acquiring bowls for your puppy to eat and drink from, once again be practical and think about his chewing reflex! Stainless steel bowls are your best option as your puppy can’t decimate them. Please steer clear of plastic bowls, their chewed up pieces can be dangerous for your puppy.

Puppy food
There are a lot of puppy food options on the market these days. Be guided by your veterinarian’s suggestions. Important factors in deciding the right food include your puppy’s age, his size, and the quality of the food.

Buy the highest quality food you can afford. Not only does good quality puppy food offer the nutrients needed for your puppy to grow and develop properly, but high quality food can help your puppy house training. High quality food will help keep your puppy healthy, and will help him have normal bowel movements. Poor quality food can give your dog very irregular bowels, which may make it difficult to house train him.

Find out what the puppy was eating before he came to you. If you are not continuing with the same brand, I advise you to initially mix it with your brand, gradually reducing the amount of his old food. This way you can slowly eliminate the old food from his diet and it will make the transition a bit easier for him. Buy some puppy treats for him. Try and avoid biscuits with food coloring or salt in.

Puppy hygiene and grooming products
It is important to stick to a good hygiene regimen. This will definitely help keep down medical bills later on.
You will need a brush to groom him, nail clippers to keep his nails trimmed, pet shampoo, and a toothbrush and dog toothpaste. This doesn’t have anything to do with puppy house training, but it is important to get these supplies and start training your puppy to get used to this early.

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