How to Potty Train Your Dog in 7 Days or Less
House training your dog is probably one of the most important things you will do to ensure that you live together happily. It stands to reason that something this important will take time, dedication and lots of patience. You might feel frustrated about this process, but remember that you too were taught what to do and how to do it.
It is important to remember that your new pup has to get used to his surroundings and must learn what to do and what not to do. Even more important is to bear in mind that puppies eat, sleep and urinate/poop. They have a nice little production line going on inside their bodies because they are growing at a rapid pace. We have compiled a list of important steps to make sure that you get this done as quickly and easily as possible.
If you have owned other pets or you have other pets in the house when buying your pup, do make sure that you get rid of any residual odours or urine stains in your house. These smells will attract your new dog and he will think it is the designated area to urinate on.
Planning is essential. Establish a specific routine if you plan to teach your dog to go outside or to a designated area whenever nature calls. Pick a specific time each night and each morning so that they know you will open the door for them (assuming that they will be outside during the day or they will have free access to the yard). Also learn to pay attention to your dog’s cues. He will let you know when he needs to go.
Select the spot that will be your pup’s new toilet. Going outside is great, but chances are your puppy won’t be able to hold it in that long. Make provision for this by teaching him to use newspaper or a specific spot.
Place them in this area if you think it is time for your pup to relieve himself. Use consistent language when they make use of the designated area.
Pick a word that you will use in the beginning to let him know that it is okay to urinate in this area. The most common choice is ‘potty’ but pick any word you are comfortable with – you will use it often. If you live in a flat/apartment you could make use of a litter box for this purpose.
Keep a close eye on him for the first few days. Even when you think he is just exploring it is essential to catch him in the act or before it is too late. It is imperative that he associates toilet time with your backyard or the designated spot in the house.
If accidents do happen you need to clean it up as soon as possible, once again trying to remove residual odours. Don’t use ammonia based products as urine also contains ammonia and this could be confusing to your dog.
Don’t punish your pup for accidents in the house. He doesn’t understand that what he is doing is wrong. This might confuse him about relieving himself and he could become very anxious. Do not rub his nose in waste, yell at him or hit him for this. He is still learning and does not need to associate relieving himself with fear!
Instead reward him when he does use the designated area – but the reward must follow immediately after so that he associates that spot with good behaviour. Repeat phrases like ‘Good boy’ to let him know that he has done something wonderful. Take enough time to praise him properly each time for the first few days.
Follow this routine for a week and your pup will know exactly what to do! Remember that puppies are essentially just babies and sometimes they will throw all the training out the door – especially when excited. This does not mean that they are not trained, it simply means that they are not old enough to hold it in long enough. After about 6 months they should be fully housebroken.