The key to potty training is consistency. Follow the 6 simple steps below to quickly potty train your pup:
- Your puppy will need to go out frequently. During training, puppies should be taken out every hour, also shortly after meals, playtime, naps, first thing in the morning and last thing before they go to bed at night. In between these times, watch for signs your puppy may need to go to the bathroom, such as pacing, whining, sniffing, circling, etc.
- Choose a keyword or phrase you will use to encourage your puppy to go to the bathroom. This can be any phrase, “outside,” “go potty,” “get busy” and so on. Use a keyword you will not say frequently around your puppy at times when you do not want him/her going to the bathroom.
- Accompany your puppy outside. Be sure to give your dog enough time, 5 to 10 minutes, to go to the bathroom. During these outdoor potty sessions, do not let your dog play, instead walk around the yard with your puppy.
- Repeat your chosen keyword (command) as your puppy begins to show signs they are going to go to the bathroom. Depending on your dog, you may not want to say the command word while they are in the act, it may distract them.
- Immediately reward your puppy with praise (“Good outside!”), attention and even a treat. If your puppy does not go potty, do not give them a treat, take them back inside to keep an eye on them and try again later.
- If you catch your puppy in the act while inside, clap sharply two or three times, enough to startle your puppy and get their attention. When startled, your puppy will stop going to the bathroom, immediately run them outside. Let them finish going to the bathroom and reward your puppy.
You will learn the individual needs of your puppy quickly and can accommodate the frequency with which he/she will need to be taken outside. Even once your dog has a handle on going to the bathroom outside, use of the keyword will encourage your dog to go to the bathroom on command. You will appreciate this when you don’t want your dog, or yourself, spending too much time out in the snow during the winter!