I see you with your bowl of coffee in the morning, eyes half open, barefoot and then it's drama. You feel something wet under your feet and you know it's not your wife who spilled her glass of water.
It has certainly happened to you if you have a puppy to walk in his pee (and I don't mean the rest!). And there is nothing worse to start the day. I know something about it, my dog Uno used to do the same thing (and always near the coffee machine so I don't miss his "pee").
The first time we don't say anything, the second time we grumble inside and the third time we say to ourselves that it's time to act and to educate my puppy.
That's why I'm writing this article today. So I suspect that right now you're looking at your cute puppy, foot in pee and your smartphone in your hand looking for a solution, full of hope, but you're in the right place.
I'm going to give you my tips and tricks for teaching your puppy to be potty trained. These are not tips I found on the net, but just my experience and those of my friends who also managed to make their dogs understand that the toilet is outside!
At what age should potty training begin?
This is a question that comes up a lot. Some people want to start as early as possible (even too early) while others think they should start when their dog is an adult.
Be aware that there is no need to start training before the puppy is two months old. You will be wasting your time.
Why? Simply because during its first weeks of life, the puppy does not know how to hold back, because the control of the sphincters (these are the muscles that allow it to hold back) is not complete.
Around the age of two or three months, he'll understand that he has to do his needs outside the place where he sleeps (thanks to his mother who took him out of the basket so that he could do his needs elsewhere).
He will therefore start by doing his needs in a specific place of the house. Often the same one besides, because the odor of an old pee will attract him. It's only around 4 months that you can start learning.
How do you potty train your puppy?
Here we go. Are you ready to learn my tips and tricks? Then let's get started!
The first thing you need to do is simple, but it takes dedication and time on your part. You must take your puppy out very often. Already know that he can't hold himself more than 6 hours. I would advise you to take your puppy out every 2 to 2 1/2 hours during the first weeks.
Especially after a nap, after a game, after meals. This is when puppies usually want to do their business the most. When he has finished his little pee and poo outside, congratulate him and you can even give him a little treat.
You'll see that by taking him out regularly, your puppy won't have the opportunity to do his business inside. That's not bad. And as with all training, it's repetition and patience that will do the rest.
Are you expecting a sequel? There is not. Taking him out often is the only way to teach him to be clean. You will see that as time goes by, he will learn to hold back and wait for you to take him out. It's up to you not to leave him alone for 15 hours without taking him out. If he does his business inside, it won't be his fault, but yours.
Do's and Don'ts
Training a puppy to be housebroken may seem simple, since all you have to do is take him out. But it's not that simple and there are a few dos and don'ts.
If your puppy "forgets", you absolutely should not hit him, shake him or put his nose in his pee as some people say. This is really not to be done, because the only thing you get by doing this is a delay in learning which will make your puppy fearful. He will hide to do his business and your relationship will start off badly. I can guarantee you that this is the wrong way to go.
If you find your puppy has done his business, never clean it up in front of him. He'll think it's a game (yes, he will).
If he does his business in front of you, pick him up and take him outside. You'll see that this will gradually encourage him to go outside to do his business or wait for a walk.
Get into a routine. If you take your dog out every morning after breakfast, at lunchtime before eating, and at night at the same time (or so, don't set your alarm clock), he'll get to know your habits and know when you take him out to do his business. There's nothing like little rituals for a quick but effective learning process.
When you take your puppy out, don't play with him until he has done his business. Otherwise, going out will mean playing with your puppy, not relieving him.
Avoid teaching him to bark when he wants to go outside to do his business, as some people do. You will regret it when he is an adult. Especially if you live in an apartment. You'll see that when he's older and if he wants to go, he'll stand in front of your front door, whimper, paw. This will mean "oh you're taking me out yes".
Training a puppy to be housebroken takes a lot of patience and lots of outings. But you're not done yet. There are plenty of other things you need to teach your puppy. I'm talking about basic commands, of course. You'll see that housebreaking wasn't the most complicated training after all.
But don't worry, you'll get there and you'll start a beautiful story with your puppy.