1. Understand Your Puppy’s Breed Behavior
First things first, you need to do your homework. This means researching your puppy’s breed to better understand their traits, special needs, and any other behavior that you should be on the lookout for.
For example, if you got a chihuahua, your pup will have a small bladder so they’ll need to pee more frequently.
Going into potty training, one thing you should keep in mind is that dogs don’t think like humans. They can’t understand simple commands right away or tell you when they need to poop or pee.
So, you need to be well prepared and willing to study the signs of their communication.
2. Watch Your Puppy
When you start potty training your puppy, you want to keep them somewhere you can constantly watch over. Ideally, this will let you catch the early signs that your puppy needs to go, which will help you prevent accidents.
Some of the signs to look for include:
When you notice any of these signs, take your puppy out immediately.
3. Interrupt Potty Accidents
Accidents are an inevitable part of potty training. It’s completely normal and expected, so you should be prepared to handle it properly. If you catch your puppy in the act of pooping or peeing indoors, make a sudden noise (like a clap) and say “no”, then quickly take the puppy outside.
Remember, you want to startle the puppy, not scare them. The idea is to get their immediate attention and convey your disapproval of the act. However, never punish the puppy for accidents. They don’t know they’re doing something wrong.
Also, You should be consistent by using the same noise or word every time.
We should point out that you may not be able to interrupt if your puppy is pooping simply because most pups can’t stop it. Still, keep following the same drill since it’s part of the teaching process.
4. Set Up a Potty Spot
Choosing a potty spot is crucial to successful potty training. The best place to do this outside; just pick a certain area out there and take your puppy there whenever they need to go.
Here are some pointers to keep in mind when choosing a potty zone:
It should be easy to reach quickly.
It should be easy to clean up.
It shouldn’t be visited by other dogs, at least until your puppy has had their third set of vaccines. You should further discuss this with your veterinarian.
When you take your puppy outside, it’s better to keep them on a leach so you can guide them to this specific spot.
5. Choose a Command
As we mentioned earlier, dogs don’t think like humans, so you’ll need to establish a communication pattern for your puppy to respond.
For this reason, you want to choose a specific word command or sound that signifies that your puppy should go. The command should be short and simple, such as the word “go”. To avoid confusion, use the command only when you want the puppy to go.
Every time you take your puppy outside to the potty spot, use the command to teach them to go in that zone. With time, your puppy will recognize the command and understand what you’re telling them to do.
6. Reward Success
Every time your puppy uses the right spot, you should acknowledge that they did a good job and reward their success. Here are a couple of ways you can do this:
Using a cheerful voice, let the puppy know you’re happy with what they did.
Go for a walk afterward so the puppy knows that potty time can be relaxing and enjoyable.
If it’s not too distracting, give your puppy a small treat after they go to encourage appropriate behavior.
Being consistent with rewarding success will give your puppy an emotional motive to keep their business where it should be.
7. Keep Your Puppy Close
From this point, your job is to keep a close eye on your puppy so you can repeat the process whenever you notice that they need to pee or poop. There are a few options that you can try to keep your pup close:
Remember, the space should be large enough for the puppy to play in, but small enough for you to see them at all times.
Keep your puppy on a short leash, even while indoors. This way, you can move more freely but still, keep a close watch on your puppy.
When you can’t watch the puppy, use a crate. Your dog will view the crate as “home” and will most likely be hesitant to soil it.
8. Establish a Potty Routine
Finally, you should be consistent with the process. This is key to successful potty training.
So when taking your puppy outside, use the same door, go to the same spot, and use the same command. Establish a schedule where you take the puppy out in the morning and after every meal. Do it after playing, drinking water, napping, and just before it’s bedtime.