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Potty training a puppy can be a frustrating process, but we promise it won’t last forever. Most puppies take only a few weeks to catch on, while some may take up to a year to fully understand depending upon when you begin the training process. You can help your puppy succeed at potty training by creating a consistent routine with clear expectations.

Let’s discuss what you can do to successfully potty train your pup.

Take Your Puppy Outside Often

Take your puppy outside as soon as you get up in the morning. After that, try to take him outside every 30 to 60 minutes to encourage him to do his business. It’s also best to take your puppy outside after he eats and wakes up, and again, right before it’s time for bed. This schedule will give your dog plenty of opportunities to succeed, and it will encourage him to learn to control his bladder and wait for an opportunity to go outside.

Watch for Telltale Signs

When she needs to go, your puppy will let you know. You’ve just got to pay attention. Here are some telltale signs that your puppy needs to go right now.

  • Whining
  • Barking
  • Scratching at the door
  • Circling and sniffing

If your puppy shows you that she needs to go outside, take action and then praise her for a job well done.

Always go to the Same Spot

Each time you take your puppy outside, go to the same spot. Your pooch is a smart animal, and when he smells his own scent, he’ll know what he needs to do. When you take your puppy outside, he may need a few minutes to get around to doing his business. Try to stay outside with him until he’s finished, so you can immediately reward his actions.

Stick to a Feeding Schedule

Feed your puppy at the same time every day and take her outside immediately afterward. This routine will help your puppy to know when it’s time to eat and when it’s time to eliminate her bladder and bowels. More importantly, take away your puppy’s food between feeding times. This will help her to understand the schedule and train her bladder accordingly.

Reward Your Puppy When He Succeeds

When your puppy successfully goes outside, reward him immediately and with great enthusiasm. Praise your puppy with a warm tone. You can also reward your puppy’s behavior with a tasty treat or take a celebratory walk around the neighborhood. Your puppy will learn that his behaviors generate a reward, and he’ll be motivated to continue these positive actions.

Shame Never Works

Potty training is a process and accidents will inevitably happen. When this happens, avoid yelling at your puppy. Simply clean up the mess and move on. Furthermore, never rub your puppy’s nose in his mess to prove a point. He won’t understand, and you’ll teach him to fear you. Shame isn’t helpful and it will damage your relationship with your sweet pup.

A Note About Crates

Many experts agree that crates are very helpful in potty training a puppy. Since they’re den animals, puppies like having a clean, safe place to rest, and they don’t like having waste inside. The American Kennel Club offers several great tips on how you can use a crate to potty train your puppy.

Potty training is hard for human babies and fur babies alike, but with consistency and lots of patience, they will learn. If you have questions about potty training your puppy, or if you’d like to schedule a check-up, give us a call. At Pine Creek Vet, we’re here to care for and encourage your puppy every step of the way.