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Learning how to potty train a puppy comes down to patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. There are no substitutes. You want to create good habits while maintaining a special and loving bond. It doesn’t happen overnight either.
Give the task at least four to six months to perfect. Puppies have been known to require up to a full year. Experts size it is a matter of size, others technique. It makes sense that smaller dogs have pint-sized bladders. Even a difference in metabolism will affect puppy training. Shelter dogs also have a more difficult time at learning new things.
For best results, it is wise not to go past 12 to 16 weeks to start the process. You need the dog to have decent bladder and bowel movement control. Take note that puppies who have been eliminating in a cage can take longer to train. It is all about reshaping behavior through an encouragement and reward system.
- Puppy training is a structured process that consists of distinctive steps. The process starts with designating a confined space for the pet. This could be a crate or a room and may even be on a leash. The puppy must learn that he needs to be outside to eliminate each and every time. Only then should he have free range in the house.
- Next, create a feeding schedule you can stick to with nothing in between. Walk the puppy early in the morning for at least a half an hour to do potty training. Do so after meals as well or upon arising from a nap. It goes without saying that the dog must go outside before bed. It makes sense to go to the same spot most of the time as there will be a scent in this location. Keep the animal company until thoroughly trained. Praise and rewards are fine. Pets love the treat of a full neighborhood stroll.
- If this kind of schedule is not workable, you may need to resort to a crate, just don’t do it for too long a time. You can thus watch your puppy and observe behavior. You will know how long he can hold it before exiting the cage. It must be sufficiently large for the dog to stand and turn around. He must be able to recline comfortably. If it is too big, however, one end might become a potty area.
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Best practice on how to potty train a puppy says that a couple of hours in a crate is quite enough. Of course, don’t forget fresh water at all times. He has to have a break now and then, especially when quite young. Never keep using the crate if the animal urinates or defecates inside. This is a bad habit to avoid at all costs. Sometimes dogs learn this behavior at shelters or pet stores. In any case, you need to curb the action. Be sure your pet gets outdoors often for best results.
Generally, a puppy can be confined to a crate for two hours at the age of two months. It goes up from there to eight months. Take note of any change in behavior and react accordingly.
- A puppy must be able to go to his “toilet area” often to avoid eliminating in the house.
- A special treat is a good reward for proper potty behavior.
- Housetraining “mistakes” should not result in excessive punishment as it soon backfires.
- A regular feeding schedule is mandatory.
- Keep a log of when and where your pet does his business to watch for patterns.
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