How to Potty Train Puppies
Dogs can be potty trained at any age, but puppies learn much more quickly than adults. I know puppies are so cute that sometimes owners forgive puppy-size accidents, but adult-size deposits aren't cute and often lose the grown-up pet his home.
By using these puppy potty training tips to housebreak puppies and ensure he grows up to be the best friend he's meant to be.
How To House Train Puppies
Always think of potty training from your puppy's point of view. Remember, when he has to go he won't wait -- he simply squats in place. He won't understand why you're always upset when you come home. If he's punished but not shown what you want, he'll think you don't want him to potty at all. Rubbing his nose in it will only confuse him (imagine your puppy wondering, "She wants me to eat that stuff?"). In short, punishing teaches puppies to potty when you're not watching or to hide deposits more carefully.
Catch Him In The Act
Timing is the key when teaching cause and effect. He won't understand your anger has anything to do with the deposit he created five minutes ago. Unless caught in the act or pointed out within 30-90 seconds, correcting the baby won't work.
Instead, catch the pup in the act -- of doing something right.
Then throw a happy-dance praise party to tell him how smart he is! People are more motivated to work for a bonus than a threat of reprimand, and dogs are no different. Once he learns he gets paid to go in the right spot, also known as a positive reinforcement which he will virtually cross his legs to please you.
Pups need a bathroom break after every meal, nap, and playtime. Depending on his age and breed, he'll be fed two to four or more times a day. Prevent potty accidents by anticipating when the puppy needs a break. Your pup has a baby-size bladder and a limited capacity to "hold it" no matter his best intentions. Every pup is an individual but in general, a two-month-old puppy needs a break about every two hours. At three months, every four hours should be adequate. And yes, that means potty breaks in the middle of the night, too.
How Long Can He "Hold It?"
That seems like an interesting question. But do we know the answer? Rather than guess at your pup's capacity, use these guidelines to counter his needs. That way, you can schedule his potty breaks and give him every opportunity to do the right thing. It can vary a bit between breeds, with large and giant breeds having a bit more "storage" capacity and toy breeds a bit less. But in general, here's what to expect:
- Four-month-old pups can wait five hours
- Five-month-olds can wait about six hours
- Seven-month-old pups should be able to wait about eight hours.