Nobody wants to deal with a dog that won’t stop going to the bathroom all over the floor! If your new dog is not acting very well potty training, these 4 keys to successful potty training may help:
Puppies or new dogs need to be confined in order to facilitate the easiest potty training. The best and most effective place to confine is in a crate or a cage. At this point, don’t leave anything on the bottom of the crate (blanket, newspaper, etc.); puppies will make a project of destroying it. Most dogs do not want to defecate where they live, therefore, the crate needs to be just large enough for her to turn around and lay down. Anything larger will encourage defecation on one end and sleep on the other. For those puppies that will grow quite a bit larger, use a crate that is sized for a larger dog and partition it to a smaller size using a homemade insert or a crate insert made by the crate company to fit your crate.
When teaching a new dog or puppy where to defecate, always use a leash. Leashes keep your dog close to you, where you can supervise and control everything that happens. Puppies are easily distracted. If you are near the puppy (or dog) with the leash in hand, a gentle tub will redirect them away from the curiosity. Leashes are good to help teach an area to defecate. With a leash, you just take the dog there every time. Teach your dog words for defecation, too! This way, when the puppy understands what words mean, he will understand what you want as well as when you want it to happen. Use words such as “go potty” for urination and “go poop” for defecation. The word you use is your choice, you just have to remain consistent with it. Remember when you choose your word or phrase that you will be repeating it a lot.
Puppies earn freedom by defecating appropriately. The best time for a puppy to be out of her crate is after defecating appropriately outside. This free time will still need to be strictly supervised, so any inclination toward inappropriate defecation can be immediately addressed. Baby gates are great for limiting a puppy’s area of freedom. Any time there is a change in activity, such as after waking, playing, or eating, puppy must be taken outside. The best rule of thumb is to anticipate the need. As a general rule, the length of time a puppy can be left confined in her crate without going outside is roughly equal to her age in months:
- 2 months old - 2 hours of confinement without a potty break
- 3 months old - 3 hours of confinement without a potty break
- 4 months old - 4 hours of confinement without a potty break
- Do this up to 6-8 months of age
Once your puppy or new dog begins to properly defecate or pick up the habits you are teaching, it is very important to reward them. By rewarding with a simple treat, phrase, or attention, it will augment their ability to defecate in the appropriate area. When your new puppy or dog does a specific action and realizes the attention or pride that they will receive they will be more likely to continue performing this action.