Hello there everyone! Do you have a pup that is struggling with potty training? You watch and watch and watch and at the end of the day you are STILL cleaning up accidents?! You are not alone, this is why people prefer to get a puppy in the summer months! It is much easier! So, what do you do? There a couple things to think about.
#1. Feeding schedule and routine. It is important to have a feeding schedule and routine. If you are free feeding and having problems, STOP!! If your pup is eating whenever it feels like it, it is going to go to the bathroom whenever it feels like it. If you feed twice a day, you can help them understand to go at that time and hold it the rest! a large percentages of potty training issues I have worked with has been because of a free feeding schedule.
#2. Crate Training. Crate training is very important to having success with potty training. Dogs are dening animals by nature and like a place of their own. When you first get a puppy, you want it near you or with you in bed, but it is important to acclimate it to its crate so that when you go to work, it is ok to be there and doesn’t go to the bathroom until you get home. It is also important to use the crate when you are taking a shower, cooking meals, taking out the trash, etc. What you are teaching them is that it is ok to sleep and relax when you are busy with something else. Dogs should be ok with being by themselves from time to time. Less separation anxiety, less pacing, less pottying!
#3. Potty Pads for smaller dogs. Some owners have used potty pads for potty training. If you live in an upper apartment, have a long schedule, don’t have access to grass and need another option, you can try potty pads. There are also artificial grass pads also that you can spray off and have a tray underneath. You bring them to that pad often and encourage them to go there. After about a weeks worth of training and consistency, you will find them using the pad frequently and happily! Limit the potty pads to areas such as the kitchen or by the back door. Small dogs are capable of holding it for 8-10 hours.
#4. Limit water. Limiting water in the beginning helps them not have to urinate so frequently. The best way to explain it is that if you carry around a water bottle, you sip water constantly because it it there. If you don’t have it, you don’t drink as much. You can give them ice cubes instead and give them water at the time of eating and after play sessions. Just be prepared to let them outside after drinking!
#5. Belly bands or diapers. Items that can be used to help are things such as belly bands. Belly bands are available at most pet stores and discourage the pup from marking in your home or lifting their leg(if they are a male,) teaching them to potty outside. Supervision should be done and tethering the dog to you to watch their activity is best. Diapers can be used for some suffering from incontinence. Dogs that can’t help it because of age and/or health issues need some help.
#6. Tethering. If you have the dog tethered to you, they can’t have access to multiple areas in the house and certainly can’t go there without your knowledge. Pottying when you are not looking is what they hope happens. That way they aren’t caught and can do it quickly. It may be more annoying to you to have them attached to you, but if you are not able to supervise and don’t want them in the kennel, this is your only option other than potty pads.
The main thing to remember is that it can be very frustrating to work on potty training. Sometimes it can take days, other times it can take weeks or months. Ultimately, it is up to you to help your pup understand what is needed. If you have further questions, contact a trainer and work with a game plan that can work for you!
For more information on training, go to http://www.ruffacademywi.com and contact us today! We offer classes, private training and training for rescues! Thank you and make it a pawsitively great day!!!