Potty training is an important task with any new puppy. This is the first step to teaching your dog the important behaviors that will allow him to live indoors with you without making a mess or having accidents. Puppies should receive potty training as early as possible to instill good habits that will last a lifetime. The most important aspect of successful potty training is establishing and maintaining a schedule that work for both you and your new puppy.
There are various methods for potty training a puppy; however, most of these plans utilize the same core schedule. The puppy is to be kept in his crate area for the majority of the day. The puppy is then taken outside on a lead to a specific spot outside several times a day. While you are outside with your dog, select a command word to use to indicate that you want him to go the bathroom. "Hurry up" is a commonly used phrase, as well as "make". When the puppy goes to the bathroom, he is heartily praised and rewarded with a small, tasty treat. If the puppy does not go, he must be returned to his crate until you can try again later.
Sticking to a strict schedule when potty training a puppy is of the utmost importance. You should commit yourself to taking the puppy outside at the same intervals each day. Consistency is very important to successfully potty training a puppy. Puppies are not able to hold their urine for very long, so this needs to be taken into consideration when planning your schedule. A good method for determining how long a puppy can wait between bathroom breaks is to add 1 to their age in months. Therefore, a three month old puppy can probably hold it for a maximum of four hours.
Your puppy should start his day with a trip outside. After this he can return to the house for playtime and a meal. Take the puppy out again about fifteen minutes after he eats. Throughout the day, your puppy will need to go out every couple of hours. Try to stay consistent with the number of times that you take your dog out, and always remember to go out for an extra trip after eating. If at any time, the puppy does not go the bathroom while outside, return him to his crate for fifteen or twenty minutes, then try again. When you are not playing with the puppy, keep him in his cage at all times during this training period. For young puppies, your potty training schedule may need to include a late night trip outside as well, since small puppies can not hold it all night.
While you are potty training your puppy, it is important that he has a comfortable crate area to spend his time in, between trips outside, meals, and playtime. Make sure that the crate is big enough for the puppy to comfortably sleep and stand up. Keep a few chew toys handy so that a bored puppy won't need to start chewing on his bedding. Keep the crate area small enough that the puppy cannot select a separate corner to go to the bathroom in. If there is an area far enough away from his bedding, the puppy may use this spot for his toileting needs, while a puppy in a smaller area will hold it as long as possible to avoid soiling his bed.
Any time your puppy is allowed out of the cage, it is important to keep on eye on him. Ideally, your puppy will only be out when you are able to actively interact and play with him. If your puppy has an accident, you can yell to stop him mid-accident and take him outside. However, if you find the accident after the fact, you should simply clean it up and accept that you may not have taken your puppy out as often as was needed. Never punish a puppy for an accident after the fact.