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  • Pauline McNabb

4 tips for winning at potty training with your new Pup

Updated: Aug 23, 2021


Here are some suggestions to make this important training a complete success:

1. Buy a corral

Buy a corral and during the first few weeks, keep your puppy in it whenever you are not playing, holding, or watching him explore his new surroundings. Spend as much time as you can with your pup, but when you can't watch him, putting him in a corral can prevent mistakes from occurring. In addition to providing the safe, secure refuge your pup needs and wants, corrals are critical to housetraining because as den animals, dogs are naturally inclined to not soil their bed. Accidents can happen though.



2. Establish a schedule

Establish a schedule and don't deviate from it. The "when" and "how" you house train needs

to be consistent, so make sure all family members follow the same guidelines. Pick a soiling

spot in your yard or a pee pad and take your pup there on a lead when it is time to eliminate.

The odor from previous visits to this spot will stimulate the urge to defecate and/or urinate.

In the housebreaking process, it is a good idea to use the same word like "outside" when you are going out and "Go Potty" once you are outside or at the pee pad. Consistent use of a word with an activity will help to build a level of communication between you and your pup. Be patient. Dogs may urinate or defecate more than once in one outing and not always right away. Don't distract your pup from the job at hand. This is a business trip, not a social time.


3. Praise them

Praise them for their success when the job is done. No more that 3 treats per day for doing their business. Too many treats can cause the runs in a small pup and also cause them not to eat their regular food.



4. Don't mix business with pleasure

Wait until your pup has finished and then take him back inside or away from the pee pad and spend some time with him. You know there is little chance the pup will have to eliminate for a while so play with him and have a good time. The more time

you spend with the pup, the better it is. Remember, they are still young and need to act like a pup, developing and learning about their new situation and environment. When you are

finished playing, take one more trip outside or to the pee pad and place the pup back in its corral.


Dogs are creatures of habit; they like to eat, sleep and relieve themselves on a regular schedule. Establishing and maintaining a schedule is easy to do and gets easier as your puppy grows. Pay attention to your pup's behavior so you can develop a schedule that works for both of you. First, learn when your pup naturally defecates - in the morning, at night, 30 minutes after eating, etc. Look at your schedule and determine what compromises need to be made to make this workable for everyone. When you first take him home write down your puppy's times and see the schedule evolve.


If you catch your puppy in the act of having an accident, tell him "No" forcefully, pick him up

and take him outside or to his pee pad. If you don't catch him, simply clean up the mess and scold yourself for not being available. Do not scold the puppy. Take him outside frequently and watch him very closely when he is inside. As soon as you see him pacing, sniffing around, turning in circles, or trying to sneak away, pick him up and take him outside or to the pee pad. These are tell tale signs that he needs to relieve himself.


Sample Schedule

For puppies 2-6 months old eating 2 meals per day; owner is home or can get home at lunch. Adjust the times to your schedule. On your first couple of days home you may want to take your pup out every 2 hours.


The ration for the day (as on the bag) is given in two feedings (or 3 if you choose to add lunch feeding). Be sure they get their entire ration in the day....whatever they don't eat in the morning add it to their night feeding. Do not overfeed....it is not good for their hips if they grow too fast! No people food or he will get the runs and probably vomit.


This is just a sample schedule to give you an idea of the time involved in house training a puppy. When possible, your puppy should not be put in the corral once you are home for the evening. This is when you spend quality time with him and work on basic obedience.


Develop a schedule that works for you and stick to it as much as possible. Puppies thrive on routine.


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