Dog Potty Training
Basic dog obedience is great, and dog agility training may be in the future, but most pet owners' number one concern is dog potty training. Successful dog potty training is the prerequisite of allowing your dog freedom at home, and ensuring a good experience for you when traveling or walking your dog.
Dog potty training has been greatly simplified by using crate-training and positive training methods. The best strategy for any kind of training is to set things up so that success is assured. Using a crate and setting up a daily schedule that accommodates your dog's particular needs will virtually guarantee successful dog potty training.
If you're putting your puppy through dog potty training, you should know that puppies can't go very long without eating, sleeping, or using the bathroom. During dog potty training, you need to regulate both food and water. For the first four months of his life, a puppy should eat and drink three times a day--morning, lunchtime, and evening. After that, you can usually switch to twice a day feedings and constantly available water.
A puppy cannot make it through the day without relieving himself, so if you have a puppy, you'll need to arrange to have someone take your dog out at lunchtime or do it yourself. If it's not possible, then you must realize that there will be a mess waiting for you at home. There's no point in getting upset about it. Your puppy can't help it, it's physically impossible.
A daily schedule is important during dog potty training. Take your puppy outside first thing in the morning. When you get him to an area where it's OK for him to go, give him a potty command word and praise him if and when he relieves himself. Once that's done, take him back inside. Give him food and water, then take him back out immediately. Give the command and praise success.
After that, if you're going to work or school, put him back in his crate until lunchtime. If you're staying at home, you can allow him to stay out of his crate for a while, but don't let him out of your sight. After an hour or two of play, take him outside again. Then put him in his crate until lunchtime.
At lunchtime, follow the same routine: outside, command, praise. Then go inside, let him eat and drink, take him back outside, give the command, and praise success. If your time is limited at lunch, play with him a few minutes, then put him back in the crate. If you have more time, you can play with him more, but take him outside again before putting him back in the crate.
For best results during dog potty training, follow the same routine at dinner time: outside, food, outside, play. Then when bedtime rolls around, you'll need to go outside just one more time--hopefully! After you've put your puppy in his crate for the night, there is a possibility that he'll wake up during the night needing to use the bathroom. Don't lose your consistency (or your cool) now! This probably won't go on for more than a week or so. Take him outside, but no food, water, or play this time.
Dog potty training your puppy is not a mystical art, it just involves a little discipline, a lot of patience and consistency, and a healthy dose of fun. Once you get dog potty training out of the way, you probably won't have to think about it again. And your puppy will grow into a confident, well-mannered and low maintenance adult dog.
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