The excitement that new puppy owners feel when they first bring their fat little furball home is often somewhat squashed when the little guy takes his first squat on the carpet. Armed with a sense of purpose, the new pet owner resolves to prevent future puddles by imparting some house training knowledge to the newest member of the family. As the days pass, the new owner is frazzled, puppy is clueless, and the wet areas on the carpet are beginning to look like spots on a Dalmation.
Many pet owners regale their audiences with tales of their wonderful dog who took to potty training so well that they had to do little or nothing themselves to get him to that point. Yet, most owners feel as if they have been presented with the only pup in the world that just doesn’t get it. The reality is that puppies aren’t born with potty training knowledge and guiding your new friend through the process can be frustrating and time consuming – for both the owner and the puppy.
Just like people, puppies learn best when they are young. This is the time for owners to step up to the plate and deal with any bad habits firmly and consistently. Sure, the little guy is cute, but caving in to those adorable brown eyes doesn’t do anyone any good. Puppies want to please. It’s up to the owner to clearly define the boundaries that will make living together pleasant for everyone in the household.
The most widely used method for potty training a puppy is the Hit or Miss Method. A highly effective way to potty train, this method involved physically moving the puppy outdoors to the same area several times a day and waiting for him to do his business. Although more often than not, it feels like a waste of time, the puppy will eventually get the idea.
The first few times that puppy is taken outside to his “spot”, he will probably use the opportunity to play. This is normal, but owners have to remind themselves that this is not playtime and they should not return the playful behavior. Usually what happens is puppy gets a bit bored with the stick-in-the mud human and has an accident. Eureka! That’s exactly how it’s supposed to go! Now that his little accident has left an odor, bringing him back outside to the same spot frequently will teach him that this spot is his own particular powder room. Within a short time, all the owner has to do is open the door and the now educated puppy will automatically go to his spot to do his business.
Don’t forget to lavish the little romper with praise! Dogs thrive on the knowledge that they’ve done something that warrants approval. Reward the puppy with a treat, a “good dog”, or a toss of his favorite toy. Just like any kid, the puppy will discover the joys of going potty in the right place and will want to repeat the behavior.
The Hit or Miss Method works because the owner makes frequent attempts to catch their puppy being good. There’s no way to know exactly when he’s going to feel the urge to go, but like most babies, he doesn’t always know either. Until he figures out when and where he’s supposed to go, he’ll just do it when the moment hits him. It’s the job of the pet owner to catch the puppy before he soils the carpet and direct him toward an acceptable potty spot.
Again, there is no way to know, at first, exactly when puppy needs to potty, but there are a few suggestions that can help predict when the urge might strike. In general, new puppy owners should take the little one outside after he eats, drinks, first thing when he wakes up and right before bedtime. Also, any time a puppy gets excited, he might have an accident, so take him out whenever anyone enters the house including when mom and dad get home from work. The more puppy owners try to catch their puppy being good, the better. Taking him out every hour the first few days until he begins to get the gist of the activity is always a great idea.
The time that a new puppy owner puts into the training of the family pet pays off exponentially by teaching the basics to the new family member that will make him a valued and welcome member of the household.