“Lord…give me more patience.”
Anyone who has ever prayed that better watch out.
It usually means that something is going to come along to test your patience very soon.
I like to think that I have a considerable amount of patience. That is not always the case. My sons know exactly the right buttons to push to transform me into my father. Scary, right?
Puppies, too, can be a great test of patience.
They require a lot of care and training that some people cannot fathom.
When prospective pet owners are looking for a dog, they almost always want the same thing. They want a puppy they can have for a lifetime that is housebroken and trained.
That’s asking a lot. When humans have babies, they don’t come out walking, talking, and using their manners. They have to be trained. Some of them for eighteen years. Some even longer.
Puppies are baby dogs. They need training and compassion as much as baby humans do.
But people are lazy and don’t want to put in the work.
It’s true…we are lazy. We want dogs to come packaged like products in a store…just add water. If this is you, then don’t get a dog. You will be frustrated with the amount of work it takes to raise a great dog.
Puppies require training in many behavioral areas. One area is potty training.
Puppies do not know how to control the muscles regulating the flow of urine or the passage of stool when they are very young. Because of this, accidents in the house are very likely. How you deal with these accidents as a pet owner is very important.
The best way to handle accidents is to take your dog outside to potty very frequently. DogTime.com wrote, “A general rule of thumb is that a puppy can hold it for as many hours as she is months old, plus one–for a three-month-old pup, that’s four hours.” (Read More)
That means if you have a young pup, for example one month old, you will need to make sure the dog goes out once every two hours.
Every two hours might seem like a lot but if you stick with it, you will have your dog trained in short order.
Praise is Better than Punishment
The first accident is no big deal, right? But after you’ve stepped in puddles of pee or gooey puppy poop for the tenth time, frustration easily ensues.
No matter how angry you might be, you should take a deep breath, calm down, and not scold your puppy for having an accident in the house.
In my childhood, I was raised in the house that would return the dog to the scene of the crime and rub their nose in it. That was a very poor example for me and it was even worse for the dog.
Peeing and pooping are natural acts. A dog does it. And if you don’t pay attention to your dog’s signals, they will go inside the house. When you gotta go, you gotta go, right?
One problem with scolding your dog is they don’t understand why they are in trouble. By the time you have found the accident, they have already forgotten ever doing it.
So don’t make it a big deal. Clean it up and take your dog outside.
However, if you catch your dog in the act, pick her up and take her outside as quickly as possible so she can finish doing her business in the proper location. Then, offer her a great deal of praise or a treat. This positive reinforcement will help her understand that going potty happens outdoors.
Nighttime Potty Breaks
You will need to remain diligent even through the night. Take your puppy out right before bed and set an alarm to take her out again at the appropriate interval.
You might consider putting her in a crate at night to limit the damage; however, do not allow her to pee or poop in the crate. Even though you would rather be sleeping, you must get up and let her outside so she doesn’t have an accident in her crate. If she does, it will make potty training more difficult.
Yes, potty training a puppy is a great deal of work. If you remain steadfast in your approach, it is possible to train your dog in as little as two weeks. While every dog indeed needs a home, it is our responsibility to choose a dog that we have the capacity to serve. If you don’t have the energy to raise a high-maintenance puppy, choose an older dog that better suits your lifestyle.
What worked the best when potty training your puppy?