Preparing For Puppy Potty Training
When you embark on puppy potty training your whole life seems to revolve around your dog's need to go to the bathroom. You find that meals are interrupted and you have little time to really kick back and relax. It's temporary and eventually you can see the results of your efforts. Initially, you will have to approach this situation with the utmost in patience and diligence.
The truth is that most people start off with a relatively patient attitude. After a few successful potty trips outside our expectations start to change. Some of us even take it personally when our pups don't quite make it outside after a few weeks. Consistent training is essential to get the point across. Without consistency your puppy ends up confused.
If you have a relatively large home, or many rooms that are not well occupied, it's best to keep your little one generally confined. This helps to prevent sneaking off to go in a lesser used portion of the house. He isn't going to want to go in those rooms that are part of his general living space. A simple puppy gate can help keep him in the same room with you.
This also allows you to keep a better eye on him. If you realize that accidents are actually your mistake rather than his in the beginning, you tend to have fewer accidents in the house. Set him up on a reasonable schedule. Take him out when he wakes from a nap, after a play period, five minutes after eating, and of course before bed. This way he can start learning when to expect your next trip outside. These are also natural times when a puppy is likely to go.
Reward him every single time he goes in the right place. Reward works much better than punishment. You should not be striking him or rubbing his nose in his mess. Instead, you should be throwing a party complete with treats every time he gets it right. If you find that he is still going in the house, make sure you nab him up in the middle of doing his business. Carry him directly outside and do not let him back in until he has finished his deal.
Throw happy parties for success regularly, give him a concrete schedule, and make sure you know where he is and what kind of behavior he is exhibiting in order to develop a strong understanding of where it is acceptable to toilet. Just because he has had a successful week doesn't mean he is ready for the run of the house.
Health issues can play a huge role in his potential for success. Those months when sexual maturity is sneaking up on him can also cause backsliding. Once he is fixed he will likely return to his outdoor toileting behaviors.
If you can learn the value of crate training you and your puppy will have an easier go of the potty training business. Don't confine him to the crate for extensive periods of time, but crating him can help him learn to hold it while you're gone.