Often there are little bumps along the road while trying to house train or potty train your dog or puppy.
When trying to potty train your dog, sometimes your pet may actually delay the training process. This can make life much more challenging for the owner.
Also, some people often find it difficult taking their puppy outside to go to the bathroom especially city dwellers and people with limited mobility. In these cases the easiest way may be to train your puppy to use a potty pad inside the house. The pad is usually an absorbent cloth or paper material, or a synthetic grass mat with drainage tray underneath.
To potty train your dog using a pad, it is important to place the potty pad in an area that is easily accessible to your puppy. Decide on a convenient place to put it and do not to move it while they are learning.
When playing with your puppy it is important to make frequent trips to the potty pad to ask them to relieve themselves. This could be every 15 minutes with young puppies but will be longer for older dogs.
When you bring your puppy to the potty pad use a word such as “go potty”. This helps train them to urinate/defecate on command. It is also important to reward your dog with a treat or praise immediately after they are finished relieving themselves to positively reinforce the activity.
Some common potty training problems and questions that owners experience with their dogs or puppies are discussed below.
MESSING IN THE CRATE
Often dogs or puppies get into the habit of messing in the crate because they have been left in the crate for too long.
Start with a fresh liner, and work with the puppy or dog to get them outside or onto their potty pad sooner.
In addition, if the crate is much larger than the dog, he or she may see part of the crate as their den and part of the crate as the bathroom.
Inserting a board or wire mesh into the back of the crate, and making it smaller, can correct this.
Dogs will generally not go to the bathroom in the area where they sleep. Thus a smaller crate will only provide enough room for the dog to be in, not enough room for them to relieve themselves in part a of it.
MESSING IN THE HOUSE WHEN YOU ARE AWAY
This can be very frustrating when learning to potty train your dog. It is usually caused by either boredom or anxiety. Try taking the dog for a good, long, brisk walk before leaving them alone.
If they have been crate trained you may wish to use this again, provided you will not be gone for prolonged periods of time.
If your dog has been trained to use a potty pad, there is much less chance of it leaving a mess in unwanted places.
Also Leave lots of toys for the dog to play with, or try leaving an old, unwashed t-shirt in their sleeping areas so they know you are around.
TIME IN THE CRATE
Time spent in the crate is important when trying to potty train your dog. This time can be roughly equated to the dog’s age. A good guideline is one hour in the crate per month of age, up to a maximum of four hours.
Therefore a puppy of 2 months can stay in the crate a maximum of two hours after going outside to relieve itself before it will need to go again. Provided of course that it is not fed in between.
No dog should be crated for more than four hours without the ability to signal to you they need to go outside, or to have access to a potty pad.
FEED AND WATER SCHEDULES
By controlling the amount of food and water your dog or puppy has, you can regulate the times they need to go outside to relieve themselves. Generally dogs will need to go outside between 15 and 30 minutes after eating.
They will need to urinate every three to four hours during the day. Mature dogs usually do not need to go out during the night once they are housebroken.
Therefore it is important to feed at least 45 minutes prior to leaving the dog or puppy alone. Be sure to follow crate-training procedures, or supervise them between eating and going to relieve themselves.
It is better to take them out too soon than too late. Thus you need to be carefully timing and watching for changes in behavior.
Water should be free access during the day. Most dogs won’t drink at night once they are mature. However it may be necessary to remove the water from a puppy’s crate or bed area when you go to bed.
Be sure to give them fresh water immediately in the morning, and allow free access when you are there to monitor. Remember that dogs and puppies, like humans, will need to relieve themselves when they first get up in the morning or when they wake up from a nap.
RETURNING TO THE SAME SPOT TO URINATE IN THE HOUSE
This usually occurs because the dog can still smell urine, even if you cannot. If it has gone in an area other than a designated potty pad, try using a deodorant with orange peel or even better ask your vet to recommend a product with active enzymes that will eliminate and not just mask the odor.
If at all possible, restrict the dog or puppy’s access to the area and continue on with the housetraining program.