The whole potty training thing is bad.
I hear the human people talk a lot about figuring out how to potty train a puppy. It’s hard to believe, but somehow the puppy doesn’t seem to know she’s not supposed to pee in the house.
That means you’re going to be cleaning up “mistakes” for a while. Yippee.
Puppy Potty Training Isn’t Easy
This is the thing that everyone forgets when they think about getting a new puppy… how much of a pain they are.
Here is what happens:
- They forget all about the problems
- They get a new puppy (hopefully not an evil one like ours) and go on and on and on about how cute they are
- Then… they remember the problems
- They complain to their friends
- Their friends always say “you forgot how much of a pain puppies are, didn’t you”? It happens every – single – time.
Our puppy Scout pee’d in her actual kennel a couple of times, but that seemed to stop when we did two things:
- Reduced the size of the kennel (by putting a box in the kennel) so she didn’t have as much extra space.
- “Caught” her in the act so she could be corrected right away. This is pretty important when learning how to potty train a puppy.
How To Potty Train A Puppy
Learning how to potty train a puppy isn’t about hitting them with newspapers, yelling at them or rubbing their nose in it. It’s about TEACHING them that they’re supposed to pee outside and helping them be successful at it so they learn faster.
The one item that is crucial when training a puppy is having a kennel. We’ll cover that in more detail in another post, but just know that you must have one, you must use one and the dog actually doesn’t hate it.
They will have to pee as soon as they get out of the kennel and immediately after they play. This isn’t just stuff that people say… it’s true. If you take them outside immediately after these two events, the potty training thing will be much easier. fyi… the younger the puppy, the more “immediate” applies. Scout usually pee’d on the way to the door for the first week, then each week was able to hold it a little longer.
When the puppies comes out of the kennel, they have to pee. Take them immediately outside or to the pee pad if you’re using one.
Play with them then immediately take them outside to pee… yes… again. Put them in the kennel to nap (because they do this a lot).
Follow a pattern with the new dog. Kennel, pee, play, pee, kennel, pee, play, etc.
When you take them immediately (get the picture?) outside to pee, take them to the place you want them to pee and say whatever keyword you’re going to use until they pee.
When they do pee outside in the place they’re supposed to, you’re supposed to make a fool of yourself. What I really mean is that you should be super excited for the puppy and let them learn that peeing outside is a good thing.
You get much, much, much, much faster results when training your dog from positive reinforcement than with negative. I know I’m a dog and it sound like I’m just saying this because I like the positive stuff better, but it’s actually true. If you ask anyone who actually knows how to train a dog they will confirm this. If you happen to talk to someone who does not agree with this, you are getting very bad advice… they only think they know what they’re talking about.
I don’t think the experts are a big fan of the pee-pads, but we liked them. When the evil new puppy started to pee in the house she got moved immediately to the pee-pad. It made a much smaller mess if she could be moved to the pee pad instead of having to go all the way to the door. The boss seemed to like this.
The trade off is that getting truly potty trained probably takes a little longer, but you have much less of a mess to deal with in the interim.
The clean up got a lot easier for us when we decided to use towels. The boss gathered up all the ratty white towels and put them on the kitchen counter. She also put a few in the kennel (because it’s easier to wash towels than it is a blanket when they get pee’d on).
When the evil puppy pee’d on the carpet, we soaked it up with a towel, sprayed the carpet with a vinegar/water mix and tossed the towel in the bathroom sink. fyi – they have a lot of other stuff also available to make clean up easier.
When the sink got full, we tossed the towels in the washing machine. Using the same color of towel made the laundry easier. This also works best if you do NOT use fabric softener on the towels because it helps them absorb the bad stuff better.
Then we ran the carpet cleaner on the pee’d on areas once a week until the puppy finally learned not to pee in the house. It took forever because she’s really not that smart… but I’m not supposed to say that out loud.
The more often you take them outside so they can successfully pee where they’re supposed to, the faster your carpet will be safe!
You can see some of the products designed to make the clean up process easier here.
Did you forget how much of a pain puppies are before you got yours?