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Potty Training Pups

by Alan and Danielle Higham, Sep 2018

Imagine bringing your new adorable puppy home. They walk around your home cautiously, explore and settle themselves in. You love them more than you ever thought you could love anything. Their big brown eyes, their floppy ears and paws that they haven’t quite grown into. It is truly a magical time.

And then the next day, they’ve had a little accident and ruined your carpet. You obviously cant be around all the time to know what they are up to and whether they need to go out or not, so you let it go. But then it happens again. And again. And suddenly, this bundle of joy has turned into a mess-making machine that you are just getting sick of. We have all been there.

But don’t worry. They won’t be doing this forever and if you follow this guide, your puppy will be housetrained before you can say, “maybe I’m not ready for the responsibility.”

Puppies, just like children, need structure. They will generally need to go as soon as they wake up and after a meal, as it stimulates their digestive system. Make this the first thing you do with them in the morning and take them out after every meal.

Puppies also have very poor bladder control and may have an accident when they get excited. Be patient, as even humans have been at that stage at some point in their lives!

Try to go out with your puppy every time, and use cue words and reassurance when they do go in the right place, the same way you would with a toddler.

Since puppies are creatures of habits, they will soon associate doing their business outside with the cue words and rewards you give them.

Common errors new owners make which can really upset your puppy’s toilet routine include over-feeding, irregular feeding times and unsuitable diet full of salty food.

Moreover, do not place unrealistic expectations on your new puppy, such as waiting for them to tell you when they want to go out. Also, contrary to popular belief, punishing your puppy for going indoors will only make them scared of going in front of you at all, stretching out the whole processes. You also shouldn’t expect them to be able to make it through the whole night when they are particularly young.

Furthermore, do not associate phrases like ‘good boy/girl’ with toilet time. Use cue words instead. Imagine what could happen next time you praise them for something unrelated…

However, most importantly, make sure not to be lazy with them. Puppies, like children, need help in their formative months. Be understanding and work with them, and before you know it, your frustrating foe will become your furry friend once again!