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Potty Training a Puppy

Potty Training a Puppy

Potty training a new puppy can be an adventure in itself, especially for first time dog owners. Luckily, The Drake Center is here to help! Dr. Heather Kovac offers helpful advice on steps to take when potty training your puppy in our latest video. If you have any questions about your pet's care or need to schedule an appointment, please feel free to contact us here.

Featured Quote:

Puppies, depending on the age, can only hold their bladder about an hour during the day, maybe even less than that for really small puppies. As they get to be more like three and four months of age, they can hold their bladder for a few hours. At night, they can typically hold their bladder between six and eight. But if they're just running around, they need to go out really, really frequently.

 

Video Transcript:

Hey there. This is Dr. Kovac, and I'm from the Drake Center, and today we're going to talk about how to potty train your puppy. I know a lot of dog people are getting puppies right now so I just want to give you some advice on how to go about training your dog to live indoors.

So first thing is you have to be consistent. You guys want to get on a routine and make sure everyone in the home is onboard with the plan of action. Very important that the puppy be confined to a small space, typically on an area where there is no carpeting, so that could be a kitchen or baby gates in your home trying to block access to areas that if they did have an accident it wouldn't be the end of the world. And then consistently taking them out through the same door every time, I think, is also very important. Dogs thrive on knowing what's coming next and getting on a schedule, so if they know they go in and out through the same door, they're going to learn a lot quicker.

So you want to take them out, let's say it's through the back sliding door, take them out to the yard. When they do the right thing, you want to give them lots of praise, whether that's a clap and a high squeaky, good job, good job. Or if it's a treat, that's fine too. You just want to be consistent with doing the same thing every time and then you can come right back in and move on.

Puppies, depending on the age, can only hold their bladder about an hour during the day, maybe even less than that for really small puppies. As they get to be more like three and four months of age, they can hold their bladder for a few hours. At night, they can typically hold their bladder between six and eight. But if they're just running around, they need to go out really, really frequently. The more times they go outside and do the right thing, the quicker that they're going to learn. If they just have a bunch of accidents and nobody's telling them not to do that, it's going to take a lot longer. So really there's a big investment at the very beginning when you first get your puppy, it's a lot of hands on work for you, but it will pay off in the long run if you're consistent. So taking them out to the same place every time is key.

Also, when you aren't there to supervise them, they need to be confined in a crate. I do recommend a crate. It should be about the same size as the dog. So say this is the crate, your dog's about this big. It shouldn't be so wide that they can lay down here and pee or poop over here. It should be a space where they feel like I don't want to go potty in that area and helps them learn to control their bladder if they're confined. So they should be in the crate whenever you're asleep, whenever you're in the shower or cooking and you can't supervise them, whenever you're at work. It's for their safety that they be in a small space.

I don't really recommend just blocking them off in like an X-Pen because I think that they will have accidents in there. And if you put potty pads down, then they learn to pee in the house. So we don't recommend potty pads unless that's something you mean to use moving forward. So consistency, praise for doing the right thing, interrupting if they are having an accident is another key thing. So if you catch them in the act, you need to interrupt. I like a loud clap of the hand or a uh-uh really loud so they get their attention and then you take them right outside where they're supposed to go, positive reinforcement for that good behavior and then come back in.

If you just find a puddle of urine or a pile of poop on the floor, just clean it up, move on. There's really no training that can happen at that time. Really, it's important that you catch them in the act. So be consistent and be positive with the encouragement and they will figure it out.

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