The Most Effective Ways to Potty Train a Puppy

May 6, 2011 by  
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Whether you’re seeking a tiny lapdog or an energetic large sized dog, the task of housebreaking a puppy can seem especially daunting. Indeed, there are certain challenges associated with puppy housebreaking but luckily there is a wealth of guiding information to ease the domesticating process. There are certain puppy housebreaking methods that are favored amongst professional breeders including puppy crate training and potty training. Before beginning the housebreaking process it is important that owners first have their puppy’s health vouched for by a veterinarian. Housebreaking a puppy is nearly impossible if the puppy is suffering digestive irregularities from worms or parasites. Also, feeding your puppy more dry kibble rather than canned food during the puppy housebreaking period will make it easier to collect the droppings while potty training or crate training. Potty training puppies that are young, before 2 or 3 months, is highly recommended because oftentimes they have little bladder control and it is a convenient option for owners.

The most important principle to keep in mind while potty training a puppy is to clearly designate areas for specific activities such as eating, sleeping and peeing. A potty trained puppy will be able to decipher the difference between the area where they are expected to sleep and the location where they are intended to relieve themselves. Usually, the materials needed for a puppy’s potty training will consist of disposable paper for smaller dogs and wood shavings layered on top of disposable paper for larger dog breeds. The paper or wood shavings should be placed in one corner of an enclosed area while the sleeping area should be lined with a soft blanket or towel. Sometimes it is helpful to separate the areas by vertically placing a piece of cardboard that acts as a wall. Puppies react to the smell of an area therefore it is actually a better method not to entirely clean the bathroom area while making sure to disinfect the sleeping and eating area if the puppies do relieve themselves there. After a few weeks, the puppies should be properly potty trained and thereby easier to train throughout the housebreaking process.

Another popular approach used towards puppy housebreaking is the method of puppy crate training. At the beginning of puppy crate training it is crucial that the crate is only big enough to allow the puppy to lay down. Puppies are naturally adverse to relieving themselves in the same area where they sleep thus they will be motivated to avoid using the crate as a bathroom. Also, the small enclosure mimics a den environment which dogs find naturally comforting. It is important to establish a routine in which the puppy is taken outside to use the yard as their bathroom after meals. When first acclimating the puppy to the crate it is suggested that treats are given to encourage the behavior of going into the crate. The crate should be located somewhere near the other family members when they are home so that the puppy does not automatically associate the crate with isolation or a form of punishment. The most important key to puppy crate training is to avoid leaving the puppy enclosed for too long. Puppies often develop neurotic or destructive behaviors when they are left in crates for a prolonged length of time.

Each puppy is unique therefore it is the duty of the owner to determine whether certain methods such as the potty training approach or the crate training technique are best for their puppy. Regardless of the preferred method, housebreaking a puppy can be challenging but the long term understanding created between owner and dog will be extraordinary.