In tip number 15, I shared the importance of having patience when you bring a new dog home. Now, if there’s one thing that will test your patience, it is potty training. Some people call it “housebreaking”. Puppies and even adult dogs who haven’t had a stable environment will require some extra attention and time.
Here is today’s tip:
If you are potty training a new dog, a puppy or any dog who needs to be brushing up on his skills, set him up for success by taking him outside frequently for walks and potty breaks. The most important times are first thing in the morning, after any time he’s been in the crate, after eating, after he’s been playing, or after a training session.
You want to be mindful and you want to set him up for success by being proactive. When he goes potty outside, you want to lavishly praise him. It’s really important to be consistent with your routine especially in the beginning. This is an opportunity for you to teach him where he’s supposed to go outside. Maybe you have a spot in your backyard. Otherwise, plan to take him for potty walks regularly. And if you can’t be home during the day to walk or let your dog out consider a dog walker or taking him to doggie daycare. You never want to punish a dog for having an accident either. He’s just learning what’s expected of him in the beginning and very young puppies physically can’t hold it in. Some adult dogs have never been trained and be mindful that there might be health reasons for the accidents as well. For more information, please check out What to Expect When Adopting a Dog.