Bringing a new puppy into your home?
Potty training is often one of the most difficult and frustrating tasks for new puppy owners, but with these tips and tricks you'll be accident free in a matter of days.
No newspapers. No scolding. Only positive reinforcement and devotion to a schedule.
FIRST, you want to limit food and water to set meal times. For 8-week-old pups, they should be presented with food four times a day. They'll be ready for a bathroom break within 5-30 minutes of finishing eating. So, take them outside right after their meal.
You can even train them to use the bathroom in a specific location if you take them out on leash and stay in your "potty spot" until they go. Familiarize them with the term "potty" by saying it when they start to pee, and shower them with praise once they've finished.
SECOND, remember that puppies are like babies. They still need to learn bladder control and physically CANNOT hold it in for an extended time. It doesn't help to scold them for something they can't control, so when they have an accident don't draw attention to it.
If you catch them in the act, give a short loud "stop!" and clap, quickly pick them up to move them outside, and praise them when they finish outdoors. If the accident happens while you aren't there, simply clean it up and use a deodorizer to remove the smell.
AND THIRD, bladder training. The great thing about bladder training is that it is closely tied to crate training which helps with other common puppy issues like separation anxiety. Whenever your puppy is not being directly supervised, keep them in their crate, and bring them out first every hour. Then every two hours. And so on, extending the length of time as they go accident free in the crate.
Dogs won't pee where they sleep, so keeping them crated during the night helps encourage them to practice bladder control in their crate. You'll want to give them at least two potty breaks during the night at first, reducing it to one and then none as they manage to keep the crate dry.
For an added touch, you can teach your pup to ring a set of hanging bells to ask to go out. Simply place the set of bells over your door handle and ring them every time you take your pup out, telling them "potty". Eventually, they'll ring the bells when they go to the door!