For the uninitiated, house training a puppy can be a hugely stressful and frustrating time. Why? Because contrary to popular belief, puppies are not born with an innate understanding of where – or even when – they need to ‘go potty’. They have to be taught.
Add into the equation the fact that not all puppies are the same in terms of temperament and character – and that there are multiple different ways to approach the task – and it’s not surprising that many new puppy owners find themselves at a loss as to know what to do for the best.
But the real key to potty training success (and where most owners get it wrong) is ‘consistency’ – ie, choosing a method and sticking with it 100%. So, by taking the time to first address your individual circumstances you will have a greater chance of selecting the most appropriate training method for you.
Breed of Dog
When it comes to house training a puppy, unfortunately, not all dogs are born equal. Of course, there are exceptions to every general rule but, on the whole, if your new arrival is a toy or small breed – for example, a Chihuahua or a Dachschund – then you’re likely to find potty training hard work.
Smaller bladders means less control. Add this to the small dogs’ notorious stubborn natures and dislike of the cold and wet, and you may well find that your darling lap dog will prefer to find a nice, warm spot indoors to relieve himself! Controlled crate training, or indoor litter training within a confined area, are usually the most successful methods for training these smaller breeds.
If you live in an apartment with no easy access to outdoor space, and maybe even lots of stairs to go up and down, you’re going to have to be incredibly conscientious (and fit) to successfully potty train your puppy using the outdoor method. Generally speaking, apartment dwellers sensibly choose small breed dogs, in which case the methods above will probably work best.
If, on the other hand, you do have a yard or garden and are at home during the day, by far the best way to house training a puppy is by getting it outside as often as you possibly can and giving lots of praise for every successful ‘performance’. Combine this method with crate training to a rigorous schedule, and you are pretty much guaranteed to get the results you want in the shortest possible time.
A word of caution here, though, crate training is NOT the answer if you are out at work all day (in which case, you should seriously question whether you should own a dog in the first place).
The cheapest potty training method by far is close and constant surveillance of your puppy coupled with frequent outdoor trips. But if you have some cash to spare, and can be at home during the day to let your puppy out, a crate can reduce the training time even further – and will also make a cosy den for your dog.
But if you have a small breed and are confined to an apartment, you may also want to invest in a litter tray or some training pads. Diapers, on the other hand, are a wholly unnecessary and expensive gimmick.
And whichever method you choose, you would be wise to invest a few dollars in a decent stain remover as, no matter how clever and willing your puppy, one or two accidents are inevitable.Popular search terms for this page:
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Filed Under: House Training