Housebreaking or potty training your pup is a must for harmonious living indoors with the family. Eliminating indoors just is not acceptable in human culture and it is up to you as your dog’s care giver to help him understand how to adapt to life in the home. Going potty in the correct place every time is the goal!
A puppy will need to eliminate about every two hours. He will also need to go right after eating and drinking, after play, and before bedtime. If you ever need to leave the home for some time, make sure he potties before you leave him in his crate to prevent accidents, and he should be allowed to go immediately after you arrive back home.
If your dog is an adult or over 7 months of age, his potty breaks may range around every two hours. However, still allow him to potty after meals, play time, first thing in the morning and last thing before bed time.
Taking measures to prevent accidents through use of crating and creating an ideal potty schedule will help to prevent accidents and bad potty habits with your dog or puppy. This schedule and prevention process will instill positive habits and ensure a lasting bond with you and your dog.
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Everyday should start off with you opening his crate gently and cue him to come out. We can also start using a word to let him know he is gong outside "Walks, Bye Bye, Go Out" put leash on and take him out. You can use your basic training if you like and start using sits at the door calm before going out to help work on impulse control. I would do all this calmly and not to excited so your dog starts to understands it's potty time not play.
As your dog goes potty you can begin to capture this behavior by saying a cue gently like "Potty, Get Busy" therefore he learns to potty on cue. Always give praise and yummy treats when your dog is done.
Dogs usually have to potty after things like meals ,play and waking up to name a few. Always try and learn each individuals dogs cues form their body language that may give you a clue they have to potty. After your dog finishes his meal take him outside to the same spot and wait patiently if he goes gently say your cue and capture the behavior. I wouldn't try your cue until you captured it enough and your dog understands the new word.
After your dog relieves himself always praise and give yummy treats. Remember dogs are opportunist and always do what works therefore repeating behaviors that are reinforcing. Relieving oneself is self rewarding and your praise and treats helps communicate it the right thing going potty outside.
After your dog relieves himself you can take him inside for some play or training. After your short session of play you can either crate him or tether him to you so you can supervise and he doesn't have any accidents. After 40 minutes or less depending on your dogs age and success rate you can take him outside again and repeat the steps of outside training. Do this throughout the day into the evening and one last time before bed. We can also keep an eye on his daily water intake taking into account age, size, activity and the weather and possibly cut back water at night. Research water intake and you can also ask your vet for the safest approach on cutting water back at night to help with potty training.
- According to research a good general rule is, a puppy can hold their potty for a number of hours according to their age plus one hour or minus one hour depending on each individual dog. Therefore if your puppy is 4 months old we can possibly wait anywhere from 3 to 5 hours but we would suggest the more potty breaks the better. We suggest watching their body langue for signs that they may need to potty like sniffing, pacing or going to the door.
- Many households are busy and work therefore if we have to leave our puppies and cannot do routine potty breaks we suggest to hire a dog walker or make arrangements for potty breaks. This will help speed up our training and have less set backs.
- Never punish your dog if you catch him in the act. If you catch your dog in the act interrupt and take him outside to finish. Remember in order for your dog to tie a consequence with a behavior it has to be within a second. therefore NEVER punish after the fact!
- Always clean up accidents with with proper eliminating spray or some suggest white vinegar. We have to make sure all odors are gone because dogs ole factory is extremely well. Many humans make this mistake and it sets make our training. NO household products!
An event marker that identifies the desired response and “bridges” the time between the response and the delivery of the primary reinforcer. A secondary reinforcer that can be delivered with extremely precise contiguity. The clicker is a bridging stimulus which also includes stimuli such as whistles, clickers and praise words.
Ok now that we have the technical stuff out of the way we will explain in very simple terms. Ever hear a trainer say keep it simple for the dogs so they can learn and get access to reinforcers such as food? Well this is very true and one of the reasons why we use an event marker to keep it simple. Think of it as taking a picture of the behavior you wanted and letting the dog know what they just did was what earned the reinforcer. Which is why we also always hear timing is very important in dog training. An event marker takes out all the confusion when we are teaching, especially new behaviors. Therefore making it simple to understand what behavior they did lead to a reinforcer.
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A good rule of thumb is to make sure our dogs went potty before we crate them or doing any crate training. We also make sure we did some mental and physical stimulation before crating our dogs therefore we can rule they have to potty or they have lots of energy. Your dog may be getting bored also so we can add some safe toys, Kong or treat puzzles like a ball. Another good rule is we try to never give attention when they are whining so we don't reinforce the whine unknowingly. Remember in order for your dog to tie a consequence with a behvaior it has to be within a second. Therefore always wait a few seconds to break the chain. So if your dog is whining wait a few seconds for quiet to let them out.
Always remember go slow and steady with all training and set them up for success. Take a step backwards if your going to fast for your dog.
Please note puppies grow fast and you can get a larger crate that has a movable divider inside.
Firstly don't panic! It's normal in any type of learning to have some regression. Very important to not punish your dog in any way especially if you didn't catch them in the act. Any type of punish can teach them bad things happen in their crate and have a huge set back in any crate training in the future. If you ever catch your dog in the act you can interrupt and gently take them outside to finish eliminating. Remember to always praise and reward when going potty outside. Please always remember to clean any accidents with the proper cleaners and disinfectants. (no household protects other than white vinegar).
If your dog is having many accidents we must take a step back and reevaluate our training program. First we must rule out any medical causes eg. urinary track infection UTI. Second make sure their crate is the right size for your dog. If their crate has to much room your dog may take advantage of the extra space by eliminating in that space. After we ruled out any medical issues or in proper crate size we can try feeding them inside the crate more. Dogs do not like to potty where they eat. You can also give more treats , bones or stuffed KONGS inside the crate.
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