Potty training of course is one of the first challenges you will face. It is your job to protect your pup from making mistakes. Watching them constantly, giving them ample opportunity to relieve themselves outside. Rewarding their efforts will pay off quickly.
The natural instinct of dogs is to keep their den area clean. So give them a small space (den), and make sure they have ample opportunity to keep it clean.
Now is a great time to crate train your puppy. A crate large enough for your pup to move around in comfortably with a nice clean blanket. Go outside with your puppy, giving them plenty of time to go potty. If the pup doesn't take advantage of the opportunity, put them into the kennel for about 30 minutes. If they go to sleep, let them outside as soon as they wake up. If they don't go potty, put them back in the kennel again. Watch them very closely and don't wait too long.
At night if your pup wines, let them outside. Don't let it become a play time. Potty, reward and back to bed.
After success, give lots of positive reinforcement, hugs and kisses. Leave the baby out of the kennel to play for about 20 to 30 minutes, give them a chance to go potty. If they do not go, then put them back into the crate for a nap. As soon as they wake up let them outside. If they don't go potty, put them back in the kennel and try again in a little while. You will need to keep a very keen eye on your puppy during this process. When the pup is out of the crate you will need to pay extra special attention to them. It may help to put a leash on them to keep them close by your side. Watch for typical signs, sniffing, circling, squatting... Or like Rusty, bringing the leash so he can go outside.
I like to teach my dogs a signal. A bell on the door knob works great, it can be heard all over the house. When they ring the bell, every time they ring the bell, let them out fast. It didn't take Dottie long to figure it out.
For those times when you don't make it, be sure to treat the area with an enzyme formula that neutralizes the odor. Otherwise it will become the new bathroom. Using that to your advantage, clean up the spot with a paper towel, place it in the area you do want them to use.
I was asked how to teach a dog to use a specific area in the yard to go potty. This is the answer from one of our clients that made it work. It takes a little extra effort in the beginning, but will be well worth the time. Used with permission. Thanks Keri!
For getting him to go potty in one spot I did similar to how you would just simply potty training inside (but outside instead). In the mornings he went straight from his crate to his designated area and back to his crate repeating until he went both pee and poop. After that I allowed him to play in the yard on a leash, we would go back inside for a while and if he ate, drank, slept, played hard, or anything else that might induce bathroom business I would take him directly to his spot (carrying him) every twenty minutes (I set an alarm). Again if timing of everything showed he should go pee and poop he would not get to play in the yard until he had done both in his spot. Eventually I allowed him to walk to his spot and back. Just like if I was potty training in the house, he was only allowed to play outside on the leash and every twenty minutes I would take him to his spot. If he had an accident (outside somewhere other than his spot) I would take him to his spot and tell him to go potty. If I was going outside to do chores and I was taking him with me, he would go to his spot before and after, if we were leaving the house or coming home from somewhere and he was with me he would go to his spot before and after. It only took him probably 3 days to figure it out. Now if he sees we are leaving he runs over to his spot, or as soon as I let him out of the car that is where he goes first.
It has been amazing not having to search for poop or worry about stepping in it while playing in the yard. I made sure he had an OBVIOUS boundary (we did a three sided fenced area, I know others have used rocks/bricks on the ground and other things along those lines) that way the area doesnít start getting bigger when they get tired of going in one general area. For example, if you had them go beside a tree, there isnít an obvious boundary so they may start working their way farther away from the tree and eventually not be near the tree at all.
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