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Potty Training: Training You To Train Your Dog

Let’s talk quick about potty training! Some of you have not potty trained a dog in quite some time, since your last dog was a puppy and some of you like me train puppies often. This will be one of the toughest parts of your relationship with your puppy, but will be the most rewarding when you finally make it through the process. Having a new puppy is very much like having a new baby. You WILL lose sleep. This will also be the most time consuming part of your puppy experience. For a couple of weeks, it is very similar to having a newborn, House soiling is among the top reasons why dogs lose their homes or end up in shelters. Few people are willing to put up with a dog who destroys rugs and flooring, or who leaves a stinky mess that you have to clean after a hard day at work. That’s why it’s so important to make sure that you do some research in advance on how to house train a dog, decide what will work best for your situation, and make a plan. Here are a few great reminders on how to get off on the right track and set yourself up for success. Setting a schedule, being consistent, and repetition repetition repetition are key to potty training a puppy.

At four weeks old we add a litter box to your puppies area. In the box are alfalfa pellets which smell like grass. This area helps keep the puppies clean while they all live together, it also teaches them to be conscientious about where they go to the bathroom. When the urge arises, these puppies automatically think hey, I need to go to my potty box! How does this translate to you? When you take your puppy home and start potty training we highly recommend taking them to the same spot each time to go potty. Leave a pile of poop where you want your puppy to potty in the yard. This will “seed” the area and help remind them what they are there for. We do not recommend a potty box or pee pads in your home. Using this and then trying to potty train can sometimes be confusing. Don’t encourage your puppy to eliminate in your house. It is best to get them off on the right track and into good habits from day one.

Crates are an awesome training tool when it comes to potty training and is usually the first step. Many people who are new to dogs cringe at the idea of confining their puppies in a crate, but the reluctance to use this tool generally evaporates after a few days of living with a new pet. Dog crates make life easier. It’s a good idea to get your dog accustomed to one for many reasons, such as vet visits, travel, convalescence, and safety.

Please make sure your crate is small enough that your puppy can lay down but not have extra room. Puppies naturally don’t want to potty where they sleep as a rule of thumb. Unfortunately too much room in the crate or blankets where they can hide or absorb pee and poop can sometimes give them enough buffer to defecate in their sleeping area. Keep an eye on that.  You can start in a smaller cat size crate and change crates as your dog grows or find a nice crate that has a puppy divider that can be moved as your puppy grows. We recommend one piece injection molded crates for the comfort and safety of your pet. These crates can stand up to anything that your puppy dishes out, are enclosed so that they feel safe, most are safety rated and crash tested for transport, and designed to last as long as your dog, if not longer. We are always happy to help make recommendations and have a few discount codes.

Crates are also a great way to keep your puppy safe when you cannot keep an eye on them. Potty training takes a lot of diligence but we can’t keep eyes on the puppy all of the time. When you cannot watch them diligently the crate is the next best thing. It will keep them from having accidents in the house and causing setbacks. Your puppy will learn to love their crate and will most likely use it on their own when given the chance as they mature.

Start by making the crate a good place. Feed there, treat there, and never use it as a punishment. To set yourself up to succeed, stick to the schedule. Feeding morning, noon, and early evening works best for puppy digestion and timing your potty breaks. We recommend free choice water throughout the day, and then picking up the water bowl at least an hour before bedtime. Crates are also a safe space when you are not home. Puppies put everything in their mouth and sometimes foreign objects and things they shouldn’t you can cause a bowel obstruction. This can be dangerous or even deadly to your puppy. Some causing costly surgery or even death. Because of this, your best bet is just to make sure they are safe and contained when you’re not at home.  Some labs can be heavy chewers. Most cannot be trusted loose in the house for the first year at least. We encourage you to please check out these links for more helpful tips!


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