How to potty train your puppy

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Getting a new puppy in the house can be an exciting time. But then you learn that puppies are prone to go everywhere at toilet time. Here are some simple, stress free ways to encourage healthy potty training habits in your puppy.

You’ll need to set up a regular schedule to take your puppy outside for bathroom breaks on regular occasions. Most puppies lack the bladder control of an older dog and will likely have an accident if not allowed outdoors every few hours.

Once your puppy has done his business, praise him with petting and hugs and encouraging words. Let him see that you are pleased with his performance. This will help instill good toilet training habits from the start.

Reward good toilet behavior and don’t fuss over accidents or you’ll only reinforce the behavior. If your puppy makes a mess under the kitchen table don’t punish or yell.

Doing so will only encourage future accidents. Instead, calmy clean up the mess and give your puppy a hug. He didn’t mean to make a mess. Often puppy accidents are caused when you miss a dog’s signals that he needs to go outside. Watch for signs that your puppy needs to go outside like whining, pacing or scratching at the door.

Don’t get your puppies in the habit of going on a blanket, towel or newspaper as this will only train them to pee on that same stuff later on. While this might seem like the most convenient option for potty training a puppy, it sends the wrong message to your dog that these are acceptable items for toilet use.

You can train small dogs or puppies to use a litter box just like a cat. You can find a dog litter box at many pet retailers. Popular dog litter can be found at Petco.

The younger you start, the better. If you prefer, you can put grass and dirt in a small box in the laundry room and let the puppies practice scratching through that. That will provide valuable practice for later yard use.

Most importantly, don’t get discouraged. Potty training can take awhile, just like with a child. So be patient and provide plenty of loving encouragment to your puppy and the rewards will be great.

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