Okay, so maybe there isn’t a holy guide for potty training, but there are definitely some practices that we recommend all pet owners to adopt when house breaking dogs.
No matter what you do or how hard you try, you must first of all come to terms with the fact that if you have a new puppy or recently introduced a new dog to your home, accidents are usually inevitable. However, there are a few do’s and don’ts we recommend to make the process cleaner for you and your floors.
Establish a routine.
Just like kids, there is no right or wrong amount of time for a pet to learn how to do his or her business outside. But, by establishing a potty routine early on, your dog will quickly learn what is expected. Most people find success in walking their dog when they first wake up, again before they leave, again in the afternoon (if possible) and a few times at night, especially after mealtime. If you are unable to make it home in the afternoon, you may want to consider a neighbor or local pet walker.
Assign a designated area in yard for bathroom activities.
The last thing you want to do on a nice summer day is step in a pile of dog poop when you’re walking around barefoot in the yard. That’s why we recommend assigning a "potty spot” in the yard that is just for your dog’s business. Your dog will learn to associate that spot with going to the bathroom and you’ll know to avoid it.
Reward good behavior.
Especially when your pet is learning, be sure to reward good bathroom behavior. Each time he or she uses the "potty spot,” give them a treat or shower them with some affection. Dogs appreciate positive reinforcement, which lets them know what you expect. Since dogs seek to make their owners proud, this will help facilitate the process.
Ignore bad behavior.
Within reason, some discipline should be enforced when potty training. While physical action is never the answer, dogs usually respond well to certain words they learn are negative based on their behavior. For example, when you catch your dog in the act, yell "no potty” or "outside” right away. Then, take your dog outside to finish going to the bathroom and reward that outdoor act.
Discipline after the deed is done.
If you don’t catch them in the act, it’s hard to punish them and have them understand what the bad behavior was. Coming home to a smelly present after work isn’t ideal, but they will have forgotten able the accident and will be confused if you punish them afterwards.
Abandon your pet for hours.
If you plan on being gone for a long period of time, we recommend asking a friend or neighbor to walk your pet throughout the day. There are also some great local pet walkers that we would be happy to put you in touch with! It’s not fair to expect your dog to hold it all day – you wouldn’t – so help them out and provide relief!
Housebreaking a new pet is part of the deal. By being patient, encouraging and persevering through the learning process, you can effectively teach your dog appropriate household etiquette.
Important Note: If your pet is having frequent accidents in the house, having a hard time learning the housebreaking gig or seems to be in pain while going to the bathroom, please let our staff know ASAP. There are a handful of urinary and kidney concerns that start with bathroom accidents that are uncommon, and we may need to seek medical testing or care to get your dog back on track.
Posted Tuesday, September 16, 2014