Many of you might have received a new pup for Christmas.  Congratulations!….So, now that the blush is off the rose, you have this new bundle of joy that is starting to drive you bonkers.  If you are lucky you have sorted out the potty issues.  If not, here are a couple of pointers for you.

Puppies need to go outside immediately when waking up, after vigorous exercise and after eating.  Make a place in your yard where the pup will feel comfortable doing its business.  Some people will create an area of bark chips ( Make sure NOT to use Cocoa Chips, they are dangerous for dogs) or place a low fence (garden edging) in the yard to delineate an area( this can be moved when the grass gets stressed).  Take the pup out and wait for it to start its business, give a command like “do your business” or “Be Quick”.  Eventually, the pup will connect the behavior with the words.  After a bit more repetition you will be able to give the command and get the pup to go right away.

Never reprimand the pup when it makes a mistake.  Just clean it up and chalk it up to experience.  You need to learn to read your puppy.  There are definite signs that your pup will give when it gets the idea that outside is the right place.  Use White Vinegar to clean up Pee (the Vinegar will make it less likely that the pup will try to use that spot again) and a cleaning solvent like Simple Green for the hard stuff.

A crate makes potty training easier.  Some people think that a crate is abusive but this is not the case.  Dogs in the wild are den animals and a crate feels like a den to the pup once they are accustomed to it.  A crate provides a safe place for the pup to hang out.  This space is their own and out of the way in a house with young children and furious activity.  It is a good place to restrain a wayward pup as well which does make life easier at times.

When your pup drops off to sleep.  Place it in the crate.  Keep tabs on it and wait for it to wake up.  This is the time to go out.  As quick as you can head out to your chosen spot and let the pup do its business.  Then when done, you can bring the pup in and play for a bit.  Keep a close eye out for the telltale signs.  Sniffing around is the first sign,  watch for this as the squat and squirt comes quickly.  If you aren’t watching or can’t keep the pup close, pop it into the crate for a bit.  If it drops off to sleep, scoop it up and place it in the crate.  The pup will become acclimated to the crate and identify it as its spot.

Potty training is one of those things that while not overly difficult does require you to keep a constant eye open to catch the signs and avoid accidents.  Try to establish a routine for the pup.  Keeping a schedule will help immensely.  Good Luck with your potty training.

Next time, I’ll talk a bit about those sharp puppy teeth.