Puppy Potty Training: Little Drops of Wisdom for New Owners
Puppy potty training is an action phrase that on thought alone could give new owners bouts of stomach pains and fits of frustration, or actually sway a nay decision for would-be dog owners. Yet, to think that way about puppy potty training is to be a “glass is half empty” type of person. A “glass is half full” person would see puppy potty training as a one-on-one, bonding experience with a new canine friend. That is exactly how we want you to look at potty training–a bonding experience, albeit a sometimes stinky and wet one. Will there be accidents? Yes. Will you, at times, feel your puppy will never grasp potty training? Yes. Will your puppy ever be trained? Yes, if you following the tips in this article.
Puppy Potty Training: The Challenges
If puppy potty training had a creed it would be that potty training gets worse just before its get better. For dog owners the most challenging part of puppy potty training is the period just before the puppy “gets it”, so please keep that in mind. One day you may think all is lost and see nothing is your future but the back aches of wiping up accidents, then one day you realize that your dog hasn’t peed in the house for three days. When that day comes, trust me, you’ll feel like you just inherited Bill Gates’ fortune. It will take a minute to sink in, but then you’ll rejoice and tell everyone who will listen.
Puppy Potty Training: You’re in it Together
Remember, you can’t expect your puppy to train himself, or to get the hang of things with a half-hearted training program on your part. This is a full-time commitment. This isn’t like that oath you made to work out five days a week, which is now actually two days a month (okay, that was my oath, but you get the picture.) Also, don’t forget to train yourself to read your puppy’s signs and when he’s making a plea to pee. Puppy potty training is not only for your dog (and your floors), but for you as well. It is an exhilarating feeling when your puppy runs to you with puppy dog eyes and in dog speak says, “I need to go out,” and you respond. It is a sign that you’re making progress. A puppy that knows he can rely on a dependable owner to respond to his signs is a happy, healthy, responsive puppy that is going to let you know. On the flip side, if you don’t respond, your puppy will know you’re not there for him, and he’ll go to someone who listens–the floor.
New Puppies: No Training Required
Some puppy potty training guides advise new owners to buy puppies that were already trained by a breeder or handler. We say, phooey–get whichever dog you like. Besides, anyone who has ever searched for a new pet knows that we don’t pick them, they pick us. Why should a puppy that wasn’t “bred” to sell, or dog from a shelter be deprived of a good home because his former owner didn’t train him? Dogs are smart and easily trained, so commit to whichever puppy or dog you want, and see how rewarding it is to train or retrain your new buddy.
The Difference Between Potty Training and Housebreaking
The term potty training is used today instead of housebreaking. You’ll notice this “term” when speaking with vets, trainers, or reading books. Housebreaking was often a process that involved scolding, sticking your dog’s face in accidents, and other animal cruelties. The old way of housebreaking was a mind set that the dog was going to do what the owner wanted, when the owner wanted him to do it. If the new puppy messed up he was punished in a way that would make him think twice before doing it again. That treatment is not acceptable today. If you are researching trainers, and he/she uses the term “housebreak” that can be a clue as to their methods and mindset. As it should, treatment of animals has evolved, and so a smarter more humane approach to training is used.
Let me give you a quick example of one aspect of puppy potty training. You walk into your kitchen and see a puddle on the floor. Your curious puppy is soon by your side to see what you’re up to. You point to the puddle while looking at your puppy and say, “no.” You’re not yelling, or touching your dog, you’re just showing your displeasure. Immediately take your puppy outside to the place you want him to pee. After he pees, praise him, give him a treat, pet him, and let him see how happy you are. Your puppy’s tail is probably up and wagging, meaning he is happy. This is just one part of the training process, but it gives you an example of how positive reinforcement works. Puppy potty training today is a combination of training your puppy, training yourself to read your puppy’s signs, establishing your rank in the “pack” without abuse or cruelty, using a crate at specific times, and feeding your puppy at specific times of the day to establish a regular schedule. Of course, rewarding your dog for his successes is a huge part of the program.
Congratulations on finding your new puppy, and good luck with potty training. Use the tips in this article to find the right puppy potty training routine or program for the both of you. Remember, there was a time when each and everyone one of us was “potty trained” and we all eventually got it.
Copyright © 2006, Ian White Access 2000 Pty Ltd