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Yup, like anything else, there are rules for success when it comes to potty training your puppy or adult dog.  Luckily they are simple to learn.  However with today’s busy lifestyles they aren’t as easy to follow.  The first rule is the most important.

When you can’t supervise, confine!

You need to supervise your dog constantly when he is out of his crate or safe room.  I strongly recommend crates.  I did a series of posts on crate training a little while back.  If you have questions, let me know.  There are challenges to this.  Puppies tend to be slippery little critters.  They can run behind furniture or into another room before you can blink.  There are multiple ways to handle this.

Here are some tips:

  • You can leash your dog to your belt with a regular 6′ leash
  • You can section off rooms by using baby gates or dog gates
  • You can make sure your furniture goes back to the wall so your puppy can’t get behind it

Feed and Water your puppy on a schedule

Water your puppy when you feed him.  Make sure you pick up the food and water 1 to 1.5 hours before you go to bed.  Make sure you take your puppy outside about 15-30 minutes after they have food or water.

Clean up messes thoroughly

You should use products that don’t contain ammonia to clean up messes.  I recommend Natures Miracle.  You should clean mistakes quickly.

Do not punish after the fact

If you don’t see them make the mistake don’t punish your dog.  Your dog won’t remember why they are being punished and it won’t teach your dog anything except to fear you.

Take Your Puppy Outside Frequently

You should take your puppy outside:

  • 15-30 minutes after eating or drinking
  • Every hour if your puppy is around 8 weeks old
  • Every four hours if your dog is still making mistakes (yup, even during the night)

Have Realistic Expectations

  • Your puppy will make mistakes, don’t over-react, just clean it up
  • Don’t worry if your puppy relapses.  They will seem to “get it” and then will make mistakes.  This is to be expected.
  • Keep your dog in sight when he isn’t confined
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