The biggest concern of people who have adopted a new puppy is potty training. Traditionally, this involves leashing or chaining your puppy to go outside or teaching him to use a certain area in the yard. The trick is getting them to let you know when they have to go. The other problem is what happens when the puppy is left home alone for extended periods of time. There are a lot of accidents, which proves to be frustrating for everyone involved.
For owners of small breed dogs and those who live in apartments or have a confined area for the their puppy outside, however, there is another option. You can train your puppy to go in a designated spot in your house, even when you are not home. This method is called litter training or (house training) and is similar to what cat owners use.
Introduce Puppy Slowly
Your puppy is already adjusting to new surroundings and being away from his pack. You should introduce everything to him as slowly as you can so that he is comfortable and not scared by anything. When you introduce the crate to your puppy, for example, you should first get him used to being in it for short periods of time, without leaving him alone just yet. Place your hand in the crate and let him know that it is a safe place to be. Let him go in and out at his leisure at first and progress from there with short segments of time when he is left alone in the crate. Making him feel comfortable in his new surroundings will make it a smooth transition.
One key to training a new puppy is to provide consistent feedings. This will help in a number of ways. First, he will know when to expect his food. You will know when to expect him to have to go potty. Leaving a full bowl out all day will not allow you to have as much control over the situation. Once he has eaten, remove leftover food and take him to the spot you want him to go potty. He should be ready to use the litter box within 20 minutes after eating, so this is an important time to watch him carefully and help him succeed.
Puppy Training Pads
There are numerous brands of puppy training pads on the market. They are made for housebreaking puppies and creating indoor dogs. They block odor and protect your floors. They are easy to dispose of and make cleanup a breeze. Simply take your puppy to the pad when he needs to go potty. With the right encouragement, the puppy will begin to use it with more frequency.
Similar to kitty litter, dog litter is also available. This is another useful aid in potty training your puppy indoors. Purchase a good size kitty litter box and fill it with a small amount of the dog litter. Use the same approach you would with the training pads, encouraging him to use the litter box and praising him when he does. Put the litter tray in a spot that is comfortable for your puppy. Dog litter will cut down on odor problems as well. When placed inside of the larger cage, as described above, it is especially convenient. Just be sure to keep the cage and the litter box clean for your puppy.
By slowly adjusting your puppy to a crate, you will be able to have more control over when and where your puppy urinates. Two methods work well in conjunction with the cage. The first plan is to have your puppy in a small crate whenever you are not home or are unable to keep a close eye on him. Immediately let him use the litter are when you take him out of the crate. This will teach him bladder control and keep him from using your entire house as a litter box. The second plan is to have one large cage with a comfortable area on one side and the litter box on the other side. This works especially well for puppies left alone for long periods of time on a regular basis. This is a lifesaver for the working pet owner. It allows for the puppy to go when he has to go. He doesn’t have to wait for you to let him out. There isn’t any punishment necessary, in this case, and makes it easier for you to spend time playing with your puppy rather than scolding him when you come home.
Praise and Rewards
The best way to ensure your puppy will adapt to the new training method is to provide consistent praise when he does what you want him to do. When your puppy eliminates on the pad or in the litter, give him plenty of attention and encouragement. Treats can also be offered as a way to support the positive behavior. The key with offering treats is to be consistent and offer praise each time.
Benefits of Indoor Training
By training your puppy to eliminate indoors, in his designated area, there will be less mess and fewer accidents. There will be no need to worry about accidents when you are away because your puppy will have a safe place to go potty. There won’t be messes outside for you to pick up after and you can simply dispose of the training pad or scoop the liter. Your puppy’s health is another benefit. Some annual vaccinations may be unnecessary if you puppy remains indoors. Your dog’s overall health will be better and you could save on costly veterinarian expenses.
Enjoy Your Puppy
Puppies are like children; they only stay small for a short time. This should be an enjoyable time for you and your puppy. Don’t let potty training and accidents ruin this fun and exciting time. Puppies are social animals and don’t like being isolated, so the quicker they are trained, the less time they will need to spend in the crate and the more enjoyable they will be as a pet. Play with your puppy, give him lots of attention and be consistent with whichever method of training you choose.