Having a puppy requires a lot of hard work and patience. It is not all about cuddling, snuggling, and playing around. You also need to have the commitment to make sure that your puppy gets the attention that he needs. Aside from the attention, you also need to have him trained so that he can do things right and not mess up your place all the time.
One example of training that needs your time and patience is potty training your puppy. As the pet owner, your goal is to instill good habits in him and make sure that he can get potty trained as soon as possible. It typically takes about four to six months for puppies to be potty trained, but it can also take up to a year so it really requires a lot of patience.
The best time time to start training your puppy is when he is between 12 and 16 weeks old because at that stage, he should have enough control of his bladder and bowel movements. He needs to be trained so that he can learn to hold it in and not just eliminate whenever he needs to. So, aside from stocking up on a few stacks of old newspapers for cleaning up, you also have to stock up on patience, vigilance, commitment, and consistency.
If you do not know how to start, you can always get professional help. There are establishments such as Petco Services which offer introductory training program for puppies wherein they train puppies the basics, including potty training. Your puppy being trained by professionals can give you the head start that you might need to keep it going.
Follow a Regular Schedule and Establish a Routine
Make sure that you consistently follow the routine that your puppy has learned during training. You need to establish times when your puppy should eat, play, and eliminate. That way, your puppy will find it easier to follow and do things according to schedule.
Usually, puppies eat three or four times a day. You can schedule feeding time in the morning, afternoon and early evening so that he will eliminate around those times as well. However, not all puppies are the same so you also need to observe. Some need to go immediately after eating while some wait for half an hour or more.
Your puppy needs to have a water bowl available anytime for him to drink in case he gets thirsty during playtime. But, make sure that you empty it aout two hours before bedtime. By doing that simple task, your puppy will less likely need to pee during the night. You can have a good night sleep without having to worry about waking up to go out with your pup or finding a pool of mess in the morning.
It is also important for your puppy to distinguish his own bathroom spot outside where he can eliminate. Always go to the same spot when you take him out when he wakes up, and after every meal and drinks.
Observe, Supervise, and Confine
Always keep an eye on your puppy, especially during and after eating and drinking. Do not give him an opportunity to poop or pee inside the house. That is why it is important to take him out every two hours. You also need to watch for signs such as barking or scratching at the door, sniffing around, squatting, or restlessness because these may be indications that he needs to pee or to poop. Take him out on his spot and once he is done, reward him with a treat.
If you live in an apartment building or a condominium where there is limited or no outside space, you can have a designated space inside your house such as a bathroom or a dog pen. You an block off the area using baby gates or fences but just make sure that the space is comfortable enough for your puppy that he can stand, lie down, and walk around a bit.
There may be times when your puppy will soil your carpet or leave a mess on your floor. Potty training can be frustrating at times but do not give up because the key to successful training is consistency and patience. You need to spend a lot of time with your puppy and follow schedules that you have established for him. Give him attention and let him learn in his own time. When he finally gets completely potty trained, reward him with a special treat and yourself too for a job well done.