In our previous article, we discussed the points to consider while choosing a puppy from a litter. If you haven’t read it yet, you can read it by clicking here. After bringing your puppy to its new home, the first and foremost training exercise that is to be done is to Potty Train him.
Potty Training or House Training is one of the basic training exercises that teaches your puppy that it is not ok to poop and pee all around the house. Potty Trained puppies are trained to go only at a place designated by you in order to defecate.
As a proud owner of a new puppy, you must also be a responsible owner and understand that from now on, whatever you do, the puppy will learn by seeing you. The training process of your puppy starts from the very second you bring him home. Puppies of small ages need to go to the bathroom nearly every 45 mins due to their small bladder size and very limited holding capacity. After bringing your puppy home, the very first thing you need to do is to take him to the place where you intend for him to go do his “business”. It can be your backyard, a small bathroom or any other place that is designated for him to go and do his business. If he does not go immediately, you should wait for some time till he eventually does. The moment he starts to pee or poop, introduce a Keyword (Like Go Pee or Go Poo or any other word that you like) so that later on he associates the above keyword with his business. After he is done, Reward him with a biscuit and say “Good Boy/Girl” so that he associates the task with a positive reinforcement. Repeat this process every time he successfully defecates at the spot designated for him.
Never forget that your puppy is very small and it takes time for him to understand your ways. Mistakes are bound to happen and you should never reprimand your puppy if it defecates inside your home by accident when you are not around. If you are not present at the time of the incident, then, coming later and scolding your puppy will have no effect as it won’t be able to associate the scolding with the act of defecating in your home. Instead, your puppy might start associating peeing and pooping as negative qualities and will tend to be scared of doing their business. This is not at all a desirable situation as scared puppies will never truly develop into confident and trustworthy dogs.
If, however, you catch your puppy in the middle of doing his business in a spot other than his designated one, you should very firmly say “No”, so as to associate the word with your disagreement to his activities and take him to his designated spot and say “Go Pee/Poo”. Negative reinforcements never work while training your puppy. If you use negative reinforcements like scolding him too much or beating him, your puppy will start losing his blind trust in you.
Instead, rewarding him with small treats and praising him when he does something right will work wonders for the confidence of your puppy and will develop him into a wonderful and confident dog. Always remember to take your puppy to his usual pee spot every 45 mins or so to reinforce his behavior for the first few days, and after that, you will be amazed to see that whenever he wants to go to the bathroom, he will go and do it in that very same spot. Establishing a routine helps best in reinforcing training behavior in your puppy.
Basic Guide as to When to take your puppy to his Spot :
First thing in the morning
20 Minutes After his breakfast
After playing sessions
20 Minutes After drinking water
20 Minutes After his lunch
After nap sessions
After his bone chewing session is over
20 Minutes After his dinner
Last thing at night