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Your Labrador Retriever puppy is going to be a great companion. He will want to work hard around the house, play a lot, and work to please you. When it’s time to start training, trust your Lab puppy is going to do his best to learn everything he can during every training session.
Potty training your puppy will be easy as long as you are dedicated to setting him up to succeed. He is intelligent and easy to train. You can begin training your Labrador Retriever puppy where to go potty and how to communicate his needs to you as soon as you bring him home. It will take some time and repetitive training for him to connect all the dots, but he will pick it all up quickly as long as you are getting him to his potty places as soon as you can.
Potty training a Labrador Retriever puppy will require you to have a potty spot set in place before training begins. You should know where you want your little Lab to go potty and avoid making changes to that spot during training. Taking him to his potty spot consistently and on time throughout the day and night will be key to successful potty training your pup. You will need to watch the signs and signals he will give to let you know he needs go. Getting your Lab outside as soon as you see these signals and not letting him have an accident is crucial for conditioning your puppy to let you know he needs to go potty. There will be other times you should be taking your Labrador Retriever puppy outside immediately without waiting for him to give you the signal that he needs to go. These times will include after meals and after waking from any sleep.
You will need to pay attention to your Labrador Retriever puppy for signs he needs to go potty. Also, try to be around to get him outside every few hours before accidents can occur. You’ll need lots of treats for rewarding positive behaviors and patience, as this will take some practice and time. If you find yourself frustrated, try to catch your puppy earlier and get him outside.
The Open Door Method
Go to the door
Train your Labrador Retriever puppy to go to the door he’ll use each time he needs to go outside to go potty. He can knock on this door, bark at this door, or stand at the door and wait for you to open it. Before you take your pup outside to go potty, take him to this door each time. Avoid carrying your pup outside. Set him down at the door and wait a moment before opening it to let him out.
Time to go
When it is time to let your Lab out, take him to the door and have him walk outside on his own after you open the door. Do this when he wakes from a nap or first thing in the morning as well as overnight waking to go potty.
After your Lab puppy has finished eating, take him to the door and have him wait for you to open it. You can knock on the door at his level each time and show him how to knock on it himself. Be sure to take him out to go potty after each meal.
On the hour
Depending on your Labrador Retriever puppy’s age, he should be able to hold it for an hour per month of age. Before that time is up, be sure to take him to the door to go outside. Once you are at the door together, wait a moment and then open the door to let him outside.
Be sure you are taking your Labrador Retriever puppy to the door and placing him at the door each time you need to get him outside to go potty.
Give your puppy a treat each time he makes it outside to go potty.
As your Labrador Retriever is getting used to going to that door, start using a command such as "go potty" to ask him if that is what he needs. He should be able to go to the door to tell you he needs to go or if you ask using the command, he should start heading to the door on his own.
The Know Your Puppy Method
Sleep and potty
Know your Labrador Retriever puppy will need to go potty as soon as he wakes up in the morning. It is also likely he will need to go potty upon waking from naps. If your Labrador Retriever puppy is awakened and is whining, the urge to go might be what woke him.
Meals and potty
You should know your Labrador Retriever puppy will need to go potty about ten minutes after eating each of his meals. Taking him outside about five to ten minutes after his meals will set him up to going potty outside and not inside.
Your puppy can usually wait for one hour before going potty for every month of his age. This means if your Lab is four months old, he should be able to wait about four hours before needing to go potty.
If you are crate training your Labrador Retriever puppy, he will whine in the middle of the night when he needs to go potty. If you are not crate training, you might want to consider keeping your puppy in a place blocked off from the rest of the house so he does not pee in the house. He should require at least one trip outside overnight for the first few months.
Be sure to give your puppy a treat each time he goes potty outside. This positive behavior based training will condition him to head out when he needs to go and not have an accident inside.
The moment you let your guard down and aren’t watching or paying attention to your Lab puppy or if you are not letting him out after meals and upon waking or every few hours, he is likely to have more accidents. Keep on top of potty training, as exhausting as it is, and your Labrador Retriever puppy will succeed sooner.
The Potty Place Method
Choose a place
Pick an area within your yard where you will allow your Labrador Retriever to go potty. If you pick one area, you have a good chance of keeping the rest of your yard beautiful and free of dog poop or dying grass from pee spots.
Take your puppy to the same place in your yard each time he needs to go potty. This will set him up to go to the same place when he starts to go on his own. While you are walking to the area, use words such as ‘go potty’ so he begins to connect going potty with that area.
Know when to go
Your Labrador Retriever puppy will need to be taken out to his potty area as soon as he wakes up from any nap or nighttime sleep. Do not make your pup wait. Be sure to get him outside and to his potty spot so he can go potty without having an accident. He’ll also need to go after each of his meals. Be sure to get him outside to his spot within minutes of eating so he has a chance to go when the urge hits.
Your Labrador puppy should be able to hold it for one hour per month of age. So if you have a nine week old Labrador Retriever puppy, he should be able to wait about two hours to go potty.
When you take your puppy to his special place and he goes potty, give him a tasty treat. Offering some enthusiasm will also get your pup excited and proud of his achievement.
Your Labrador Retriever puppy is likely to have accidents if he is not taken outside to his special potty area on time. Be sure to watch for the signs he needs to go such as sniffing in the house or circling in an area inside. Get him outside right away to go potty. In the event your puppy has an accident, get him outside to his potty spot and try to be there earlier next time. Scolding him will be counterproductive.
By Stephanie Plummer
Published: 02/21/2018, edited: 01/08/2021
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