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Your Newfoundland puppy is only a tiny version of what he will become in the coming months. He is highly intelligent and learns most things by association in a relatively short period of time.
When it comes to potty training, one thing you should know about your Newfie is that you should not scold him for going potty in the house, unless you see him doing it. If you do, he will simply see you as the person who yells at him. He will not understand you are trying to correct his behavior. You will have far more success with potty training when you work with your pup using positive reinforcement methods.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to teach your Newfoundland puppy that at no time is it okay for him to go potty in the house. He must learn that the only place he can go potty is in his designated area of the yard or while out for a walk. One of the most important parts of this training is to choose a command or cue word. One that everyone in your house will use to tell your pup it's time for him to go outside and go to the bathroom. Keep it simple, perhaps "Let's go potty or let's go outside." You can use anything, just stay consistent.
Like most breeds, you can start potty training your Newfie at eight to 12 weeks of age. Which works out very well, as this is the period in which your pup's brain is developing at its fastest. This makes it a great time to teach him several commands beyond going potty outside. The idea is simple and the methods easy to follow, all you must do is remain consistent, work with your pup daily, and be patient. You also need:
- Crate – To use for
training and to give your pup a safe place to stay when you must leave the house.
- Treats – You need
plenty of these to give your pup as rewards for when he goes potty outside.
- Leash – You need
this to take him outside and to the place he can use as a potty.
The most important tool of all is patience, you should never punish your dog or scold him unless you happen to catch him in the act. Be patient, keep working on the training and he will soon figure out what you are trying to teach him.
The Crate Method
In the crate
Place your pup in his crate with a bowl of water, a few toys, and a bed to lay down on. Every hour on the hour, open the door, put your pup on his leash, and take him outside while using your cue word. This will help him associate the cue with the action.
The five-minute rule
If your pup hasn't gone potty after five minutes, go ahead and take him back inside and put him in his crate. Leave him there for an hour and then take him outside to his spot on the lawn. By now, he should have no problem going potty.
When he goes
When he goes potty, be sure you praise him with an excited tone in your voice and give him a treat. Then take him back to his crate. The more excited you are, the more he will be convinced that going potty outside is a great idea.
When he figures it out
Once your pup figures out that you want him to go potty in the designated area, he will do his best to make you happy by going in the right place.
More time out
When your puppy starts to show you that he is figuring it all out, you can start leaving the crate door open and allowing him to enjoy getting out and stretching his legs around the room. Give him time to explore the room, in time he will see this as his "area", one he will not go potty in. Over time you should be able to open the whole house without fear of your pup going potty in the house anymore.
The Pee Right Here Method
For this you need spray
Your local pet shop sells a spray that can be used to entice your pup to an area of your yard where he can go pee. The spray actually encourages him mark his territory, thereby going potty.
Create the "pee zone"
Use the spray to create a potty zone in your yard. At first, it doesn't need to be a big area, just one that your pup can use whenever he needs to go, come sun, rain, snow, sleet, ice, or dead of night. You must never let the weather or time of day prevent you from taking your Newfie out--not only will this screw up your training, it will result in messes to clean up.
Put your pup on his leash
Put your pup on his leash and take him outside using your cue words. Take him over to the marked spot and let him wander around for a little while. If after 10 to 15 minutes your pup has not gone potty, go ahead and take him back inside. But keep a close eye on him. At the first indication he might be thinking about going potty or in 15 minutes, whichever comes first, take him back outside.
When he finally goes
When your Newfie finally goes potty, be sure to shower him with praise and give him a treat. This helps him to associate good things with going potty outside.
Keep working with your pup, slowly increasing the amount of time between potty breaks until he can stay in the house for hours without you having to worry about coming home to landmines planted all over your carpets.
The Eyes on the Prize Method
Start with plenty of treats
If you don't already have a large supply of treats for your pup laid in, go the pet shop and pick up a generous supply of them. You are going to need a lot of treats by the time the training is over, and your pup is fully potty trained.
Watch him like a hawk
Any time your pup is out of his crate, your job is to watch him like a hawk. If he starts to circle a spot on the floor, squat, lift his leg, or whine, you need to tell him "NO!" in a firm voice. This should stop him in his tracks.
Pick your pup up, put him on his leash, give the cue and take him straight outside to his designated potty area. This helps him associate the cue with the action and the final result, in which your pup goes potty outside.
Give him time
At first, your pup might be a little confused, so give him plenty of time to get his focus back on the fact he needs to go potty. When he finally does, be sure to give him lots of praise and a treat.
Time, it's on my mind
Or it should be on yours as you extend the time between trips outside. Just keep working with him and by the time he is six months old, he should be a master at letting you know that he needs to go outside and at using his designated area of the lawn as his personal potty.
By PB Getz
Published: 02/22/2018, edited: 01/08/2021