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There is no better feeling than the one you get when you bring your new Dobie puppy home (well, almost anyway--there are your kids, your wedding, etc.). The only problem is that at 12 weeks of age, your newest family member has no idea that he isn't supposed to go potty in the house. The good news is that you can start working on potty training him from the moment you open the car door and let him out by taking him straight to the spot you want him to use for his potty.
Your first job as a new puppy parent is to teach your pup that the only place he is supposed to go potty is in his area of the yard. In the wild, a dog would be taught by his mother not to mess in the den. In your house, it will be your job to do the same thing. It takes time, effort and perseverance, but as long as you remain consistent, your pup will learn where he is supposed to potty and to let you know when he needs to get there.
While there are several different training methods to choose from, you need to decide where in your yard you want your pup to go potty before you get started. Once you choose a space on the lawn, be sure to keep using the same spot. This will help your pup to learn what is expected of him more quickly. Along with this, you need a few things to help out.
- Crate – For training purposes and to keep him in when you can't watch him
- Treats – For letting your pup know he is doing a good job
- Leash – To take your pup outside
Of course, you are going to need plenty of time and patience to train your pup. The good news is that this will all be over soon enough, and you will have a hard time remembering when he used to make a mess in the house.
The 30-Minute Method
Prepare your supplies
Gather up a leash, some treats, a crate and, of course, your pup.
For the first two weeks
During the first two weeks after you bring your pup home, set a reminder to take him out every 30 minutes. Also plan to head out after a meal, after he drinks a lot of water, after he wakes up, and right before bed-time.
Add some time
For the next couple of weeks, you can bump up the time to an hour. Each time your pup goes potty in his designated area, be sure to praise him and give him a treat.
By the fifth week
By the time week five rolls around, your pup should be able to hold himself for two hours.
Work on it
The rest is all about practice and rewarding him for going potty outside. Keep adding to the time as he reaches adulthood, he should be able to go for several hours at a time.
The Dude, Something Smells Method
Head out on the highway
Take a drive out to your favorite pet supply store. You need at least one bottle of puppy potty training spray. This spray will attract your pup to his designated spot on the lawn and encourage him to pee or poop on it to mark his territory.
Spray your spot
Use the spray to mark out an area on your lawn for your pup to use a his personal potty.
Walk this way
Hook your pup on his leash, tell him it's time to "Go outside" and take him out to the marked area.
Let it flow
When your pup pees or poops, make sure you praise him heavily and give him a treat.
Hit me with your best shot
Work your pup through the training steps, slowly building up the amount of time between trips outside. In time, he will come to understand that he has to do his business outside and will develop a way to let you know when he needs to get there.
The Find the Spot Method
Choose the spot
The first step in any type of potty training program is to choose the spot in your yard where your pup will be taught to do his business. Make sure everyone in your family knows where it is.
Every 1,800 Seconds (30 minutes)
Every 30 minutes, put your pup on his leash, tell him "Time to go outside", and then take him out to "his" spot on the lawn. If he goes potty, be sure to praise him and give him a treat.
No way, I'm not going
If he doesn't go, take him back inside and wait for 15 minutes before trying it again.
Keeping your pup on a regular schedule will also help him to regulate himself, making the training go easier.
Keep it up
Keep working with taking your pup out, adding time to the gaps between outings until your pup stops even thinking about going potty in the house. Mission accomplished.
By PB Getz
Published: 03/02/2018, edited: 01/08/2021