Potty Training

Items needed:

  • Crate
  • Collar and leash
  • White Vinegar
  • Patience

Puppies are like babies in that they need lots of attention and they also need periods of rest.

Your puppy needs a crate to call home that is appropriate for their current size. Given a crate that is too large, puppies may develop a habit of sleeping in one end and relieving themselves in the other. With larger breeds like to Rottweiler it is advisable to purchase a large crate with a divider. The dividing wall can be set half way back in the crate while they are small to limit the area. As time passes the divider can be moved back to create additional real estate for the growing dog.

Puppies usually have to go to the bathroom when they wake in the morning, right after a nap, after eating, and after play sessions. By our observing and noting our puppies potty schedule, we can aid them by providing them access to their outside area at appropriate intervals.

First thing in the morning we should go directly to our puppy’s crate. Open the door and quietly pick the puppy up. Now is not the time for affection or praise. Quietly carry your puppy to the location you expect him to relieve himself while you clip the leash onto the collar. Set the puppy down and say “go now”. At this point you are to stand quiet and motionless. Once the puppy has gone, give abundant praise and walk him back into the house.

Now is time for the morning meal. You will set on the floor a bowl of food (pre-measured). While placing the food down say “food?”. Repeat with the bowl of water. Give him 5 minutes to eat and drink. After the time has elapsed, remove the food and water.

Now is time for a 5-10 minute walk around in the yard. This time we do not give the “go now” command, although this is what our goal is. Earlier we knew the puppy had to go, so a command was appropriate. We only give commands that we fully expect to be obeyed. Otherwise we make our commands optional, which they should never be.

Now bring the puppy into the house for some playtime. We must only allow the puppy to be out of the crate when we have the time to focus our attention directly on the puppy. Should you need to take your attention to another task, place the puppy back into the crate.

Toss a few pieces of food into the crate and say “crate” as incentive for your puppy to walk in on his own. An exercise on this entails tossing food into the crate while we give the command and then we walk away without shutting the door. The puppy will learn that going in doesn’t necessarily mean staying in.

Each time throughout the day that we get the puppy from the crate we carry them out, as we did first thing in the morning. Give the command, “go now”. When the puppy obeys we become animated, fun, and give praise. Should the puppy not go, we carry them back to the crate, set them in, close the door, and wait. After 1/2 hour we again carry the puppy out to the potty place and give the command “go now”. Once the puppy obeys we give the appropriate praise.

Quickly your puppy will start to connect it all – outside is for going to the bathroom – and “Go now” means to go potty.

If they have a mistake in the house – do not punish them as the fault is that of the owner, not the puppy. A few mistakes are normal as when a child is learning to go on the potty – they usually have a few mistakes before they get it 100%.

When cleaning up the mistake, deodorize the spot with white vinegar or special enzymes available at the pet supply stores.

When you are not home or when you are busy and cannot keep track of the puppy, keep him in the crate. This will prevent any accidents from happening that you are not aware of.

Do not expect a puppy to hold their bladder for hours and hours as this bladder control needs to be practiced. Holding power will increase as they get older.

So really, it is not difficult to potty train your puppy. It takes some time, some patience, some praise and some understanding of your pet.