Potty training your dog without losing your mind

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One of the first things a dog will need to learn is how to control their bathroom habits. Of course, the dog’s bathroom is most likely going to eventually be your back yard. Understanding when and where to relieve themselves, will require some initial help on your part. This is going to take a lot of patience, and ideally starting them out as a puppy. Though, don’t lose heart if you have recently obtained an older dog. It’s possible for them to learn too. It’s never too late. Here are some great tips for potty training your dog without losing your mind.

Set the routine

Dogs tend to love routine and habits. Some pet owners decide to set a schedule and stick to it. This allows the dog to develop a habit that is routine. Usually this means allowing the dog to go poo when they go for a walk, cleaning up after them, but peeing at home. To make this work, you first need to observe your dog’s natural behavior. If, for instance, the dog tends to always need to poo an hour after eating, make sure you adjust your schedule to walk the dog during this time. As part of the routine, this will also mean keeping a consistent meal schedule so you can best estimate when the need for a walk will occur, and the dog will learn to know what to expect.

Choose a spot and stick with it

Once you find a good spot in your home to begin toilet training, don’t move it. This will most likely cause the dog to become confused as to what you expect from them. If you start by setting aside a part of your bathroom floor with pads, make sure the spot is readily available to the dog when they need it so they don’t run into a closed door. If the spot you choose is outside, make sure you’re ready to open the door in the middle of the night when nature calls.

No food

The first thing you may think to do is to reward your dog with a treat every time they are successful at going to the bathroom in the right place. Simply, don’t do this. Never associate food with toilet training.  When you do, you take the chance of over-feeding the dog as well as training them to rely on a reward in the future. Instead, potty training should be a good habit that is taught.

No punishment

Training properly does not need to involve harsh punishments. Instead of spanking your pup, turn on the praise and affection when they get it right. As they are learning, simply observe your dog’s need to use the bathroom, and then pick them up to place them where they need to be until they begin to understand how to do it themselves.

Patience and progress

The most important thing to remember is to be patient. The process of potty training a dog may take as long as 8 weeks. Also understand that some things can be used as helpful tools but should not be relied upon as a constant crutch. If you start by using wee pads, sprays, or fences to mark off areas, don’t rely on these methods for long-term success. Rather, only use them for a type of assistance to get the training rolling.

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