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Potty Training Your Pup

We all love our new puppies but they can be difficult! I knew it was going to be hard when we got Ash but I was so excited to have her, that I just thought that taking care of her would come eventually. There are so many things that I wish I would have done differently that I am going to share with you. I am not a professional animal trainer but hopefully you find these things helpful as you train your puppy.

1. Look for the signs that they need to go out

Your dog, like a toddler, has a potty dance. They might sniff the ground looking for a place to go or they might just be really restless. There are signs that they will make before they go to the bathroom and your job is to figure out what they are. One thing that we found when potty training Ash is that she would sniff the ground when she needed let out. We watched for that and when we saw it we would ask if she needed to go potty and then take her to the door.

2. Be consistent

Consistency with a new puppy is so important. Each time you take them out you need to say the same thing so that they know what you are saying. They won't understand what you are saying exactly, but they will recognize sounds that become familiar. The tone of your voice can throw them off, so try to say the same thing in the same way.

3. Have a reward system

I know of some people that when their dog has an accident, they rub their nose in it. I personally don't think that is very effective. Usually, when Ash had an accident, we didn't find it until a few minutes later. By then, it would be too late for us to rub her nose in it because we didn't catch her as she was doing if for her to realize that what she did was wrong. Instead, when we took her out to go potty, as soon as she went, we gave her praise and brought her inside to get a treat. We wanted to teach her that not only was she rewarded when she went to the bathroom but she was rewarded when she came back into our house.

4. Clean the spots where your pet goes, like, really clean

One thing that we noticed with Ash was that she would usually go to the bathroom in the same general area. Most pets will do this, especially dogs, because they can smell where they went before. When she would go to the bathroom in our house we would make sure that the area was completely clean. I suggest getting Folex Carpet and upholstery cleaner. It has been the best non-smelling carpet cleaner and really gets the stains out with ease. If she started sniffing around the area and couldn't find where to go, she looked panicked. That was our que that she needed to go out again.

5. Set them on a schedule

Just like when you would get home from school and rush to the bathroom, your body gets on a schedule of when you go to the bathroom. Your dog does the same thing. If you set your dog on a schedule of letting them out every 2 hours or as they get older after a meal or right before bed, training becomes easier because their bodies get set on a routine. With Ash, we let her out first thing in the morning, when we get home from work, after dinner, and right before bed. If she needs let out before those times, we usually make her wait. If it is an emergency, then she will sit right in front of us and nudge at us until we take her out.

6. Constrict the area they hang out in

When we got Ash, we had carpet that we knew we were going to tear out eventually but we had new carpet in our bedroom. We never let Ash in our bedroom but we let her roam pretty much everywhere else. If your puppy is crate trained and you aren't able to pay attention to them for an extended period of time, you can put them in their crate. Dogs won't go to the bathroom in the same area that they are going to sleep in. Just be sure that you take them out as soon as you let them out of their crate.

7. Set up communication

This is so important! If you can't communicate with your dog or they can't communicate with you, then it will be so much harder to know when they need let out. Some people have put a bell on the door, others have taught their dog to bark when they need let out. It depends on what works for your situation. With Ash, we taught her to nudge us when she needs let out. We didn't want her to bark, because we have neighbors close by and we didn't want her to ring the bell when she wants to go outside to play. We would tell her to come to us when she needed to go out and wait for her to touch us before we took her out. Once she did then we took her outside. We did this consistently, until she understood that when she touched us, she went outside. It took some practice, that's for sure. She would constantly touch us because she wanted to go outside to play, but combined with keeping a schedule, she eventually understood the rules and we are able to communicate in a way we both understand.

Let me know if these tips were helpful! Thanks for reading!

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