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How Do You Housetrain Your New Dog?

How Do You Housetrain Your New Dog?

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Hi! Dina here with some advice on getting your new canine companion potty trained.  After 15 years as a veterinary technician, I can pretty much say I’ve seen and heard it all when it comes to this joyous phase in your dog’s life.  I hope I can help ease you through this troublesome task so you can get down to enjoying your new addition!

Opening your heart and home to a furry new family member is a big decision. It’s also one of the most rewarding choices you will ever make. Whether you’ve chosen a pudgy puppy or an adult dog, both of your lives will be forever changed for the better. Acclimating your new best friend to your lifestyle will surely have bumps, but with the following steps, potty training doesn’t have to be one of them.

5 Simple Steps To Follow To Housetrain Your New Dog

  1. Time it for when your dog needs to go naturally.
  2. Put them on a schedule.
  3. Crate them at night and when you’re not home to prevent accidents.
  4. Create an indoor emergency plan.
  5. Have patience.

1. Timing is everything.

The potty training process takes a substantial commitment on your part, so plan on devoting several hours a day to getting your pooch on the right potty path.  Carefully plan your pet’s meals, naps, walks and playtimes to coincide with your schedule and her potty breaks.

Consistency and routine are key during potty training. If you’ll be depending on a pet sitter or doggy day care to babysit your pup during your work hours, be sure to inform them of your training plan.  Everyone in your dog’s life needs to be on the same page to ensure success.

2. Know your dog’s peak potty occasions.

There are three activities after which your new dog MUST be brought outside to potty:

a)      After eating or drinking.

b)      After waking from a nap.

c)      After a vigorous play session.

Carry or walk your pooch outside to their designated potty zone immediately after any of the above activities, and at least once every few hours while you’re awake.

If they decide to eat a stick or chase a butterfly – bring them back inside and try again in five minutes. Repeat until they do their business. Never scold them, but also don’t allow them to get distracted from the task at hand. They’re outside to do their business, not to dilly dally.

If they do their business – yay! It’s time for a big celebration with lots of kisses! Our dogs live to make us happy, so positive feedback will work better than any snack. If you do decide to use training treats, pick something small and low in calories – treats can add up!

3. Use a crate for overnight and when you aren’t at home.

When choosing a crate for your new dog, make sure they can stand up to their full height and complete a full turn inside.  Do not purchase an oversized crate. Dogs will avoid going potty in their sleep space, so make sure there isn’t room to potty on one end and sleep at the other.

Housetraining your puppy

Make the crate a cozy haven for your pup by decking it out with soft bedding and a favorite toy or treat.  This will help her to see the crate as a safe snuggle spot, instead of a punishment when it comes time to close her in. Adult dogs can remain crated longer than puppies, but if you plan on being away from home for a significant period, ask a friend or pet sitter to come by and let your pooch out for a potty break.

4. Create an indoor emergency plan.

Your new pooch is going to have a few accidents during the training process, but isn’t that a small price to pay for unconditional love? There are several indoor options to minimize damage to your floors. Puppy training pads have an absorbent layer and a plastic bottom to catch and hold messes. Try moving these closer and closer to the door each time your pup uses them. This will train them to go to the door when they need to potty.

Several “doggy litter boxes” have also hit the market featuring Astroturf with a collection tray underneath. These are ideal emergency solutions for high rise city pooches. While training pads and litter pans are great for the occasional accident, be wary of relying too heavily on these solutions. The ultimate goal is to teach your pooch that the great outdoors is the pawfect place for going potty.

6. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Dog on a beach

No matter how hard it is to get your new canine companion potty trained, remember that the most important thing is forging a strong bond. Pups need to know that they can trust us and depend on us for their every need. The potty training path will be marked with a few puddles and piles, but at the end is a rewarding friendship to last a lifetime. So celebrate the victories, shrug off the snafus, and enjoy the moments as they pass. You’re a member of the elite Pup Parent Club now. Welcome aboard!

5. Most importantly – get yourself some poop bags.

One of the most important things to do when potty-training your new dog is pick up their waste when it hits the ground. First of all, it’s the law. Secondly, it’s just good manners. Thirdly, dog poop on the ground is super gross and just not cool.

The point is, you need some poop bags! BARK’s Essential Poop bags are durable, Earth-friendly, come in two themes (“Poopaganda” and “Pug Life”), and have hilarious messages on them like “Do your civic doody” and “I love it when you call me big poopa.” It makes a potentially unpleasant experience into…well, a slightly less unpleasant one!

Dog GIfts

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