Potty Training is All About Rewards
When you first bring your new puppy home you may begin to experience a whole explosion of chaos surrounding potty training. After all, puppies don't come potty trained, that's something we need to train them to be good at and thats where rewards come in. In the very beginning having lots of accidents is normal because most people don't realize how often pups need to go out. It's can be as often as every half hour at first. Their bladders are so tiny in the first few months so they are physically not able to hold it that long. However, if you start to reward every time they go potty outside, you'll notice it begins to happen more and more. This is because any behavior that is positively reinforced is more likely to happen again in.the future. By rewarding your puppy for going potty outside you're essentially teaching them that they should want to repeat doing this because it earns them something good. This is what helps to speed up the potty training process.
Handling Accidents Properly is Important
As important as it is to reward going potty outside, it's equally important to handle accidents inside properly. There's a couple key notes to handling accidents inside. The first is, you do not want to punish your dog for having an accident after the fact. For example if you come home to a pee spot, it's already too late to correct this behavior. The time to communicate that going in the house is not okay is only when you catch them in the act. By making a loud noise or clapping loudly when you catch them in the act, you can reduce their desire to repeat that behavior. But if you notice it when it's already happened, it's too late to do anything about accept clean up. It used to be common practice to out your dog's nose near their accident after the fact, but we now know that this actually just makes them want to hide their accidents more. So you may end up finding piles of you know what in your closet or under the bed if you go this route.
It's also key to use an enzymatic cleaner when cleaning up after them. This is because your everyday cleaner may get rid of the mess and the smell to you, but your dog will still be able to smell where they went. If they can smell the urine enzymes in the place they went before, they are more likely to go there again.
Potty Training Takes Time
Lastly, keep in mind that potty training is something that takes time. Unlike teaching a behavior like sit, you're working against biology when you consider how small their bladders are at this age. As they grow, their ability to hold it longer will grow as well. If you've followed all of the important potty training guidelines then this will also help to speed up the process so that you'll be having to clean up less accidents. If you're struggling with potty training, we're here to help. Visit our puppy training page to learn more about our services in Denver.