Dog Behavior Breakdown: Potty Training

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We are so excited to welcome back our guest blogger, Michelle (Pellum’s Paws Dog Training).  Her blog series will provide advice and tips on how to correct unwanted behavior from your pooch.  If you have a questions, please submit it on our Facebook page, and we’ll add it to our list of questions.

Today, the topic of discussion is Potty Training!

Q:  "I am having potty training problems. I am pad training since I am in an apartment. And I will sit there with my puppy but she won't pee. I've sat there with her for an hour! But as soon as I walk away or let her run around she will pee on the floor. It's like she is purposely holding it till I go away." House training is a necessity for dogs.  Unlike cats, dogs do not automatically know how to use a litter box or training pad.  You have to show them where and when to go just like you would teach a dog the proper place to potty outside or in a backyard.  When you take your puppy for walks, I recommend using the pad outside to help teach her that the pad is a good thing to potty on.  If she has a common place where she goes outside you can place the pad in that spot and wait for her to go on it.  Or you can place the pad under her bottom as soon as she squats down.  Do this every time you take her out to potty and praise and treat her lavishly when she does go on it.  She should start to potty on the pad without your help.  Be sure to always use the word “potty” before she goes.  To help teach her initially, say the word right as she squats down, but before she starts to go.  If on occasion she doesn’t potty on the pad, don’t correct the behavior just ignore it.  Your puppy will quickly learn to potty on the pad if she wants your praise and treats. To transfer the pad training inside, I would prevent the puppy from the opportunity of going potty anywhere but the pad and monitor any freedom the puppy has.  Use a leash when trying to get your puppy to go on the pad.  If she does not go within the first 10 minutes then take her outside and try it there.  If she still doesn’t go after another ten minutes then kennel her until you can try again.  Only once she goes successfully on the pad should she be able to have about 30 minutes of monitored and confined freedom in the apartment.  Remember to change out the pad every time after use to keep the unpleasant odor away and encourage the dog to go in the same spot again.  Always use a kennel when you can’t keep an eye on your pup.  A puppy can only hold its bladder as many hours as it is months old, plus one.  For example, a 3 month old puppy can hold its bladder 4 hours at most.   The more active prevention you take to keep your dog from misbehaving inside the better she will understand what you want and begin to improve. Last, always remember to walk/exercise your dog, especially puppies, at least once a day.  One day your puppy will be a grown dog and will be able to hold its bladder 8+ hours.  The more opportunities you take now to help teach your pup that going outside to potty is the best place to go, the easier the transition will be when you no longer want her to go potty inside.  A real downside to pad training is that your dog could continue to pee in the same spot even after removing the pad.   It can also desensitize owners to eliminating in the house and result in the owner being unconcerned about lapses in housetraining.  Help make it easier on yourself and your dog in the future and encourage potty time outside as much as possible.

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