Puppies are all cute and cuddly but not so much when they are not properly housetrained. Unless you want to find “surprises” waiting for you all around the house, it is crucial that you engage in puppy potty training as soon as possible.
Training a Leashed Puppy to Go Potty
Many puppies may be hesitant at first to relieve themselves when their owners are watching close by. For this reason, it is best to start on-leash puppy potty training when you are at home, where your dog will be most comfortable.
Before you begin training, it is important to buy a leash that is long enough to give your dog a little bit of privacy. A safe choice would be a 6-foot leash, but the actual length will also depend on the size of your dog. When it is time for your dog to go potty, bring him out to the potty area and allow the leash enough slack such that the puppy feels comfortable enough to do his business.
Let your dog know that it is time to relieve himself by saying a command like “Go potty” and just wait for him to finish. Once he is done, give him just the right amount of praise and mention the word “potty” again. After a few days of doing the same routine, your puppy will recognize the potty command and will be able to relieve himself comfortably while being leashed.
Once your puppy has mastered on-leash pottying at home, you can now advance to puppy potty training in other places. When it is potty time, leash your dog and take him for a walk around the block or to a nearby park. Upon reaching a good spot, give your dog the potty command while holding the leash loosely.
Going Potty Where Other Dogs Have Been
It is the tendency of most adult dogs to relieve themselves in areas where other dogs have previously done their business. With very young puppies, however, the opposite is usually true. When they sniff around and smell that the spot has already been pooped or peed on, they may find it hard to relieve themselves because of fear or nervousness.
For dogs, relieving themselves is a way of marking their territory. They only relieve themselves in marked areas if they believe themselves to be of higher or equal rank. Being young and inexperienced, it is only natural for puppies to feel intimidated in these circumstances, which is why they will find it hard to do their business properly.
This fear is only aggravated by the fact that they are in an unknown place far away from home. So if you notice that your puppy is having difficulties, don’t force him. Instead, you can take your puppy potty training to a different location where he might be more comfortable.