No training is more basic for pet owners than that first important lesson: Do it outdoors!

Training your pet to potty outside the home, not in it, typically starts between six and eight weeks of age. Dogs as young as four weeks have been started on the routine, however at that age very few have the muscular control to be successful.

Just like any kind of puppy training program, trainer patience is as important as the puppy’s personality. ‘Sit’, ‘stay’ along with other manners may frequently be learned in a couple of days. ‘Potty’ training normally can take weeks – at times as short as two, frequently a month or more.

As with other learned behaviors, it helps to watch for signs of the wanted behavior and enforce and direct them with a voice command followed by praise. In this case that process works even more for the trainer’s advantage, because all dogs will naturally eliminate. The secret is to make them do it when and where you want!

Watch for signs od imminent potty behavior, such as circling or squatting, then pick up the pup, say ‘outside’ and dash outside. The puppy may circle some more, but will often squat immediately. As it begins, say ‘Go potty’ (or some other unique word) in the clear, firm (but not angry) voice. Wait until it is finished and praise the puppy lavishly.

You will not usually be able to catch the puppy about to begin, but do not become mad or impatient when the puppy eliminates in the house. It will take time for your puppy to learn to tell you it’s time to ‘go outside’. It also will take time for the muscles necessary to control bladder and bowels to mature.

Young puppies need to eliminate every 2-3 hours, on average. In case you haven’t noticed pre-elimination behavior within that time, take the dog outside anyway. Issue the command ‘Go potty’ and wait. At first, normally, the puppy will have no clue what you wish.

Again, even when outside, it helps to wait and view for the wanted behavior then say the command. That helps the puppy relate the command with the behavior. If the puppy hasn’t eliminated soon after several minutes and several ‘Go potty’ commands, take it back inside for an hour. Obviously, if you detect the pre-elimination conduct in less time, go outside once more right away.

Puppies have a surprising capability to rapidly understand what their ‘alpha’ (the leader of the pack) wishes. This really is virtually usually accomplished by associating a verbal command with behavior, followed by praise. Punishment is usually counter-productive, and nowhere more so than in waste elimination instruction. Never rub a dog’s nose in waste.

Paper and/or crate training is preferred by some. A pup can be trained to go on a newspaper, or on one of the chemically treated pads designed for that purpose. Some small breeds that live all day inside the house might not require to go outside at all.

The approach has a couple of downsides however. Unlike cats, puppies will rarely go in the perfumed litter box. Newspapers (even with all the top layer removed right after the puppy goes) will eventually develop an unpleasant smell in the house.

Also, long before the odor becomes unpleasant to people, puppies can smell their own distinctive scent. They don’t find it unattractive – quite the opposite. And that’s the trouble.

Puppies which are paper trained will generally choose to eliminate indoors. Occasionally they’ll miss the paper by only an inch, creating a mess to clean up.

Once the odor is in the rug, the dog will generally seek that spot out as its appropriate ‘place to go’. This makes training the dog to eliminate outside even more challenging. Best to suffer a few accidents than to create a hard-to-overcome habit.

Patience, praise and consistency are the keys to any dog instruction. House training may be the first test for you and your puppy.

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