Let’s get this clear: Never punish your puppy if the poop in the house. This also applies when your dog is already potty trained. All dogs are different, and some will get potty trained faster than others. It is your responsibility to guide your puppy in the right direction, but never ever punish them.
Punishing a puppy can be risky and can cause fear. When a dog is fearful, it can be a significant cause of shyness and aggression.
If you want to discipline your puppy and don’t know what to do, you can seek help from someone experienced when it comes to potty training a dog. They can teach you about your method and timing.
You can also use positive reinforcement to encourage your puppy to do what’s right, instead of focusing on the wrong they have done. Positive reinforcement works really well, and it will cause no pressure to your pup too.
Letting Your Puppy Know That Pooping in the House is Wrong
When you want to let your puppy know that pooping in the house is not right, it is all about the timing. You can say a firm “no!” when you catch your puppy in the act of pooping in the house. Be careful not to yell. Remember that dogs learn by the moment. If you discipline them a second too late, they would think that you are disciplining them for something else, and not the act of pooping in the house, which will make them more confused.
Examples of Crudely Applied Punishments and Their Consequences
Rubbing your dog’s nose in their excrements
This is a total no-no. Using this foul technique is applied too long after the behavior. The dog will not be able to associate the punishment with the training accident. It can only make your dog scared of you. Your dog might also learn that they need to hide from you whenever they poop.
Yanking the leash when your dog is pulling
Jerking the leash can be damaging to the spine and neck of your dog.
Kneeing at your dog when they jump up
This will give your dog the impression that humans are unpleasant. If your dog enjoys being rough, they may be encouraged to jump more aggressively.
Potty Training a Puppy Isn’t as Hard as You Think
Having a solid plan that you can follow will make potty training for your puppy much easier. The most essential thing you have to remember when potty training your pup is to be consistent at all times. When you are inconsistent, it can be confusing for your puppy. It will leave them guessing what it is that you really want them to do or not.
The Arrival of the New Puppy
When your new puppy arrives at home, you can take them out right away. The excitement and stress of a new environment will trigger your pup to pee or poop. Take this as an opportunity to show them where they should do their business.
You can expect your new puppy to sniff around the house, so you have to keep them on a leash first. Maybe you are asking why. It’s because when the puppy discovers a nice spot in a basement or a secluded room, they will do their business there. That area will be marked. If the pup is on a leash, you can prevent that from happening.
We all know the saying, “Prevention is better than cure,” and it is true. It would be much better if you are able to prevent unwanted accidents. By doing this, potty training your pup would be easier. Once the puppy gets into the habit of doing their business inside the house, the behavior will be harder to break.
Crate Training Your Puppy
It would be ideal if you start crate training your puppy right away. You don’t have to wait for days to let them settle in. Get an appropriately sized crate and place it in the central room of your house. Your puppy can stay there for up to eight hours a day.
If you have no idea of what the right crate size is for your pup, the rule of thumb is that your puppy must be able to lie down, stand up, and turn around inside the crate. A crate that is larger than the correct size will only encourage your puppy to poop or pee in one corner and make the other corner their bed.
You can crate your puppy when you are going out, at night, or any instance that you can’t have both your eyes on them. Some people see the crate as a punishment, but it’s not. If your puppy is properly crate trained, they will consider the crate as their “den.”
A crate is one of the best options for preventing training accidents from happening. Most puppies and dogs won’t soil the area where they sleep.
You can also cut off water intake at around 7 o’clock in the evening and make sure that your puppy’s last feeding is done by this time too. As a result, your puppy can hold their bladder easier until you let them out in the morning.
When the morning comes, and your puppy wakes up, the first thing you should do is take them outside to pee or poop. Use a leash when taking your puppy out to make sure that they actually did their business. This way, you can also train your puppy to go to their designated potty spot each time.
How to Teach Your Puppy to Go Outside
To remain consistent, you need to take your puppy out every hour or even more often if necessary. Don’t forget to take your pup out on a leash and lead them to the same old potty spot. You can also opt to train your dog to ring a bell whenever they need to go out.
- Get the type of bell that can be tapped easily.
- Place the bell on the floor near the door. You can also get a bell that can be hung from the doorknob.
- Ding the bell every time you take your puppy out. When you do this consistently, your puppy will associate the sound of the bell to going out of the house.
- You will notice that your pup will put their paw on the bell. When you see your puppy doing that, praise them, ding the bell yourself, and take them out.
- When your puppy finally dings the bell by themselves, praise them and take them out.
When you see your puppy pee or poop outside, praise them right away. Do not wait ‘til you are back inside the house before you praise them or give them a treat. It will be too late. They won’t understand that the reason you’re praising them and giving them treats is because of peeing or pooping outside. Your puppy might think that you are praising them because they came in the house or whatever it is that they are doing the moment you give them the treat or the praise.
Another tip is to set a timer as a reminder to take your puppy out.
What to Do When a Training Accident Occurs
When this happens, do not panic. If you catch your puppy in the act, you can say, “no!” “eh!” or clap your hands loudly to get their attention in the middle of doing their business, then you can rush them outside. Never scold your puppy. It will only make them scared to pee or poop in front of you.
If you didn’t catch your puppy on time, clean the mess. Take a sponge and wipe the pee or pick up the poop using a bag. You can then take your puppy outside, carrying the sponge or bag with you to the designated potty area. Wipe the sponge or bag on the grass and encourage your puppy to sniff it. Your puppy needs to smell their poop or pee on the grass to understand that it is the right area for doing their business.
Keep in mind that you need to clean the area of the “accident” thoroughly. Don’t use bleach because the smell of ammonia will only trigger your puppy to go to that spot again. You can use an enzyme-based cleaner.
Do Paper Training or Pee Pads Help?
Pee pads and paper training can actually cause a setback in potty training your puppy. By using these methods, your pup won’t learn to go outside, and the consistency in training is gone. If you want your puppy to do their business outside, it would be much better if you start training them to do so from the start.
Potty Training Tips
Stick to One Potty Spot
You have to decide where you want your puppy to do their business before you start potty training them. If you have a yard, you can pick a spot that is easy to get to from the front or back door. If you live in an apartment, find an easy-to-reach, natural ground that is not in the way of passersby or cars.
Once you’ve decided on the potty spot, make sure you take your puppy to the same spot every time they go outside to pee or poop. They can smell their territory, so you must be consistent.
Observe the Signs that Your Puppy Needs to Go
Dogs and humans don’t speak the same language, but your puppy is probably trying to tell you that they need to do their business. There are signs that you can watch out for. You can take your puppy to their designated potty area when you see them:
- Pacing in circles
- Smelling their rear
- Sniffing the floor
- Barking and scratching at the door
You need to be quick when bringing your puppy to their “bathroom.” You can keep the leash right at the door, so you can usher your pup outside quickly. The day will come when your puppy will learn where they need to go potty and they will return to it all on their own.
Meals Should be at the Same Time Each Day
Schedule your puppy’s meals and stick to it. A scheduled meal will teach your puppy when they can expect to have a meal throughout the day. It will also help make your puppy’s potty time predictable.
The Water Bowl
Some puppies are heavy water drinkers, and you can expect them to be frequent urinators as well. To avoid accidents, you can take your puppy out right after drinking.
Go Outside Often
You have to bring your puppy outside as often as you can. Take them out first thing in the morning, after feedings, and every time you notice any cue that they need to go potty. It is ideal to take puppies outside every hour. This is done to avoid accidents until you get the idea of how often your puppy does their business. Over time, you can prolong the time between going outside until you know for sure that your puppy will tell you when they need to go. Before you go to sleep, you can also bring your puppy outside. To encourage bowel movement, they should also be brought out within 30 minutes of each feeding.
Praise Your Puppy
Let your puppy know that they are doing a great job. Dogs thrive on positive reinforcement. You can give your puppy a treat, or you can say “good job” while you’re petting them.
Address Accidents Calmly
When your puppy peed or pooped inside the house, you have to be collected and calm when you address the situation. When you catch your puppy in the act, you can redirect them to their designated potty area immediately. You have to understand that accidents do happen, and they are a natural part of the potty-training process. Don’t punish your puppy because it will even make the situation worse.
You also have to thoroughly clean the area in your home where your puppy had the “accident.” If your puppy smells feces or urine inside your home, they will be confused and will think that it is okay to do their business there in the future.
Preparing your Puppy for Different Situations
There will be instances that may come up while your puppy is in the potty-training phase. You need to be prepared for them.
- Introducing your puppy to new places and new people
You got a new puppy, of course, you want to show him off to your family and friends. A puppy can be too excited to greet new people, and it can sometimes be too much for their bladder to handle. What you can do is take your puppy out first before you introduce them to anyone.
If you take your puppy to a friend’s house with dogs as well, your puppy might sniff around and attempt to mark their territory. Keep an eye on your pup, and you should take them outside frequently.
If you have to travel, you need to decide whether you are going to take your puppy with you or not, or you can also have someone watch them while you are away. If you take your puppy with you, you must take them out before leaving. Stop every hour or two so your puppy can do their business. You don’t want your car to smell like pee inside. On the other hand, if you decide to leave your puppy at home, make sure that you let the person watching them know that your puppy is in the middle of potty training. Provide a step-by-step instruction on how you have been working with your pup to keep the training consistent.
- When Bad Weather is Expected
At some point during your puppy’s potty training, you will experience bad weather, and you have to be prepared for it. When it is raining, you can put a big umbrella close to the door, so you and your pup will be dry when they do their business. You can also bring a towel to dry your puppy’s feet to avoid muddy paws prints inside the house.
When it is snowing, your puppy may be confused about what the white stuff is outside. Let them explore and play in the snow a little. However, you have to limit your pup’s exploring because they can get cold and make sure they do their business.
Moving to a new place can put additional stress on your puppy. Your puppy will want to explore the new house and may try to mark their territory. When you are already in your new place, you can take your puppy out immediately to your chosen potty area, just like you did before in your previous home. You have to take your puppy frequently to that spot. Reward and praise them so they can re-establish their association with good behavior.
It would also be best if you restrict your puppy in small areas first until they start to become familiar with their bathroom routine.
For me, punishing is not the way to go. Positive reinforcement does wonders when it comes to training dogs. They thrive at it and will continuously do good behavior. Punishments will only make them stressed and scared.