Potty Training Your Happy Hound

December 4th, 2019

Trainer Tips: Potty Training Your Happy Hound

Whether you have a young pup, an old pup, or a rescue pup, potty training is the first and most essential step to having a happy and healthy life with your pup. Here are some of our top guidelines to properly potty train your happy hound.

1) Keep your eyes on your pup.

You should be keeping a watchful eye on your pup while potty training them. Tethering them on leash can be a great way to keep your pup in eyesight and prevent them from sneaking off to potty. Also, watch for any signs that your pup may need to potty such as pacing, barking/scratching at the door, sniffing the floor, or squatting. If you see any of these signs, immediately bring them outside.

2) Create an Elimination Station.

Establish a spot for your pup to potty such as a puppy pad (for puppies that can’t go outside) or a patch of grass outside the house. Take them to that spot for every potty time. Give them time to sniff around and get comfortable. When your pup goes potty in the right spot, give them tons of praise and affection. If they attempt to potty in an inappropriate zone, startle them with a clap or a shout and then quickly move them to an appropriate area to finish pottying. Clean any soiled areas thoroughly.

3) Keep a schedule.

Establish a consistent feeding and potty schedule. Adjust the schedule as needed but generally take your pup out 5 to 30 minutes after eating. You should try to take your pup out every 30 minutes to 2 hours while potty training to ensure that they get adequate chances to potty in the appropriate areas. Most puppies should be able to sleep through the night without a potty break by 4 months of age, but if you’re in doubt, take them outside. Puppies under six months shouldn’t stay in a crate for more than 3-4 hours at a time, their bladders are too small and will need more frequent potty breaks than older pups.

4) What to do when you can’t watch them?

You can get your pup acclimated to a crate or you can create a limited space area utilizing an x-pen, a bathroom, or a sunroom to keep your pup in one spot while you’re away. Crates should be large enough that your pup can comfortably stand up, lay down, and turn around. Make sure the crate is not so big that they can potty on one end and curl up on the other. Limited spaces should be easily cleanable, dog proofed, and closed off. Utilizing a crate or limited space can help make potty training easier. Neither crates nor limited space areas should be used as a disciplinary tool but instead should be associated with positive experiences. You can create positive experiences by providing meals in the crate/limited space and having them rest in them overnight.

Remember, potty training takes time.  Patience, commitment, and consistency are vital to proper potty training. Try not to get frustrated with your pup, as accidents happen. Potty training can take weeks to months to perfect so don’t get impatient. If you stick to your routine and stay consistent, you will be able to achieve your goal of house training.