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Tuesday Training Byte: Potty Time

Like many pet owners, I have a busy schedule and work. For my dogs that may be confined for a period before I can get home to let them out, I may not be setting them up for success. First, I crate train all puppies. Whenever I cannot fully supervise them, they are crated when in the house. I feed all dogs twice a day on schedule. They are fed early enough in the morning that they have ample time to relieve themselves before being confined. Likewise, they are fed early enough in the evening (5pm for my pups) to reduce chance of having to go out in the middle of the night to go potty. One of the many benefits of regulating feeding time is it helps them be more regular as to when they have to go. When I take the pup out of its crate, we go straight to the place in the yard I want them to go and say "Go potty". I make it clear this is not play time, but business time. Puppies can get distracted though, so walk a few steps and get the pups attention and say again, "Go potty". If success, lavish praise is in order and a treat. Then back to indoors for some play time. If no success, then back to the crate for a few minutes. In time, you will be able to open the door, send the dog out and say "Go potty" and the dog will immediately go to the spot and on command! This comes in so handy and will save you time and frustration in the future. Just keep in mind that pups can only hold it for a max of 2 hours when they are 2 months old or so. Time increases gradually as they mature, so do not confine them for longer periods too soon. This may require you to be creative to set up an appropriate potty station indoors or in an enclosed porch. Happy Training!

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