How To Get 3 Year Old Boy To Potty Train The Basics of House Training Your Puppy

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The Basics of House Training Your Puppy

House training is one of the simplest yet most difficult problems people can overcome when raising a new puppy. It takes an investment of time at first, but the rewards are huge.

To start house training your puppy, you will need:

  • Crate. Big enough to stand up and turn around, but not so big that he could eliminate himself in the corner and nap just fine in the other corner.
  • Leash. To take him out to the potty.
  • Treats. For the cough you will need a very high value treat such as a Natural Balance dog food roll, cheese or hot dog pieces.

Dogs love schedules and routines and they are essential in house training your puppy. Do not free feed your puppy. While it might be convenient to refill his bowl whenever it’s empty, it doesn’t make his elimination schedule predictable and therefore you can’t consistently reward him for proper potty habits. Decide what time you want to feed your puppy. For example 7a and 7p, so he eats every 12 hours.

He will have to go to the potty every time he wakes up, drinks or eats. Plus, at first, more frequent intervals so you can praise him for a job well done.

The general rules are that if he goes potty on the spot when you tell him to, he’s earned a treat and supervised freedom. If he doesn’t, then he is locked in a crate for a short time and then taken outside for another chance to leave. Here’s a basic plan to get you started:

  • When you wake up in the morning, put the leash on your puppy (have treats on you) and run to the potty spot. Running shakes up his bladder and makes him more likely to go potty. When you reach the spot you designated as the potty spot, say, “Fido, Go Potty.” This is one of the first commands they will learn.
  • Stay in that spot for up to three minutes. If he goes potty, reward him right after he finishes (not during) with “Good boy” and a treat. Then go back to the house. If he doesn’t go potty, he goes to his crate for 15 minutes and repeats the process until he goes.
  • Even if you have a yard and think you don’t care where he eliminates, keep him on a leash with you. You will know exactly when he goes potty and you can reward him to let him know that this is exactly what you want. And think, do you really want him to go anywhere in the yard? Wouldn’t it be more effective to teach him to go to one specific place than to have landmines all over the yard?
  • After his first potty, it’s time to feed him. I recommend hand feeding for the first few weeks. He will learn that you control the food, that he is encouraged to eat because you will give it directly to him and that you will not be protective of the food bowl. If he does not eat all the food within 15 minutes, remove the food. Again, you control the food and he will learn that he has to eat right away or wait until the next meal.
  • Five minutes after he’s done eating, he’s ready for another potty break. With the water bowl by the door, lead him there on a leash. Let him drink and then take him to the potty again. Run to the spot, give the command, “Fido, Go Potty.” and wait up to three minutes. Dogs have a higher metabolism than us and can process food much faster. He should be pooping at this point, so be sure to wait three minutes for him to poop.
  • If he goes potty, he earns 30 minutes of supervised freedom. If he does not go potty, he returns to the crate for 15 minutes and the procedure is repeated. Supervised freedom means he cannot be alone in the room. You wouldn’t leave a child alone in a room. Just like a toddler, your puppy can get into things it shouldn’t and accidents can happen (that you might not find for days).
  • Then do your morning ritual and be sure to give your puppy another chance to go potty right before you head out for the day.

If you can’t supervise your puppy, then put him in his crate until you can. If you want to watch a movie at night without being interrupted by constant potty breaks, you can have him in his crate to build up the strength in his bladder to hold it for more than 30 minutes. If he sleeps in his crate when it’s potty time, let him sleep; just keep an eye on him to see when he wakes up. He’ll have to get out soon.

A general rule of thumb for the maximum number of hours a crate can be: take the number of months it has and add one. For example, you have a two-month-old puppy, you can expect to be able to keep it in its crate for three hours. Once you start your home training schedule, you’ll be able to stick to it longer and longer.

Keep 30 minutes of freedom for two days. Then increase the time by 15 minutes every two days. If he has an accident, turn back time by five minutes. He may have been asked to hold it longer than he is capable of at that point in the process.

During the night there is a high probability that he will have to go out. If he whines to come out, take him out, but pay attention to the timing. The next night, set your alarm 30 minutes before that time. You want to be able to dictate the schedule, not him. Just like during the day, every few days extend your nighttime potty break by 15 minutes.

Puppies develop differently. So don’t be discouraged if a friend’s puppy can hold it longer than yours. The real test will be when your puppy reaches adolescence (around five to six months). Many puppies who were fantastic in the early stages will hit the teenage months and suddenly act like they don’t remember the potty.

Prevention creates good habits. If he does make a mistake, roll up a newspaper, hit yourself on the head with it and say, “Bad man!” You’ve just pushed him too far and need to be more careful with your home training schedule. Punishing him for soiling the house teaches your dog to eliminate in a more secret place.

It sounds like it’s a lot of work to adopt a puppy. And it is! But the rewards are endless. A month’s investment in proper potty training will bring years (or even a decade or two) of relief.

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