September is swiftly approaching meaning it’s nearly time for your puppy to go back to school. After a long summer of lounging by the pool and chasing bumble bees, we are sure your puppy may be slightly unrulier than you had hoped. Over the next few weeks, we will be walking you through a few essential tips and tricks to get your puppy back into shape!

First lesson, probably the most critical, potty training…

The ideal time to begin training your puppy is between 12 and 16 weeks old. At this age your dog will have enough bladder and bowel control to make conscious decisions about when and where they go! However, Dr McGowan, PhD, a behaviour scientist at Purina, believes ‘it’s never too late to potty train’, so don’t be perturbed if your dog is older.

Consistency, attentiveness and patience are the key to success. A stable routine ensures potty breaks are predictable and ensure your puppy doesn’t get confused. Your dog’s age typically corresponds to the number of hours of control. The rule of thumb seems to be a 3-month old puppy typically won’t be able to contain itself for more than three hours.

Sensible times to take your pup to the loo include:

  • After meals or drinking. Regular meal times helps make this more predictable for your puppy.
  • As soon as your dog wakes up in the morning or after a nap.
  • Right before bed-time.
  • After playtime or exercise.

It is also important to return to the same spot each time you take your puppy out for a wee, again enforcing the idea of routine. Stay with your pup as they go, praising them and rewarding them with a treat if they succeed. It’s all about positive reinforcement!

A few sign your pup needs to go:

  • Uncharacteristic whining or barking.
  • Sniffing floor while circling the room or crate.
  • Scratching at the door.
  • Squatting.

Expect your puppy to have accidents! They will not be potty trained overnight. Ensure if your pup does have an accident in the house you clean it thoroughly to discourage them from going in the same spot on another occasion.

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