Potty TrainingRead Now
Potty training can seem like a never-ending process, it can be a very stressful time for puppy and owner. Your puppy has been litterbox trained, to make the transition to potty training as easy as possible. Access to a litterbox has taught them from a very young age that there is an appropriate place to eat, sleep and potty. Again, remember that every interaction you have with your puppy they are learning, good or bad. When taking your puppy out of the crate, they should be picked up and IMMEDIATELY carried outside and told to “Go Potty”. Do not talk to your puppy and try to not make eye contact until they are out in the yard. Exciting a puppy that is coming out of the crate is setting them up for failure. Timing meals and trips outside is pivotal to successful potty training. I recommend feeding two meals a day, spaced as close to 12 hours apart as possible. But before feeding and watering, take your puppy outside to potty. Do not leave water accessible to your puppy, but be sure to offer water at other times throughout the day, not just at feeding times. Only give food or water when you can give them ample potty time. Here is an example of a schedule that we would recommend around feeding time.
6:00 Take puppy outside to potty
6:15 Give puppy ample food and water in a quiet area where they will not be disturbed (preferably their crate in the beginning).
6:30 Remove food and water and take the puppy out to potty.
6:45 Take puppy out to potty’
7:00 Take puppy out to potty
7:30 Take puppy out to potty
8:00 Take puppy out to potty
Potty training can be frustrating at best, but stick to a schedule and it will come as their body matures. NEVER leave a puppy that is not fully potty trained unattended in the home. At times, to ensure potty training success, I have kept the puppies leash tied to my belt loop while cooking dinner or navigating throughout the house so I could be sure to catch them if they were to have an accident. This simple trick also does wonders to train the puppy to become responsive to your body language.
Continuing with litterbox training can come in handy even with adult dogs. We use washing machine pans and wood burning fuel pellets. We do not recommend the use of potty pads as this can lead to the dogs wanting to use rugs and carpet as potty pads. Puppies also tend to tear up potty pads, which can be harmful if ingested.
Accidents happen and they will be frustrating at times, but this too shall pass. Keeping a consistent schedule those first few weeks and giving your puppy ample time outside will ensure success.
Puppy ScheduleRead Now
Like most babies, puppies thrive with routine!
6:00 A.M. OUT TO POTTY
Pick them up out of the crate, do not talk to them or excite them until they are down where they are able to potty.
6:15 A.M. BREAKFAST
We never recommend measuring your puppies' food, unless weight becomes an issue as they age. Puppies go through different growth stages and will eat more or less as needed in each stage. We recommend a 2-4 cup food bowl to be filled and left with the puppy for 10-15 minutes to eat and drink what they want at that time. Feedings should take place in a quiet place, free from distractions. The crate may be the best place for feedings the first couple weeks.
6:30 A.M. OUT TO POTTY
We know mornings are super busy, but this is a great time to fit in a quick five minute training session. If you don’t have time for training, be sure to provide your puppy with plenty of toys and stimulation to start their day off right. This is also a great time to give your puppy their NuVet as a quick treat for successfully pottying or completing a command that you ask of them.
6:45 A.M. OUT TO POTTY
7:00 A.M. OUT TO POTTY
7:30 A.M. OUT TO POTTY
8:00 A.M. OUT TO POTTY
If you are not available to take your puppy out frequently around feeding times as listed, we highly recommend having a playpen set up in your home on a hard surface floor with a litter box. Make sure that your puppy has ample opportunity to go out and potty for two hours after eating or drinking. DO NOT SET YOUR PUPPY UP FOR FAILURE!. They are really trying, but do not have the physical ability to hold their bladder or bowels for prolonged periods of time until 16-18 weeks of age.
Morning is a great time to get out and about for an adventure! Your puppy is well rested, well fueled and ready to learn! Go out for a walk, take a trip to the store, get out the Puppy Socialization Guide and check off some boxes. But remember when they are young, a late morning nap time can be essential. We recommend putting your puppy in their crate for all of their naps.
12:00 P.M. LUNCH
As your puppy grows, having two feeding times per day is recommended. But while they are still small, under 12 weeks of age, we recommend offering them a small snack and water around lunch time. This small snack can be an additional meal time or it can be a time for training with a small handful of healthy treats as a reward. There are a lot of great balanced dog food options that can be chopped and given as a healthy reward. Most large pet suppliers and even Target have a refrigerated dog food section. Dog food rolls are a great healthy treat!
12:15 P.M. OUT TO POTTY
12:30 P.M. OUT TO POTTY
12:45 P.M. OUT TO POTTY
1:00 P.M. OUT TO POTTY
1:30 P.M. OUT TO POTTY
2:00 P.M. OUT TO POTTY
Mid afternoon, your puppy will be ready to settle in for a nice long nap! Make sure they have had ample opportunity to potty and then place them into their crate for a nice long nap. Nap time is essential for their rapidly growing mind and body, the crate is always the best space for a nap. Just remember if they are crying in the crate make them wait until they settle down to get out, do not reinforce bad behavior. A brief pause is all there needs to be when they are little.
After a good nap, your puppy will be refreshed, this is a great time for further training and more adventures. Sometimes adventures are simply riding in the car to pick kids up from school. Getting your puppy out into the world on a daily basis is wonderful socialization for them. Remember, whether it is social outings or active training, short and sweet can’t be beat!
6:00 P.M. DINNER
6:15 P.M. OUT TO POTTY
6:30 P.M. OUT TO POTTY
6:45 P.M. OUT TO POTTY
7:00 P.M. OUT TO POTTY
7:30 P.M. OUT TO POTTY
8:00 P.M. OUT TO POTTY
9:00 P.M. BEDTIME
We recommend making puppies bedtime the same as yours, it will ensure that you both get the best night's sleep possible. In our home, your puppy was used to bedtime being around 8 o’clock, same as our human children. Just make sure not to offer your puppy any food or water a minimum of 2 hours before bedtime. Also if you notice they are getting sleepy and crashing out on the living room floor, take them to their crate. Sometimes puppies want to take a nice long nap in the evening so they can be ready to party all night. Keep them active and stimulated in the hours following dinner so they are ready for bed. At times, puppies can be quite the handful, if you need a break, their crate is always a safe place and there is no guilt in taking their crate to a different area of the house for them to have their fit and make your night a bit more peaceful. Trust me we have all done it! Just remember each day they get a little older, they grow a little bigger, they learn a little more and it won’t be this way for long.
Puppy PrepRead Now
Common Language for Training
Words that your puppy is familiar with:
KENNEL UP: Go into the crate/kennel/playpen
GO POTTY: Go to the bathroom
COME: Come to person
SIT: Bottom on the floor
Next level commands for your puppy:
OFF: Take paws or body off of something
DOWN: Lay down on the floor
WHOA: Slow down
WAIT: Hold position until released
STAY: Remain in sit/down position until released
The use of common language for all members of your household is essential for your puppy to learn and advance. Command words should be simple and clear. Never use more than one command word for the same action. For instance, if one family member is training the puppy to “Down” (lay down) while another family member is commanding them “Down” (get off the couch) the puppy will easily become confused. If you have a large family, as we do, family meetings are often necessary to orient everyone to the command words that the puppy is currently learning.
We also train all of our dogs and highly recommend training to both voice and hand commands. Below are a few examples:
SIT: Owner points index finger straight up into the air
DOWN: Owner points index down to the ground
COME: Sweeping motion with open hand from owners side to chest
STAY: Open hand, fingers together
We recommend starting all puppies with both hand and voice command, as they grow you can use them interchangeably. Training to hand commands once saved my dogs life. You never know when your training will pay off more than you ever expected!
REMEMBER: Training should always be fun! Every interaction you have with your puppy, they are learning. Be cautious of what bad habits you may unintentionally be enforcing as well as being consistent with the good habits, like waiting to go through a doorway after you. Taking just five minutes once or twice a day to actively train with your new puppy will pay off in dividends later in life. As your puppy grows the training times can become longer, but we rarely work even our most seasoned dogs for more than 15 minutes in a session.
I am the owner of Prodigy Farms and only second to the love for my dogs, is my love for educating dog owners on canine care and behavior. I am the stay at home mom of three amazing boys that are active in the rearing of our puppies. With a background in nursing and years spent competing in the dog world, I have a few tips and tricks up my sleeve that I like to share with others here. So welcome to my blog, I hope that you are blessed by your visit and will find tools and information here that will enable you to raise and train a happy healthy dog to create a lifetime of joy with!