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My Crate/Potty Training tips

My Crate/Potty Training tips :

The first few weeks may be stressful for you and your puppy... but many years of a well housetrained dog will be the priceless reward!

Young puppies 8-12 weeks can not hold it very long, they have to go potty every couple hours, until a puppy is old enough to start being crated, I recommend having a small safe area where you can keep them with papers or a potty pad to go potty on, a bed/crate and their food and water. You can use a excersise pen, or a gate across a doorway confining them to a bathroom or kitchen ect...(you want to be sure the area is not to small, so they become used to being to near their potty place, yet not so large they have to many choices of areas for going potty!) You can use a crate as a bed for now, just leave the door off. Only if you are able to watch your puppy every second, you can leave them be out of their area, BUT you must be watching for them to show signs of having to go potty. A very young puppy, between 8-10 weeks will have to go potty quite often, they go as soon as they wake up from a nap, when they get excited, soon after they eat, and after a round of hard playing, you can expect a young puppy to have to go potty at least every two hours or more!. Decide on a word or phrase to use to teach your puppy what you expect, I use the phrase "Hurry Potty Outside". Take them to their potty area as soon as they wake up (in the morning... AND after naps) and soon after they eat, and keep an eye on them in between, watching for behaviors like sniffing around searching for a place to go, if you see this get them to the appropriate spot fast!. (You will quickly learn, what his pre-potty signals are!) In no time your puppy will catch on to where he is supposed to go. Remember, the less accidents that occur, the faster training will be.

DO NOT expect a puppy to go outside by itself during house training.!! The whole idea is to teach the puppy he went outside to go potty! This will only happen by being there to praise him as soon as he goes potty!!

expect a puppy to go outside by itself during house training.!! The whole idea is to teach the puppy he went outside to go potty! This will only happen by being there to praise him as soon as he goes potty!!

Accidents will happen occasionally inside! (Please remember this is a baby!) Clean them up compeletly, with a product made for this purpose, to prevent puppy from getting in the habit of using that same area again. If a puppy gets accoustomed to going on the floor, it will take much longer to housetrain him!! I have found that if a puppy has an accident on the floor, if I take them to it and show them and let them know I am displeased (scold them, but never rub their nose in it or hit them!!) then pick up the mess (if it peed soak it up with paper towel) and take it where you wanted your puppy to go...paper or outside area, and show them again, this time praising them by saying Good potty outside, (use a high pitched happy tone!) it really helps them catch on faster to the whole potty training process.


Some new puppy owners seem to think crates are cruel, an experienced dog owner will be able to tell you the many, many benafits of using a crate! You will be preventing much mayhem and grief if you crate train your pup! If you prevent your puppy from having potty accidents and chewing things by crating him, he will recieve much less discipline and scolding!!

A crate should be large enough to hold the puppy once it has become full grown, BUT should be divided so the puppy can not potty in one end and sleep in the other! (You may want to invest in two crates, a smaller one for puppyhood and a larger for adult size.) It should be the enclosed type rather than an open wire one, as the young pup needs the security of the cave/den like atmosphere. Wire crates are ok once a puppy is older. You can use a crate as your puppies bed by leaving the door off as soon as you bring him home, this helps him through the process of training once he is old enough to hold it over night and you start the actual crate training process.

Puppies that I keep myself are introduced to staying/sleeping in a closed crate at about 12-14 weeks of age. I use the terms "Kennel up" or "Crate" The usual method is to give the puppy the command and a special treat or chew toy as its goes into the crate, soon puppy will have figured out that going into the crate is very a desirable act. You will want to accoustom your puppy to his crate before you start closing the door, once he is comfortable going in it, gradually close the door for longer and longer periods. Do not give in and let him out if he cries! (this is why I recomend using his crate as his bed from the begining, you can get him accoustemed to closing the crate for a few minutes at a time from the time he is brought home.) Puppies/dogs do not want to soil their den/sleeping area, so this helps tremendously with housebreaking. I do not use any bedding or blankets at first! If a puppy figures he can pee on one end and be dry on the other this can lead to problems crate training! Only after he is fully crate trained should a blanket or bedding be used.

The puppy should have went potty right before being put in the crate. When the puppy is taken out, (no more then three hours later.. until at least 14 weeks old ) the puppy should be immediately taken outside to eliminate first and then exercise. Use the decided upon word or phrase to let the puppy know what you expect. (I use the phrase "Potty, Potty, outside") If the puppy does not go potty right away, take them back inside and put them in the crate again, (do not let them run around and play if they did not go potty!) in about 5-10 minutes take them back outside, eventually the puppy will go potty, be sure to load on the praise! You want your puppy to learn that it went outside to go potty ...not just to play. If a puppy decides it went outside to play, they will get into the habit of playing and forget to go potty until you give up and bring them inside, leading to accidents on the floors! After the puppy goes potty, it is ok to let them run around and play, this will actually become a reward for going potty first!

In the evening before bedtime take up the water (at least 2 hours before bed). The puppy should be taken outside to potty and exercise, and then be put to bed with the appropriate treat. (the puppy will not need a drink of water then because you will have had water available during the day). Sometimes a young puppy will wake up and have to go potty at night.(they will usually cry and carry on.) You will have to get up and take puppy out and then return puppy to the crate, you do not want them to get accoustomed to pottying in their crate! Once a puppy reaches 14 weeks of age, they can usually hold it overnight.

Once your puppy is about 16-20 weeks old and he is crate trained, you can leave him/her for eight hours and expect a clean crate, even if the odd mistake does occur, at least it will not be on the carpet. A crate trained puppy also will avoid alot of puppy mishaps, and getting into trouble, chewing things ect...Once your pup is totaly 100% housebroken, you may chose to leave your pup have free run of the house.

Even if you decide to let your totaly, trustworthy, housebroke pet have the run of the house while you are away, leave the crate open so that it has a place to go during stressful events or hectic times. Keep the crate training current, for those times when you are traveling, or your dog may have to go stay at the vets or a groomers ect...

Remember that a set routine followed diligantly will work the best for the house breaking of your new baby!

All family members must be sure to use the same routine and words during this teaching proccess!!

same routine and words during this teaching proccess!!

These same guidlines will work for paper/potty pad training too!

Please remember each puppy/dog is an individual....not all train as easily or as fast as others you may have had or a friends dog. Set up a scheduale and routine that works best for your pup and stick to it, eventually they will become housetrained.


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Kim Gostomski
Loyal, Wi. 54446
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