Potty Training Your Labrador Retriever – The How To: Guide To Potty Train Your Labrador Retriever
Puppies are cute and cuddly, but they require a lot of attention. Unless you want your house to turn into a stinky, poopy mess, one of the first steps, when bringing your new puppy home, is to begin potty training. Often, people become frustrated when their pet eliminates in the house, but they have not taken the time or used the proper techniques to train their puppy properly. It goes without saying that your pet will need a consistent eating schedule and plenty of opportunities to eliminate in a designated area, to be successful. Puppies are like babies. They are not fully developed and do not have the same control over their bladders. They will make mistakes, and there will be accidents. But, with positive encouragement, and perhaps a few yummy treats, your puppy will be potty trained in no time.
You Have Questions, and We Have Answers
We will cover the basics on how to get your puppy to relieve his bladder where you want him to. Potty training will take patience from you if you are up for the challenge. Remember, that cute ball of fur is not trying to frustrate you when he does not make it outside in time. He is still learning. Continue to praise him every step of the way, even when he has urinated on the carpet for the third time that day. Take a deep breath and follow these tips.
You are Essential to Your Puppy’s Potty Training Success
You are the pack leader to your puppy. His success rests in how you train him. It is your job to reward him for good behavior and discourage bad behavior. For example, if you do want your dog jumping on people when they come to the door, you teach the dog to sit and wait to be greeted. It is the same concept. If you do not want your puppy to pee in the house, teach him to pee outside or on a puppy pad. Your puppy’s potty training will only be as good as the work you put into it.
Consider Your Puppy’s Age
By sixth months of age, your puppy should be well on his way to being potty trained. However, before that time keep in mind that he is still learning to control his elimination. A good rule of thumb to follow is your puppy can hold his bladder for approximately one hour for each month he is. So, if he is three months old, he can control his bladder for three hours. If you do not give him the opportunity every few hours to pee or poop, you are asking for an accident here and there. If you see your puppy sniffing around an area, chances are he needs to use the bathroom. Quickly get him outside and eagerly praise him if he does his business. If you have given your puppy plenty of chances and he still is having accidents in the home, speak with your vet to make sure there is not a medical issue going on.
Other Signs Your Puppy Has to Use the Bathroom
Keep a close watch while your puppy is wondering around the house. If you see any of these signs, he may need to pee or poop and should be taken outside:
- Loud barking by a door
- Scratching at you or the door
- Circling or sniffing a particular area
- Appears restless and seems to want to squat
Limit Your Pups Water Before Bedtime
Reduce your puppy’s need to pee during the night by taking away his water bowl around two and a half hours before you turn in. He should be able to hold himself during the night for almost seven hours if he has had plenty of opportunities to use the bathroom. But, keep the noise and praise to a minimum in the event he does happen to wake up and need to go outside. Too much excitement and he will think it is time to play. You both will have a hard time getting back to sleep.
Feed your Puppy a Balanced Diet
Puppy’s digestive systems are still maturing. They need high-quality food, preferably fed two or three times a day, rather than one large meal. A poor diet or overeating can create loose or runny stools. This makes it difficult for your puppy to control his bowels. They are more certain to have accidents, making potty training more frustrating for both of you.
More Tips to Be Successful
Puppies tend to eliminate at certain times of the day. For instance, take your puppy outside, as soon as he wakes up first thing in the morning and after eating a meal. If he has had a large drink of water, he may also need to go soon after.
Take him out to the same spot each time he eliminates so that he associates that area as his bathroom. When he is outside, encourage him with words like “go pee” or “do your business.” After he eliminates, give him plenty of positive words, so he knows you are pleased with him. Show him your excitement by stroking his head and repeating, “Good, go pee outside.” You may use the same sentence if you replace “pee” with “poop.”
He will soon understand that you are happy with him when he uses the bathroom outdoors. Keep track of when your puppy tends to pee and poop throughout the day and make sure to allow for those times of elimination. The more consistent you are with his routine, and your praise, the faster your puppy will catch on to what is expected of him.
Potty training your puppy might take some time, but it can be a fun and rewarding experience for both of you. You will love having a clean home. Your puppy will love all of the praise and treats he is getting for his good behavior.
Good Luck With Your Potty Training and Please write back to us and let us know how it goes.
Photo by: Warren Photographic