Part 3 of 3: Training Series - Potty Training a New Puppy

Potty training is a very simple task many owners struggle with. While it is a simple task on paper, being inconsistent can hinder this process. Consistency is the hardest part of training a new puppy or new dog to potty in an appropriate place. Timing is the other and more complicated factor that plays a role in potty training. Dogs only comprehend a reward or punishment for a certain behavior 1.5 seconds maximum after the behavior is performed.

What does this mean? If a dog goes potty on the carpet, an owner has 1.5 seconds to punish him for this behavior. If a dog goes potty outside where it is appropriate, an owner has 1.5 seconds to reward him for this behavior. For example, a dog urinates on the floor but the owner doesn’t see him do it and the owner yells “no” at the dog, the dog is then being punished for whatever he was doing at that time, even if it was something like walking towards his owner. If an owner gives a dog a treat every time he comes inside from the yard the dog isn’t being rewarded for going potty outside, the dog is being rewarded for coming inside. 

In order to be consistent and successfully potty train a puppy an owner must watch over the dog at all times. A kennel can be used any time the puppy cannot be watched with 100% attention, even if it is just to go get the mail or use the restroom. If the puppy has an alone moment and messes up, as in has a potty accident say on the nice rug; the owner is at fault, not the puppy. The next time the puppy needs to go potty he may simply remember how it seemed to be acceptable to go on the nice rug and go to it again. To prevent this and stay consistent the puppy should be watched or in his kennel at all times.

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