One of the biggest challenges to owning a new puppy is potty training. Be prepared for your puppy to need to go to the bathroom often during the day and night. During the day we take Charlie out about every two hours. Then, when it gets closer to bedtime- about nine o’clock or so- we take away his water dish for the night, so that way he will have less pee to hold at night. We also keep him in his crate at night, which is in our kitchen. For the first few nights, your puppy is going to cry a lot until they settle down to sleep. This is because they are in a new environment and they are away from their siblings and mother. Charlie usually calms down after a while, but then will start crying again around 2 or 3, which is a sign that he needs to go to the bathroom again. Usually we can get through the night and only have to take him out once or twice. Don’t worry! After a couple of weeks your puppy will be able to hold it longer and longer, so it won’t always be necessary to get up at all hours of the night.

There are two different ways that people like to train their puppies. Some like to use puppy pads, which provide them with a spot to go in the house, while others prefer to take them outdoors to do their business. What is important, is that whichever method you choose, stick to that method. If you keep switching back and forth between the two, then it will be really confusing for your puppy, and they will have more accidents. If you prefer to take your puppy outside to use the bathroom, make sure you keep taking them to the same spot. They will begin to pick up the scents from the last time they were there and they will associate that spot with the bathroom. With the puppy pads, again make sure that they are in the same spot in the house at all times. Each time your puppy goes in the spot they are supposed to go, make sure to reward them with treats, pats, and plenty of verbal praises. They will pick it up much more quickly with positive reinforcement.

Keep in mind, your puppy is very young. They will need some time to learn where to not go to the bathroom, so don’t get too frustrated, and don’t expect them to pick it up immediately. It is a good idea to keep your puppy where it is easy to clean up messes. We keep Charlie in the kitchen where the floor is tiled throughout most of the day. Whenever we want to take him out to play in another room of the house we always make sure that he goes to the bathroom outside first. Accidents will happen! Don’t worry too much about them, just keep working and rewarding your puppy when they get it right, and this phase will pass before you even know it!

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