The joy of getting a new puppy is one that we should all experience. How could you NOT love those squishable rolls and puppy breath?! But, puppies really are like babies. They need CONSTANT attention and unfortunately, the downfall with a puppy instead of a baby is that you can’t put a diaper on it (well you could, but you may get more than a few odd looks from others).
Potty training a puppy is something we all dread, and to make matters worse, living in the city means that most people don’t have an accessible yard.
How are you going to do it?! You have to get over the obstacles of having to know when your dog needs to go, race them down the elevator, through the lobby and outside, hopefully to find a minuscule patch of grass.
The trick is TIMING IS EVERYTHING. In the beginning, you can start out by training on pee pads, or splurge on a lovely piece of “fake grass” for your balcony. This trick often works for small dogs as we can all imagine, their “business” is just as small as they are and easy to clean.
If you’re a large dog lover though, this isn’t the most practical method. When they are little it is acceptable to pee pad train IN CONJUNCTION with training to go outside. But as they grow, you won’t want those giant messes in your building.
Start tracking your puppies habits. Get a journal and write down when they usually eat, drink, play and need to go out (or have accidents). This will give you a decent timeline of when you should try and take them out.
Most puppies need to go to the bathroom shortly after eating, drinking, and sleeping so those are good times to take them down to the streets. Some dogs will need training to go on concrete, and others grass if you have it nearby. Take them to your ideal spot and give command words such as “Go pee!” or “Do your business!”. When they do go, give LOTS of praise and training treats to reward the positive behaviour.
Try and catch them before they start whining when they are indoors. Usually, by the time you pack them up and try and get them out, it’s too late. As your puppy gets older you can start spacing out the time between walks as their bladders will become stronger. An adult dog though will still need a walk to go to the bathroom at least 3-4 times a day. Plenty of exercise for the both of you!
Bullwrinkles Tenderchips or Liver Lovers are a great option to use as training treats. They are easily broken into small pieces which is great for having to give multiple treats throughout the day. They also smell AMAZING (to dogs of course).
As a tip, don’t end your walk right after your pup has done their business. If you do this, they may start to hold their bladders and bowels to get more walk time in. Tricky!