Ok so this isn’t a picture of me as a puppy but I didn’t find my forever home until I was older therefore I don’t have any puppy pictures to share with you. Because this post is about puppies and potty training I thought a picture of a cute golden retriever puppy would be nice. Although I have to say I may have been a tad cuter 😉

There have been a lot of puppies passing by my gate here lately. From my corner I hear lots of ooh-ing and ahh-ing and tons of baby talk. I have also heard some of you humans say how frustrated you are because your new family member is using your home as their restroom. Well I am here to shed some light onto why man’s best friend isn’t understanding what you need him/her to do. I am also going to give you some tips to use with your puppy that helped me get the picture.

First of all, and most importantly, us dogs are BAFFLED as to why you humans don’t go pee in the middle of the floor. The way we see it, when you gotta go you gotta go. We find a place that smells good and take care of business. We don’t see that your house is any different than outside. It’s all the same to us. So please don’t get mad at us when we go on your shiny wood floors or your brand new carpet. We honestly just don’t see or understand the difference.

Okay so now that you know that…now what??

Well here’s a little secret. I love food. Most of my dog buddies do too. Nine times out of ten we will always want more. I mean seriously, have you had food??!? I was able to teach my mom, AKA Dr. Martin, to give me food just about every time I did something. Sometimes I would sit because I was tired of standing and BAM! She was giving me something yummy! I would sit again thinking, she is not dumb enough to give me another treat just because I wanted to sit, but then WHAM! Another treat! I was thinking, man this is too easy. Silly humans. Then I thought I would see what would get me food and what wouldn’t. I quickly learned peeing in the house was not a way to get a treat but peeing outside was. I still don’t see the difference between inside and outside except one thing, I get food. To me that’s a no brainer. Dr. Martin has no clue that I have this all figured out.

So I got to thinking…if most dogs are like me then I bet if you give them a treat right after they potty outside then they probably stop using your nice rug as a giant pee pad. Just like me they will do what gets them the food! So make sure you do it every time they pee or poop while they are still outside AND right after they go potty!! If you give them a treat after they are inside they will think they are getting rewarded for walking in the door, which is cool but that is a different story for another time. And by the way us dogs love having things repeated so give us a treat every time we potty. Also take us to the same area every time you take us out to go potty. This helps us remember that when we are outside we are supposed to be taking care of business. Oh and did I mention give us a treat after we take care of our business? Seriously, we love the food. Kinda getting’ hungry now…

Some of you may not know this but us dogs give signals when we have to go outside. I have learned to do some things that tell Dr. Martin that I need my treat, I mean need to go out. Sometimes I stare at her, pace, circle, or I sit at the door. Somehow Dr. Martin has figured out that this means I want to go outside. Sometimes I think she is as smart as me, although I’m the one getting all the treats! As a side note: not all dogs have the same signals so you have to watch closely to figure out your own dogs signals. Now the young ones are so busy playing, sleeping etc. that their signals are quick, so you really have to watch them closely. I recommend taking your puppy out after they eat, sleep, or play and keep them confined to a small area when inside. Think of it like their den. A place that is clean and safe for them to hang out. Once they are empty of poop and pee then you can give them a little more space to explore in your home. But not the whole house until they are older. The best way to do this is to keep them tethered to you with a leash. Don’t give them any more than five feet distance away from you. This way you can easily watch for their potty signals and get them outside. They need to keep their “den” area clean and dry for a few months before they can get more room. Puppies have an even harder time understanding why they can’t just go potty in the middle of the kitchen floor.

So to recap…

  • We love food. Always have treats to give us.
  • Take us to the same area. Remember we love having things repeated, it helps us learn!!
  • Once we have done our business give us a treat RIGHT AWAY while we are still outside!
  • Do all these things again and again and again and then again.
  • Watch for our signals that we are telling you we need to go out.
  • Puppy’s signals are faster. Let them out after they play, eat, and sleep.
  • Puppies should be confined to a small area in the house and given more freedom only when they are empty of pee and poop.
  • When empty you can let them explore your home a little more by having them tethered to you with a leash that way you can spot their signals.

And last but not least and probably most importantly…please remember that us dogs are just trying to figure out what you want us to do…we love our people a whole bunch and once we know what you want from us we will try our very best to do it and keep you happy!!!

Okay I’m off to get some food…

Until next time…