Scheduling is important for a variety of reasons. While canines are decedents of wolves, they want to be trained, just like children need rules. Both of these creatures thrive with the direction given to them and the ability to remove decision making. YOU are the one that is making the decision for them. YOU are the one that can show them when they can go out.
However, this has to be done by creating a schedule for them to follow. The schedule is what is going to keep them on track and going when they need to go and where they need to go. This is the key to overall success for everyone that is trying to train their dogs to go to the bathroom outside of the home.
Always make sure that you are making the right schedule for your dog and for you. You may not be there all day because of work and so on, so it is important that the schedule you choose is one you can stick too, not just your dog.
Here are some general guidelines to follow when creating a schedule for potty training your dog and then making sure that you both stick with it.
- Think about your work/school schedule when making the schedule
- Consider the dog’s feeding schedule. If you know the dog needs to go out 3 hours after eating for example then plan for it.
- Learn how fast digestion in your dog works
- Give plenty of water, but the more you give the more they need to go potty. It’s okay to even put your dog on a water schedule if you are on a strict schedule because of work or something like that.
- Consider the size of the dog – smaller dogs need to go outside more than larger dogs due to the size of their bladders
Bringing your puppy out once every 1-2 hours while potty training is recommended. You want to give them time to adjust to this schedule so starting the process during a time when you are going to be home all day for a couple of days is ideal.
Once you are done with that schedule and they get the hang of going to the bathroom outside, especially when you are giving them treats during the training process, slowly scale back on the times.
You can ideally move it to 2-3 hours, and then to 4-5. However, keep in mind, the size of the dog is going to matter. Smaller dogs tend to need to go out more frequently than larger dogs.
It is always ideal to let your dog outside at least 2 hours after they eat, or they may have an accident in the house because they have digested their food and need to go to the bathroom to relieve themselves.
Once they are on the regular 2-3 or 3-5 hour schedule that works, they will get used to it. They will know that this is when they have to use the bathroom because they will not be let out again until the next scheduled time to go.
** For those that have to go to work or school throughout the day, then it is important that the dog is left in a small area, with puppy pads, or in a crate so that either they can relieve themselves on the pads or they do not have a space for them to do so.
Crate training generally means that the dog is not going to go to the bathroom inside the crate while they are waiting. They will wait for the person to come home to let them out. If they are very young I recommend pads, or try to get someone to come over and let the puppy out to go to the bathroom in the middle of the day if you will not be home. Puppies cannot hold their bladders as long as older dogs.
Here is an example of a schedule…just an example. You should make your own using the ad vice in this article.
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