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How to potty train your puppy

Getting a puppy is a great adventure for a family. Potty training a puppy is also a great adventure, but maybe not as fun as playing with your new pet. But, potty training a new puppy is an essential first step for training a well-behaved dog. The American Kennel Club reports that animals using the bathroom in the house ranks as the top reason dogs are placed in shelters. 
Key tips: 
It takes time: According to Pets Web MD, properly training your dog can take four to six months. So you'll need a heap of patience. 
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Start Early:  The best time to start house training your puppy is between 12 and 16 weeks old. It gets harder the longer you wait. If you bring a puppy home after they are 12 weeks old, you may need to address other behavioral issues with house training. 
Keep them in a designated area: Create a small space your animal can eat, sleep and play while training. This limits accidents to a certain area of your home. As he becomes more accustomed to using the bathroom outside, you can offer more roaming space in the house. 
Stick to a schedule: To simplify the process, keep your pup on a strict eating schedule and remove their food dish when eating time is over. 
Take them outside regularly: Pups need to go out first thing in the morning, after meals, after naps and right before bed time. While training, try to take them outside at least once an hour. Make sure you stay with them outside when they go to the bathroom until they are trained. 
Offer rewards: Reinforce good behavior by taking your pup for a walk or buying them a new toy to play with. 
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Potty Training Methods
Crate training: While most people think that crate training is cruel, most dogs actually enjoy the den-style, living, according to the AKC. A crate can help them feel more secure. Choose a crate that allows your pup enough roof to stand up, lie down and turn around comfortably, but not over-sized. Dogs don't like lying in their waste, so they'll let you know when they need to go. 
Paper or pee-pad training: This method requires you to confine your puppy to a pad-lined space. The entire space should be lined with training pads. Change soiled pads frequently. Every few days remove one of two pads (so you have a small exposed space). Over time your dog will only use the bathroom on the padded area. This works well for dogs in urban dwellings where outside spaces may not be readily available, according to Positively. The downside is trying to train a dog to go to the bathroom only in certain areas indoors while encouraging them to use the bathroom doors outside. 
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Common mistakes and problems
These formulas for training may sound overly simplistic, and it's true that some dogs will still continue to have problems going to the bathroom indoors. Common problems include:
Marking their territory: A large puddle in the middle of the kitchen likely means the pup had to go and couldn't get outside. When your dog aims at your couch or table, they're probably marking their territory. This could be a way to show dominance or expressing separation anxiety. If you have new pets or a new baby, you may need to spoil your pooch a bit so they become comfortable with the new visitor. Neutering a pet helps as does catching them in the act and giving them consequences immediately. 
Poor consequences: One problem with puppy training comes from the owner's end. Rubbing your pet's face in urine does little to help break the habit because their memories are pretty lousy. Instead of getting angry, some recommend startling your dog. About Doggies, however, says even startling your dog could result in your puppy merely being afraid to potty in your presence. Simply clean up the mess and focus on the training and forget about the punishment.
Not training long enough: A few days of success does not a victory make. Consistently train your puppy until they are at least 5 months old and treat relapses as quickly as possible. Start the training routine again as needed. 
Not frequent enough opportunities: Puppies have small bladders, and no matter what method you use, if they aren't given frequent enough opportunities to potty where they should go, they will go where they should not. 
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Potty training a puppy can be frustrating, but with a little patience and a willingness to put in a bit of extra effort so you and your puppy can have a happy relationship free from messes. Consult your veterinarian if your pup is having repeated accidents to rule out any medical issues. 
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