My 9 Week Old Puppy is Potty Trained
It is true! He hasn’t had an “accident” in over a week. Do you want to know how I did it?
Let me explain!
First of all let me say that I got my puppy at 6 weeks and I must be adamant about discouraging anyone else from thinking of getting a puppy that young! Don’t do it! For more on that mistake read this article.
But to be truthful, that is the reason that he is potty trained at 9 weeks otherwise it would probably be 11 or so before we were on the right track. But 11 weeks is nothing to scoff at!
How Often Do Puppies Need to Potty?
Puppies are potty machines!
What goes in is contingent to what comes out!
When I first got my puppy, I was feeding him about 5 times per day because he was so little and he was extremely possessive and food aggressive so the more he ate, the less angry he was.
But feeding a dog this often, or giving them access to food all of the time means they need to go out more often.
When Puppies Need to Pee
- First thing in the morning when they wake up
- In the middle of the night, depending on age every 2-4 hours (at 6 weeks it was every 2 hours….I was like the walking dead, which is just one more reason not to get a pup so young!)
- After naps
- After exercise or playing
- After drinking water
- After eating
- Last thing before bed
Does that sound like basically constantly? Good! Then I must have covered everything!
When Puppies Need to Poop
- First thing in the morning
- Last thing at night
- Right after eating (this is why a specific schedule and not leaving food out helps).
Is that overwhelming?
Good, it should be!
Potty training is no easy matter, and honestly it is not about the puppy, it is about making sure you get your puppy outside often enough and control his environment.
Why is My Puppy So Successful?
He is potty trained because I am extremely watchful of him and his behavior.
He is either in his crate for short periods of time, or he is on a tie down or a leash with me.
He DOES NOT have access to my house and for the brief moments that he has gotten that privilege he has usually snuck off to have an “accident”.
By keeping him in a small area he has become uncomfortable to “potty” in his space, so he has started to whine and pull toward the door when he has to go potty.
I must also monitor his actions, if he has a lot to drink, chances are he is going to need to go potty right afterward.
If he runs around like a maniac chasing and flinging his toys he is probably going to have to go potty!
AND, I ALWAYS go outside with him to make sure he is going potty. It doesn’t matter if we are having torrential rain or if it is 50 below zero, I have to go out with him! And, don’t give up and let him potty inside or you will be back to square one with your potty training!
Too many owners put their puppies outside and “expect” them to go potty, but instead the puppy sees a butterfly or a leaf and chases and plays and then comes back into the house and needs to go potty!
Or, he starts to go potty but gets distracted by a noise or something that visually floats past and so he stops mid flow to explore. As an owner you must be present in order to recognize that he probably wasn’t finished with what he was doing and so he might need more coaxing to finish.
If I put my puppy outside alone and didn’t follow him around, and then if I allowed him access to my house would he have accidents? Sure he would! The reason he is doing well is because I am diligent in my mommy duties and I hate cleaning up puppy pee and poop.
Is my puppy running over and ringing the bell with his nose yet? No! That is the next step!
You wouldn’t bring a baby home from the hospital and expect not to have any accidents. And, parents with toddlers know that kids also have good days and bad days, how then do we expect our animals to be perfect?
Puppies are like babies, they gain bladder control at different times and some are easier to potty train than others.
You have to go from one step, cleaning up the occasional accident and getting your puppy outside (i.e. cleaning diapers every few hours) to teaching your pup the next step.
It is now time to hook the bells up to my door knob and start the bell ringing behavior so he can let me know when he needs to go outside.
But he is still little, so chances are he will be on a leash and a tie down here in the house with me for many more weeks! And, there is nothing wrong with that!
Eventually when he is no longer having accidents, wanting to chase my cats, biting the other dogs in the face, and chewing on everything I will give him the privilege of having access to the house.
But at my house, access and freedom is a privilege that needs to be earned and obedience and compliance is the key.
I don’t let my puppies develop terrible naughty behaviors because I know that fixing bad behavior is harder than simply avoiding them! More potty training tips, click here.