Bringing home a new puppy is one of the most exciting moments in anyone's life. If you've ever had the pleasure of presenting children with a new pet, then you know exactly what I'm talking about. The look of sheer joy and love on their faces when they see that wriggling, squirming bundle of energy is priceless, and will be imprinted in your memory forever. But you'll soon have to address more practical matters as well -- with finding out how to potty train a dog being tops on that list.
There are many different ways to potty train a dog, so the particular method you choose should be one that suits both your lifestyle and the type of home you live in. For example, people that have a huge fenced-in backyard at their disposal will go about this task in a much different way than someone who lives on the 20th floor of a high-rise apartment building. Similarly a person who works from home all day will potty train a dog differently from someone who is stuck in an office from 9 to 5. And those whose kids are old enough to help take care of the new puppy will go about training their pet a bit differently than those with toddlers that are far too young to do anything.
Once you evaluate your situation, you can proceed with the actual training. Obviously, this needs to be done as soon as possible, so don't mull over things for too long! Most experts agree that in order to successfully potty train a dog, the first step should be to establish an area where you want the animal to relieve itself. This can be the backyard, it can be a five-block span if you plan to take the puppy for long walks, or it can be an area in the garage or basement where you've spread newspapers for the purposes.
Puppies usually need to relieve themselves frequently, so begin by bringing your pet to the designated area once every two hours. If he takes care of business in the right place, praise him. If nothing happens, bring him back to the general family area and try again in a little while. Being able to potty train a dog properly hinges on teaching the animal the right and wrong places to go, so pay extra attention to this step.
Next, you'll have to begin establishing a routine that you adhere to every single day. Habit is a major factor when you potty train a dog, and will help the animal learn that much more quickly. As I said earlier, puppies need to go out numerous times during the day, but as they get older, you can reduce the walks to once in the morning after waking up, once during the day, and once again before retiring for the night.
Now all that's left to do is reinforce the puppy's behavior (either positively or negatively) depending on how well he responds to training. It's not easy to potty train a dog, but with patience and perseverance, you can get it done!