8 Week Old Puppy Potty Training Schedule
Starting on the Right Foot — Potty Training an 8-Week-Old Puppy
Isn’t it too early to start potty training an 8-week-old puppy? No, the very first thing you should do when you bring your new puppy home is to begin potty training him.
Don’t worry; in this article, I’ll share with you how avoiding three critical and common blunders and employing a simple trick helped me successfully begin potty training my 8-week-old puppy.
In reality, most people are unaware that teaching your pup where to go to the bathroom is one of the most straightforward issues to resolve with your new best friend. It’s true that potty training a puppy, or an adult dog for that matter, takes time, effort, and consistency, but if you avoid these three potty training blunders, teaching your puppy becomes a LOT easier.
But first, you must realize WHY so many people fail at potty training in the first place, and in order to do so, let’s start with your puppy’s anatomy.
Puppies: How Often Do They Need to Potty?
Rottweiler Puppies with Potty Machines!
Puppies are potty-training masters!
What you put in determines what you get out!
I was feeding my puppy about five times per day when I first got him because he was so small and he was extremely possessive and food-aggressive, so the more he ate, the less he was angry.
However, feeding a dog this frequently or providing them with food all of the time means they will need to go out more frequently.
When Puppies Have to Go Potty
- When they first get out of bed in the morning,
- Depending on age, every 2-4 hours in the middle of the night.
- Following naps
- Following a workout or a game,
- Following a glass of water,
- Following a meal
- One last thing before going to bed.
Does that imply that you’re doing it all the time? Good! Then I must have covered all the bases!
When Puppies Have to Go Potty
- Every morning, the first thing
- The last thing in the night
- Immediately following a meal (this is why a specific schedule and not leaving food out helps).
Is that a clear enough picture of the required level of commitment?
It should be good!
Potty training isn’t easy, and it’s really not about the puppy; it’s about making sure you take your puppy outside frequently enough and maintaining control over his surroundings.
The First Potty Training Mistake: Ruining the Den Instinct
Let me tell you a little secret… The quickest way to potty train a puppy is to take advantage of its “Genetically Hard-wired Instincts” to keep it from soiling its den.
So now you know what I mean when I say “Den.”
A puppy’s mother teaches it from the moment it is born that the DEN is where it eats and sleeps.
And one of the first rules Mama Dog instills in her pups is that they must not pee or poo in the family den.
So long as you didn’t get your puppy from a puppy mill or an untrustworthy breeder, the puppy you bring home will be preprogrammed with the following belief:
Poop where I eat and sleep is a bad idea.
Anywhere Else is a Good Place to Use the Potty.
This is where the very first misunderstanding arises.
Because you and your dog have different ideas about what constitutes inside and outside.
Inside “His Den” vs. Outside, as defined by your dog
Untrained dogs often have a TINY version of “Their Den,” which can be as small as a few spots in your home, such as their bed or a couch. Each dog is a little different, and some dogs, such as larger working dog breeds, are generally easier to potty train than dogs with a little more vigor, such as the Shih Tzu (think: dynamite comes in small packages). The principle, however, remains the same.
Your dog perceives his nesting spot, where he does not pee, as a much smaller area than you do.
Because most of us humans think of the world OUTSIDE our “Den” in the following way:
Outside “Your Den” vs. Inside “Your Den”
Are you beginning to see why you and your dog can’t agree on where he should go potty?
Can you see how your dog thinks he’s going where he’s supposed to go when he soaks the carpet right next to his bed?
Because, from his point of view, he DID have to leave his nest to pee.
So your dog BELIEVES he’s been good…
And you’re debating whether or not to take that little ball of fur home with you!
So, how do you teach your dog the difference between what you consider “your den” (your entire home) and what he considers it (that spot next to his bed)?
Fortunately, there’s a tried-and-true method for convincing your dog that certain rooms in your house are like NESTS. When you do this correctly, your dog’s instinct is to not pee or poo in those areas.
What if you live in a big city or somewhere else where you don’t have easy access to an area?
Do puppy pads actually work?
To see if using puppy pads to potty train your puppy is right for you, read this article:
Potty Training in the House
Punishing his accidents is Potty Training Mistake # 2.
When your pup has an accident, you have two choices:
- You have the authority to punish his mishaps.
- Or, as I’ll explain in a moment, you can use the third tip.
Unfortunately, the majority of people choose punishment or, in the worst-case scenario, take them to a shelter. Don’t panic if you catch your pup going potty in the house! Simply say “no” or “ehh!” and scoop your puppy out and out the door. If you have a tantrum and startle your puppy, he will associate you with something negative, such as not having an accident or going potty in the house.
From your dog’s perspective, he needs to go potty (right? ), so he doesn’t understand why you’re upset about something that is completely natural for him to do. You are not potty training him if you yell at him to avoid going potty “in front of you.”
This is why so many dogs sneak out of the room to urinate or defecate, not because they are embarrassed or because they are aware that doing so is inappropriate… It’s because they’ve been taught not to use the restroom in front of you (which makes the process even more difficult!).
Pet problems are the most common reason for owners to rehome their pets, according to the ASPCA’s National Rehoming Survey, accounting for 47 percent of rehomed dogs. Housebreaking issues, aggressive behaviors, they growing larger than expected, or health problems the owner couldn’t handle were the most common complaints (80%). Almost all of these problems can be easily resolved with the right training.
So, if you’re tempted to punish your pup, here’s what you’ll get.
Your dog is sitting there.
He’s just gone to the bathroom and urinated all over your carpet. He didn’t do it on his bed, though, so he considers himself a good boy.
Then you walk.
You see the puddle, and you read somewhere on the internet that it’s a good idea to “rough him up” or scold him for peeing in the house.
You’ve heard, “They can take it.”
“That’s how wild dogs communicate,” they claim.
However, because your dog believes he has left his “nest” to pee and doesn’t realize he didn’t go outdoors, punishment isn’t going to work.
In fact, using that rolled-up newspaper will make the problem worse.
Because the next time your dog has to go, he’ll simply do a better job of HIDING his pee from you!
As a result, soiled, stinky carpet splotches will now appear in far-flung corners of your home rather than just in your main living room.
According to an AKC article, “Scolding a puppy for soiling your rug, especially after the fact, isn’t going to do anything except make her think you’re a nut.” Similarly, some old punishment methods, such as rubbing a dog’s nose in her poop, are so bizarre that it’s difficult to imagine how they came to be or if they ever worked for anyone. Praise a puppy for doing the right thing. On the other hand, praise works best for everything you will do together in your life. Every time she does this simple, natural act, it makes her think she’s a little canine Einstein. Cheer, clap, and throw cookies to show your appreciation. Let her know that no other achievement has ever been as significant as this one—not going to the moon, splitting the atom, or inventing coffee. ”
This method completely eliminates “bad” or “problem” behavior because you are giving information to your puppy by teaching him what you want and rewarding good behavior and success. According to B.F. Skinner, positive reinforcement outperforms punishment in changing or maintaining behavior. This is, without a doubt, the most effective way to start training your new puppy!
Positive reinforcement training has many benefits for all parts of puppy training, but it is especially helpful for potty training. This is because you want to avoid accidents by teaching your puppy where to go potty.
Positive reinforcement also helps your puppy form a strong bond of trust. Even the most outgoing puppies can be scared and nervous when they first enter their new homes. Being away from their mother, former home, and littermates can be frightening, even though this is an exciting time. Now is the time to start forming a loving and trusting relationship with your new puppy.
Because it provides information on what an owner wants and expects, positive reinforcement training has also been shown to be a faster form of learning!
Instead of punishing my puppies, here’s a trick that helped me figure out how to potty train them quickly.
It’s a simple trick that almost everyone overlooks, but it makes all the difference.
Because it teaches your dog to warn you before he needs to go, it eliminates 90% of your dog’s accidents within a week of him learning this behavior.
Avoiding the Crate is Potty Training Mistake #3.
Crates are extremely important. There aren’t enough “O’s” on the page to express how critical I believe crates are to the safety of dogs and their owners, as well as their belongings. Puppies learn to hold their urine and feces in crates.
If you have a small dog, consider getting a small crate so that he learns that having an accident in close proximity is inconvenient. If you have a large breed puppy, you can get a large crate and section it off so that he has a smaller space to play in as a puppy; this will aid in potty training. Unless it was raised that way, nothing wants to sit in its own urine and feces.
Crates protect your belongings!
Don’t want your puppy stealing dangerous food, going into the trash, or peeing in the toilet while you’re gone?
Train him in a crate!
Don’t want your Michael Kors purse or computer eaten by your puppy?
Train him in a crate!
Another common reason for dogs ending up in shelters is that they eat drywall, sofas, and other expensive items. Your dog enjoys shredding your belongings because he is a different species and entertains himself in inconvenient ways. Crates keep everything safe and everyone in a good mood.
It also, ironically, relieves some of your dog’s stress. Fearful and phobic dogs, especially puppies, can develop from guarding the house and worrying about every noise. I used to pet sit in a mansion and was always apprehensive. I’m more confident in a smaller space, and your dog is the same way.
Will your puppy cry or whine? He will, of course! However, just because a baby cries in his crib does not imply that we spend every waking moment with him. Is it difficult for you to hear them cry?
But if you let them, they will work through it.
If you take them out every time they cry or throw a fit, your puppy will learn to throw bigger, hairier fits in the future. Instead, train a puppy to get out of his crate when he is quiet, and he will learn that being let out of his crate is a reward for being quiet. Even if it’s only for a fraction of a second, I only let my puppies out of their crates when they are quiet.
When I scoop up my puppy’s sleepy body and slide him into his crate, I like to make sure he’s exhausted. I want my puppy to be so exhausted that he doesn’t care where he sleeps. In addition, and this is a big one, I crate them when I’m at home. If you crate your dog every time you go to bed or leave, he will begin to associate the crate with long periods of time and your time.
Why not get him used to spending 10 minutes in his crate so he doesn’t freak out?
Mistake #4 in Potty Training: Ignoring The ‘I-Gotta-Go’ Bell
If you’ve ever raised children, you know that there comes a time in a parent’s life when everything comes together.
You go from having your child wet themselves for the first year or two of their life to them finally giving you a heads up while out in public.
When they say, “Mommy, I have to go potty,” you’re at a shopping mall or something.
And what is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear those words?
Isn’t it true that you’ve just entered the FINAL COUNTDOWN?
And you know you only have a few minutes to get to the bathroom before you make an inconvenient, if not embarrassing, mess.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could train your dog to respond to the command “I Gotta Go”? So he could give you a heads-up before letting loose?
It would, of course.
Remember, dogs are similar to children in terms of how much time you have before they ask to go outside and when the dam breaks.
So, if you don’t train your dog how to tell you when he needs to go potty, you’re only making your potty training efforts more difficult than they need to be.
When your puppy needs to go to the bathroom, remember to hurry! Take the leash outside and lead it to its bathroom area. If you don’t have enough time and are in an enclosed backyard, you could even let your puppy out without a leash. However, when your puppy needs to go to the bathroom, the leash comes in handy.
And the “I Gotta Go Bell” is a cinch to master.
I simply hung a small Christmas jingle bell on the door handle that led outside to teach this to my 8-week-old puppy. Then I taught him to only ring it when he needed to go potty.
The following are some of the reasons why this bell is magic:
- To train him to go outside, I no longer had to “Catch My Dog in the Act.” Now he informs me!
- My dog could now communicate his desire to go outside. He could also call me from across the house without barking.
- My little dog didn’t have to run all over the house looking for me to tell me he had to go and have an accident on the stairs or something when his bladder was 15 seconds away from bursting. This is because he knew that if he dialed it, I’d be on my way to assist him with his business.
My NOT-So-Secret Potty-Training Success Strategies
Prepare the house for housebreaking. “Being prepared” doesn’t mean covering your floors in newspaper and rolling up rugs when it comes to housebreaking. Instead, concentrate on ensuring that your dog is at ease in her new surroundings. Making a protected, safe environment for your dog with a crate, playpen, and/or baby gate is critical because an unfamiliar place can be frightening and overwhelming. An enclosed area provides a safe area for the puppy to hang out and feel at ease, as well as a place where you can rely on them when you can’t keep an eye on them.
What’s the secret to potty training a puppy with ease? Consistency! I can’t emphasize this enough. When it comes to training your dog, consistency is key. Having a schedule and keeping track of everything — not in your head, but on paper, computer, or even your phone — is extremely beneficial.
When it comes to teaching your dog this new behavior, there are no short cuts, and organization will be key. You should keep track of how often you go for walks, how long they last, and even if you have any accidents, as this will help you spot a pattern. And, yes, there is an app for that as well!
Keeping a routine has become your new best friend. Feeding your pup at the same time every day will help them stick to their walk routine. (Keep in mind that they may eat two to three times per day.) I recommend taking a walk shortly after waking up from a nap and 10–30 minutes after eating, drinking, or engaging in any other strenuous activity. Keep a sharp eye out! What goes in must come out, so keep an eye on your food and water intake.
Anyone who knows my training philosophy or has read my writing knows how I feel about pee pads.
NO, no, no, no, don’t do it, and NO!
I understand that this is a contentious topic, and I’ve heard from several of you who say that using pee pads and transitioning your pup to the outside has never been a problem. We used to call this method of “house training” “paper training” because people used newspapers to provide an appropriate place for the puppy to potty.
This type of training was actually more effective before the invention of pee pads! Why? because the majority of people do not leave newspapers strewn about their homes. Consider this: unless you’re a hoarder, you probably don’t have a ton of newspaper strewn about your home. As a result, once the newspapers are gone, the puppy is more likely to become accustomed to going outside.
Newspapers are not the same as pee pads.
Pee pads are plush and soft. Pee pads have the same texture as your carpet, clothes, and towels. As a result, when the pee pads are no longer available, the puppy begins to use soft objects found on the floor or on the walls of your home. And, let’s face it, our homes’ floors are littered with soft items!
This is the method I used to potty train my 8-week-old puppies. Because I kept a close eye on them and their behavior, they were potty trained. They were either in their crates or on a leash with me for short periods of time. They did not have access to my house, and when they did, they usually snuck away to have an “accident.”
Because it will be uncomfortable for your puppy to “potty” in such a small space, he will begin to whine and pull toward the door when he needs to go potty. You must also keep an eye on his actions; if he drinks a lot, he will most likely need to go potty soon afterwards.
He’ll probably have to go potty if he runs around like a maniac chasing and flinging his toys!
And I always accompany him outside to ensure that he is using the restroom. It doesn’t matter if it’s pouring outside or if it’s minus 50 degrees outside; I have to go out with him! And don’t give up and let him potty inside, or you’ll be right back where you started with potty training!
Too many owners leave their puppies outside and “expect” them to go potty, but instead the puppy chases and plays with a butterfly or a leaf, then returns home and needs to go potty!
Alternatively, he may begin to go potty but become distracted by a noise or something that visually floats by, causing him to interrupt his flow to investigate. As the owner, you must be present to recognize that he was probably not finished with what he was doing and that he may have required additional coaxing to complete it.
Would my puppy have accidents if I left him outside alone, didn’t follow him around, and then gave him access to my house? He certainly would! I am good at being a mom, and I hate cleaning up after my puppy, so he is doing well.
Is my puppy yet to run over and ring the bell with his nose? No!That is the next step!
Never yell at your puppy because it will set him back and scare him.
You wouldn’t expect to bring a baby home from the hospital without any accidents. And, as parents of toddlers know, children have good and bad days; how can we expect our pets to be perfect?
Puppies, like babies, gain bladder control at different times, and some potty train more easily than others.
You must progress from one step, such as cleaning up the occasional accident and bringing your puppy outside (i.e. changing diapers every few hours), to teaching your puppy the next step.
It’s now time to attach the bells to my doorknob and start the bell-ringing behavior so he can notify me when he needs to go outside.
But he’s still a puppy, so he’ll probably be on a leash and tied in the house with me for a few more weeks! And there’s nothing inherently wrong with that!
When he stops having accidents, chasing my cats, biting the other dogs in the face, and chewing on everything, I’ll grant him access to the house.
On the other hand, access and freedom, on the other hand, are a privilege that must be earned at my house, and obedience and compliance are essential.
I don’t let my puppies get into bad habits because I know it’s harder to get rid of bad habits than to keep them from happening in the first place.
That’s all there is to it.
By concentrating on
- Potty Training in One Room At A Time
2. Causing my dog’s instincts to treat those rooms as if they were its DEN
3. Failure to punish him for his mishaps
4. Giving my dog an “I Gotta Go Bell” to warn me when it’s time to go.
.. Within days, I was able to start potty training my 8-week-old puppy to not pee in his first room.
If he were left alone at home, he’d be able to hold it for a couple of hours. (At only 8 weeks old, his bladder wasn’t quite mature enough to hold it for longer.)
“On average, a puppy’s bladder control improves by one hour per month of age.” If your puppy is two months old, they should be able to hold it for two hours. They can’t go any longer between bathroom breaks than this or they’ll have an accident. ” (You can learn more about it here.)
You can potty train any dog, whether it’s an 8-week-old puppy like mine or an older dog who has never been potty trained, much faster than you ever imagined possible, and your dog will love and trust you forever if you avoid the above three pitfalls and teach your dog how to warn you with a bell before he needs to go. Dog ownership can be both exciting and rewarding, and it doesn’t have to be a test of your sanity.