Being away from his mother and siblings won’t be easy for your 8 week old puppy. The new environment, all of the new sights and smells that go along with it doesn’t make it any easier. Make your puppy’s transition easier by spending a lot of time together. The more time you spend with your pup at a young age the stronger your lifelong bond will be.
The first few months of puppyhood are a physical and emotional rollercoaster for your labradoodle. Puppies can sleep up to 18 hours a day, but don’t be surprised if your puppy is zipping around the house, and bouncing off walls one minute, then dead asleep the next. This is totally normal, and as your puppy gets used to the new surroundings sleeping patterns will start to normalize.
Household accidents are inevitable, but potty training doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. House training success is fastest achieved when you are really good in controlling your puppy’s environment and supervising them well.
Step 1: Continue Crating Your Puppy
The good news is, your puppy has been introduced to the crate here at CML as early as 4 weeks old so the transition will be a lot easier for you. For more information about the benefits of crating please read the blog, Crate: A Bonus not a Penalty.
Step 2: Keep a Schedule
Feed your puppy in a consistent schedule using high quality food. Remember to add in potty breaks immediately after eating, drinking, playing and waking from a nap.
Step 3: Designate a Potty Spot
Always bring your puppy to the same spot. Your puppy learns by doing, so the more opportunities he has to go in the same spot; the more likely your pup is to build a strong preference for that area. You can also train your puppy to go potty by saying a key phrase as soon as the puppy positions himself to eliminate. You can say “get busy” or “potty” then give a treat or high praise as soon as he is done with his business.
Step 4: Praise and Don’t Punish
While potty training can be frustrating especially if it’s not going well, punishing a puppy for having accidents in the house will more than likely make the situation worse. Remember that puppies learn by associations.
Step 5: Prevent Accidents
The best offense is a good defense. Supervision and management is crucial in the early days. Limit access to preferred surfaces and locations. Close bedroom or bathroom doors. Utilize a crate, play pen or baby gate to contain your puppy in a smaller area in the house.
Step 6: Quick Cleanup
Clean up soiled areas thoroughly. Be sure to use an enzymatic cleaner.
Step 7: Be Patient
Housetraining is a process and it takes a while. Most puppies aren’t fully housetrained until well past the 6 month mark. Your puppy will pick it up more and more each day, so stay positive and keep up the good work!
Common House Training Mistakes:
- Unrealistic expectations: House training can take up to six months. Try not to compare your puppy to your previous dog that was potty trained right away, or the neighbor’s puppy who seemed to have been trained earlier than your puppy. Each puppy is different; just make sure you stay consistent.
- Punishing your dog for having accidents: If you catch your puppy having accidents in the house, then that mistake is on you, not them. Just clean it up and do a better job in supervising your puppy and controlling their environment.
- Not controlling the environment: When you are unable to give your puppy your full attention, make sure they have a safe puppy proof area they can hang out in where you can tolerate any accidents while you are potty training. Bottom line, you must control access to the house a hundred percent of the time.
- Expecting your puppy to tell you that he has to go: As you get to know your puppy, you will be able to anticipate when he is asking to go outside. For now, it’s really unreasonable to put that responsibility on him. It’s your responsibility to let you puppy outside. Ideally, the first weeks, you should let your puppy out every 1.5-2 hours. Most of our puppies will sleep through the night if you follow the schedule we started.
- Unnecessarily using puppy pads: Puppy pads and paper training can be a mistake not unless you are in a unique situation where you can’t always let your puppy out. Our puppies were taught to potty outside.