I have a 7-week-old Toy Poodle x Bichon, and we are trying to house train her. Can you give us any tips on potty training a young puppy with a developing bladder? We would also appreciate any advice on crate training and basic obedience. Thank you!
Understanding Your Puppy’s Developing Bladder
Firstly, it’s essential to remember that your puppy’s bladder is still developing, and it won’t be fully developed until around 6-7 months of age. Therefore, it’s perfectly normal for your puppy to struggle with holding her bladder at this stage. To work on potty training, try bringing your pup outside every 30 minutes. Additionally, take her out immediately after she eats or drinks, after playtime, naps, and training sessions. This frequent routine will support her understanding of when to eliminate and keep her from feeling overwhelmed.
Embracing Crate Training
Crate training goes hand-in-hand with potty training, as the crate serves as a secure space where your puppy can rest and feel comfortable when you can’t keep an eye on her. To begin crate training, choose a crate that’s appropriate for your puppy’s size and gradually introduce her to it using positive reinforcement, like treats or toys. Once your puppy is comfortable with the crate, you can start using it for short periods of time and slowly increase the duration as she adapts.
Keep in mind that crates should never be used as a form of punishment, as this can create negative associations for your puppy. Instead, ensure that the crate remains a safe, cozy space for your pup to relax and enjoy. For a comprehensive guide on crate training, you can refer to our article, How Do I Crate Train My Puppy?
Building Basic Obedience Skills
In addition to potty training and crate training, developing basic obedience skills will help you establish a strong bond with your puppy and set the foundation for good behavior throughout her life. As you progress through potty training, incorporate basic obedience commands, such as “sit,” “stay,” and “come,” using treats or engaging in playtime as a reward. This will help you extend the time between bathroom breaks and teach your puppy that holding her bladder can be a fun and rewarding experience.
Start with short, focused training sessions and gradually increase the duration and complexity of commands as your puppy matures. Remember to always use positive reinforcement and stay consistent in your expectations and command delivery. For a more in-depth look at basic dog training, explore our article on Basic Dog Training.
By consistently working on potty training, crate training, and basic obedience, you will set your puppy up for success and forge a lasting, loving bond. Along the way, always remember to be patient and compassionate, as your little one is growing and learning every day.