Potty Train Your Puppy in a Week (Easy 3 Step Process) #48

The number one challenge every new puppy owner 
wants to fix first is how do I get my puppy to   go to the bathroom in the appropriate spot. 
Now for some puppy owners, this mystery never   gets solved and there's a lot of adult dogs 
that are messing in the house as I speak.   Today, that's all going to change 
because I'm going to share with you my   three-part process that guarantees any dog of 
any breed of any age can become house trained. Hi, I'm Susan Garrett. Welcome to Shaped by 
Dog. And listen, if you have an adult dog   who already is house trained, don't turn away 
from this podcast because I want to share   some really unique dog training that I 
believe will be of interest to everybody   because it's a different slant on a long, 
long unanswered question for a lot of people. How do I help train my dog? It 
comes down to this acronym H-O-T.   I don't want you to get HOT if your 
puppy has a mistake in the house.   H-O-T: Habits, Observation and Timetable.

I'm going to share with you what I do if I   get an inadvertent accident in the house, but 
in the meantime, if you follow this three-part   process, I promise you literally within a week, 
you're going to have a pretty reliable puppy.   In short of a month, it should be rare that 
you ever have an accident in the house. So, let's start. H that is Habits. Now, 
behaviour is just a collection of habits,   my behaviour, your behaviour, and for sure our 
dog's behaviour. And success comes from creating   really good habits. I suggest you look at episode 
number 44: Using Coincidences and Positive   Associations. In that episode, I introduced my 
training chart progress. And there, I suggest   when we're teaching anything to our puppies or 
our dogs, you want to make the correct behaviour   incredibly obvious and the incorrect 
behaviour almost impossible.

So that might be, to make that correct behaviour 
absolutely guaranteed obvious your puppy would   just live outside all the time because they 
would always be correct anytime they went   to the bathroom. They'd always be going in 
the correct spot. Now that isn't reasonable.   So, what can we do? The next best thing 
is we can follow these five simple habits   that are going to help arrange those coincidences, 
so your puppy does learn to go in the right spot.

Habit number one is we have to control the 
environment for that puppy. And I use three   simple tools to do that. First of all, a crate. A 
crate, now for those of you who say, “Oh, I don't,   my puppy, I want my puppy to live free. I 
don't want him to be in behind barriers and   crates and stuff like that.” Well then, you're 
going to have to get used to the smell of urine   and the occasional stepping in poop around your 
house. And guess what, that stuff, it goes moldy   and it stinks up your entire house. And there's 
no need for it. Three simple environment changes.  Number one, a crate. A crate big enough 
that your puppy can be comfortable in it,   but not so big that he can learn to pee in 
one area and sleep in another. So just big   enough for him to comfortably sleep in there. He 
doesn't have to spend a lot of time in his crate.   Only when you can't be there to supervise him.
Number two, Ex-pen and I have an eight panel   Ex-pen.

I use various ones around 
my home. It's a simple little   lodging that you can take with you and create a 
little four foot by four foot area for your puppy   to just have their own little home, but have a 
little more freedom than a crate would give them. And number three would be barriers like 
baby gates, things that would block off   rooms or doorways in your house. So that let's 
say you're chillaxing in your living room and   you want to hang with your puppy, you can 
block off the entryway to the kitchen and so,   there's just the small area in your den or 
your living room where the puppy can be. So, a crate, an Ex-pen, and a baby gate. And I 
will give you some links to some of my favourites   in the show notes. I strongly recommend you dig 
into episode number 6: The Art of Manipulation,   where I talk about how you get success in 
training when you manipulate the environment   that helps to create what 
is obvious for the puppy.

So, we've got the puppy in a small area. 
Habit number two is, make home-base   close to the area you want your puppy to 
potty in. Now, when I'm saying “potty”,   some parts of the world they're thinking 
I'm saying “party”. Now it's “potty”   and that's a, just a slang for going pee 
or poop, in an appropriate area. All right. So, make your home-base meaning 
the Ex-pen or the crate is going   to be pretty close to the door. 
So, if the puppy's in an Ex-pen   and you see that they have to go potty, you 
can quickly get them outdoors. Now the only   exception to that is my puppies do sleep in my 
bedroom on a raised surface, right near my bed. And in episode number 26, I talk about how 
to get a puppy to sleep through the night.   And that is a big part of it.

Other than that, 
the home-base starts for the first week or so,   very, very close to the door. So, we have 
habit number one, make sure you control the   environment. Habit number two make sure that 
you create home-base near an outside door. Habit number three, outside privacy. 
That is when you have your puppy   home or the dog that you're retraining, every 
hour for the first week, you're going to say,   “Let’s go outside!” You're going to clip on the 
leash and you're going to go outside to the area,   the same area every time where you 
want that dog to do their business. Now I say outside privacy, that means you get 
out there and you zip it. You don't interact   with that puppy. If they jump on you and try to 
bite your pant leg, you're going to ignore them,   zero interaction. Let them do 
their business. Now, I like to say   I want a pee in three. I'll give them 
three minutes out there to do something. Most puppies are going to 
pee within three minutes.   They'll go to the bathroom, you can quietly 
praise them, “good puppy”, and then let them do   some more sniffing and go about their business. 
You might get a number two or for some puppies   they're a double pee-er.

My dog Feature was 
a double pee-er. She still is to this day. Don't just say, “Oh, I've got to pee. I'm 
rushing them back inside.” That's when   some puppies will have a little pee outside 
and then go have a bigger one in the house.   Don't rush them. Make sure to give 
them 30 seconds or a minute at least   after their last episode outside before you 
say, “All right, we're going to go inside.” You want to establish when we go outside, it is 
for you to do your business. So that's why you're   going to give them privacy. You're not going 
to be chatting and talking to them.

You're not   going to have them pee and then throw a Frisbee 
or a ball or something for them. It's just, we're   going outside, we're going to do our business. 
Now, if you wanted to go for a walk after,   you could then move away from that 
special area where you want them to potty   and then you can start chatting to them.

they potty and they've done their business,   like I said, quietly praise them, 
take them back in the house. If after three minutes, nothing happens, take them 
back in the house, but put them in a crate. You   want to make sure that you're controlling access 
to their environment. When they come out of their   crate, when you're going to take them out of 
the crate next time, take them back outside. You   want to have them go to the bathroom. So, puppies, 
young puppies may have to go to the bathroom,   depending if they're really small every hour or 
every couple of hours, depending on their age,   that eventually will grow out 
to three hours or four hours. But I would at first take them outside every hour. 
Now, if they have an accident in between, you   might up that up to every 30 minutes, right? So, 
habit number three outside it's quiet time, it's   privacy, same spot, do your business, get back 

Pee in three or we’re out. Habit number   four, and you are going to thank me for this one 
at some point in your dog's life. Every time you   take that puppy outside, they are pottying on 
a leash. It doesn't matter if you have a fenced   in backyard. It doesn't matter if you trust your 
dog, just do this for the first, say month or two. And if your puppy has never had a leash 
on before, just drag it for the first   couple episodes until they get used to having 
that leash on, right? They potty on a leash,   then you praise them and then they're back inside.   All right. So that is habit number four.
We're going to habit number five. That is   bedding check regularly at least twice a day. 
So, you're going to take the bedding out of your   puppies’ crate, whether it be a towel or a mat 
check to make sure you haven't had any accidents.

If there has been any accidents in the crate, 
I reduced the bedding. So, if I've had a big   fluffy bed in there, I'll go to a towel. If 
the puppy still has accidents on the towel,   they get no bedding in there for a little 
while. Because what happens the towel   absorbs the urine and they 
don't mind, “I'm still dry.” So, we want to make sure that you do 
bedding checks regularly. That is any   fluffy bed that's in their environment if you 
have one in their exercise and their Ex-pen   or in their crate, any mats that they may 
have any interaction with, do that bedding   check regularly. So those are really good 
habits that are going to help establish good   pottying exercise for your puppy that they know 
“I have to go outside. I go to the same area. I   do my business. I get praised and then I'm 
in a controlled area when I'm not outside.” The next part of the process, the O 
is Observation. And this isn't what   you might think. It's a two-part process. And 
listen, are you familiar with the game poker?   A good poker player can anticipate what another 
poker player is going to do.

pexels photo 6568478

They get tells;   it's called tells. The other player will have 
these little quirks, some physical quirks that   they have that give away what they're about 
to do. Your puppy, it has tells as well. I want you to start picking up what your puppies 
tells are, and you're going to do this outside.   So, you're going to take your puppy outside 
and start observing what does that puppy do   just before he pees or poops? Does he sniff 
a certain way? Does he always turn a circle   in the same direction? How does he hold 
his tail? When he's about to pee, does he   do something? Does he paddle his feet? Look 
for those little tells and write them down. Observe those every week or so, see if 
they're changing. And then what you're   going to do is put yourself 
on high alert in the house.   And if you see any one of those tells you are 
going to then say to your puppy, “Let's go   outside.” Clip the leash on and get out there.

puppy will have tells. They don't suddenly just   drop urine. Right. So, look for those 
tells. And then you're going to be able to   anticipate and the puppy is going to learn, 
“Oh, so when I need to go, I go to the door.” And you're going to very quickly, you're going to 
see the puppy start to initiate that “I need to go   outside” rather than just, you know, starting 
to squat on your floor, they're going to say,   “Now I've got to do something.” But your 
observation skills, they are required   all the time.

Anytime your puppy is out of their 
crate, even when they're in their exercise pen,   in that Ex-pen, it doesn't mean that 
you don't have to be on high alert.   I can be cooking and just watching that 
puppy, I'm still watching for those tells.   You don't ever want them to have 
an accident in that exercise pen. Every accident that they have, you've got to say, 
“That is on me.” That I could have done my job   better. And guess what? That's just a rehearsal 
of something you don't want to have. And the   more rehearsals they have, the better they get at 
pottying inside. Now, if you're like me and live   in a cold climate country, a lot of puppies 
don't want to go outside in the wintertime. So, you're going to have to get very, very 
good at following the powers of observations   and those five good habits to make sure 
that puppy gets outside. Because remember,   you need to be clear with your expectations. 
As Brené Brown says, “Clarity is kind.” So be   super clear by having those good habits 
and keeping your powers of observation   on at all times when that puppy 
is outside of their crate.

Okay. The third part of the process, this is a 
biggie. It is T the Timetable. Now I'm going to   tell you right off the bat, my dogs do not eat on 
any kind of a timetable. But when I have a puppy,   the timetable is always around 
the times they do eat. So,   we know there are times where in a 
puppy is more likely to want to pee. After any kind of sleeping episode, a little nap, 
take them out to their potty spot. Overnight,   take them out to their potty spot.

So, any 
kind of nap immediately they're going to give   you something. And that gives you an opportunity 
to rehearse good behaviour. Any time you've had   a big play or a training session with your 
puppy, take them out to their potting spot. I would say you're going to learn what that 
timing is for your dog, but for most puppies,   15 minutes to 30 minutes after a big 
drink. And if your puppy is a swimmer,   always take them out several times after 
they've had a swim. Again, depending on the   age of the puppy, it could be 15 minutes, 30 
minutes, an hour, 90 minutes after they eat. Younger puppies, they need to get out immediately 
after they eat. And then you can drag it out   as you learn the timetable of your puppy. And 
eventually they will become very predictable   because you don't have to feed them at a certain 
time, but you do have to take them out at a   certain time after they have had anything to eat. 
Because food in starts to stimulate food out.

So, if you are very religious 
about that timetable again,   you are establishing good rehearsals of what you 
want doing your business outside, which is going   to give you a better chance at making sure that 
your puppy always does their business outside. Now, what I didn't say, and I maybe should 
have started this off is, if your puppy   is having accidents in the house and you 
are doing all of this, please make sure to   get your puppy checked out by a veterinarian and 
make sure there isn't anything physically wrong. And finally, let's talk about when an accident 
happens. Because let's face it, none of us are   perfect. And our puppy may have an accident. It 
happens. There's two kinds of accidents. There's   the accidents you happen upon. Those are the 
worst. Those are the worst when you're walking   through the house and there's just a puddle.

you're going to only hope that that puddle is   near the door. The closer to the door is that's a 
good sign that your puppy is figuring things out. If the accident, the puddle or the pile is 
behind furniture you're in trouble. It means   that you have handled these accidents 
inappropriately. It means that your   puppy is worried and they're starting to hide so 
that they can eliminate somewhere in the house. What you need to do is create a Zen attitude.   If there is an accident, it is not on the puppy. 
It is a hundred percent on you or a family member,   but that's okay too, because you know what, maybe 
they were supposed to be looking after the puppy   and they got distracted as 

It's not Earth shattering. Adopt a Zen attitude. An accident you 
find after the fact, all you can do   is clean up and do a better job. An accident 
that you, the puppy, you're right there and   you see them start, you miss the early tells and 
they're about to squat just quickly get to them   and rush them outside. You know, clip that leash 
on. I like in the heat of the moment I just grab   the leash and clip it over. You might 
even just grab a leash in one hand   and pick up the puppy and run them outside. And if 
they're in the middle of a poop, if you just press   down on their tail head, quite often that 
will stop it so you can finish it outside. All right. Get them outside and then 
bring them back in, put them in the crate,   clean up the mess and plan how are you going to 
do a better job with your powers of observation?   That's it for the complete three step process on 
how to make sure any puppy that comes into your   house gets house trained super early so that you 
don't have any accidents and the puppy gains this   great confidence.

Because they know what their 
expectations are or what your expectations are of   them. And they, I mean, they're much happier when 
they can go outside and do their business as well. One last thing I'm going to say, if you want your 
puppy to potty in the house, you could follow this   along. What I would recommend you do though, is 
you take an Ex-pen and you set up a potty area.   A lot of people make the mistake of making this 
little, tiny, like a kitty litter box. Right. So,   the puppy has like three quarters of the area to 
play in, and pee in, and poop in, and one little   quarter where they're supposed to pee and poo.
You know what, for the first week, make your   Ex-pen three quarters of it a potty area. So, 
get a bunch of trays and then gradually when they   start peeing in those trays, you can take one 

And so now half of your Ex-pen area is a   potty area. And gradually get it down so that the 
puppy is consistently going in the area you want. It isn't the best, my first choice 
to have a puppy to go to the bathroom   in an inside potty area. But I can understand 
that for some of you it's an absolute necessity,   but you can still follow the HOT process 
to make sure that you get reliable results   pottying in the same area in the potty tray 
rather than anywhere out on your floor.

Okay. And finally, if you haven't 
checked out my video on YouTube:   Susan Garrett's Five Puppy Games, please do 
that. It will give you new insights into things   you can do to exercise your puppies’ brain 
and body while they are inside your house.   And that's going to help set up another 
opportunity for you to run them outside,   have a successful potty. I'll see 
you next time on Shaped by Dog..

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