Do you have a yard? Then taking a few moments to choose a perfect potty spot for your pup to do their business is a great idea. Young puppies are not typically comfortable going to the bathroom off their property. Why not take advantage of this preference to go at home to build a great potty habit?
Why Bother Picking the Perfect Potty Spot?
A Nicer Yard
A designated area for your dog to do their business will keep your yard in better condition. By choosing a specific area, you will sacrifice that one small location and keep the rest of your yard pristine.
This will prevent:
burn patches all over your grass
destruction of plants
kids’ play areas becoming dirty or contaminated
stepping in doo doo
having to scan the whole yard when doing cleanup
Make House Training Easier
Taking your pup out to the same spot each time will help them focus on the business at hand. By taking them to that same location when it’s time to go, they will get in the habit of going more readily, especially if a treat or some fun follows a successful potty break. This helps them learn to get it done rather than busying themselves in other ways. You’ll love this when you are in a hurry, or the weather is bad.
Being with them will also allow you to build a consistent reinforcement every time they go outside. This will help the puppy develop a preference to go outside.
Because you will go out with your pup to the special potty spot, you will know whether they have gone or not. This will help you make better choices about whether they are ready for some freedom in the house or not.
This consistency in location will also establish a habit of where to go once you no longer have to escort them out.
Things to Consider When Choosing the Perfect Potty Spot For Your Pup
Although you may choose a location closer to the house for midnight runs or to avoid standing out in the rain when your pup first comes home, picking an area that is a bit out of the way is a good long-term choice – a low-traffic area off to the side or tucked in a quiet corner.
Pick a space appropriate for the size of your dog. A large breed will require more space to prevent the area from becoming over-used and smelly.
Think about how you use the property. Do you have a favourite tree you like to sit under for shade in the summer? Choose another spot so you don’t have to switch potty locations seasonally.
Protection from the elements can make potty time more pleasant and encourage dogs to go out and get it done when the weather isn’t great. A bit of tree cover to keep the dog dry or provide shade can make a big difference in their willingness to go out.
Be sure the area is clear of debris or items that may distract your pup or pose a safety risk.
Don’t Have a Yard?
If you don’t have a yard, these points will still help to pick a potty spot for your pup. Choose a lower-traffic area. If possible, stay away from busy streets. Since most puppies are uncomfortable doing their business in areas where other dogs are routinely going, you may need to choose a location away from the communal area.
If your puppy isn’t home yet, then it’s the perfect time to think about that perfect potty spot. If your pup is home already and your housetraining could use some help, a perfect potty spot might be just what you need.
Are you having a hiccup at potty time with your housetrained dog? This can help.
For more help with housetraining and other puppy issues, visit hippup.ca.