5 Ways to Train Your Puppy NOT to Pee on Your Carpet
August 7, 2013
Puppies and carpet just don’t mix. They are a bad combination from the start and sometimes it just continues to go downhill from there. Once they’ve started peeing on the carpet it is really hard to get them to stop. Especially little dogs that can hide off in a corner or behind the couch so you can’t catch them in the act.
When we first got our Miniature Poodle, Tula, four years ago, she definitely struggled to keep her “business” off the carpet. We struggled for months until my husband finally gave me The Ultimatum. Come the new year, if she continued to pee on the carpet, then we would need to find her a new home. Ouch! I knew he was right on one level, I mean it really is a gross way to live. At the same time, Tula was about the sweetest, most adorable dog I had ever known. You get the gist of my predicament.
It turns out that it wasn’t actually that hard to get her potty trained. Just a matter of buckling down and making sure her needs were taken care of. I definitely learned a few things about dogs along the way too. If you find yourself in the same struggle I was in, or are thinking about getting a new puppy, I’ve compiled a list of important potty training knowledge to utilize in the process.
1. Puppies have small bladders
From birth to 16 weeks you really can’t expect too much of them regarding bladder control. They may figure it out for a couple days and then have a lapse or two the next. Keeping your puppy enclosed in a place where he is allowed to pee is probably your best bet. Having said that, taking him outside when his mom or siblings go out is a great idea as puppies are social learners and may actually pick up a thing or two during this process.
Once a puppy hits that 16 week marks, he can usually hold his bladder for about 4 hours. At 4 to 6 months of age bladder control goes up to 4 to 5 hours and at 6 to 12 months it moves up to 7 to 8 hours.
Of course so much of this depend on the size or breed of your dog, so don’t be too concerned if your pup’s a few months off.
2. Don’t yell at your puppy
Puppies don’t naturally understand that peeing on the carpet is a bad thing. As far as they’re concerned, the world is their toilet. If you yell at your puppy, or punish him in any way, after soiling your carpet, then he will not be able to mentally make the connection. Instead, it may cause him to become afraid and confused and lead to more difficult behaviors, like trying to hide while he urinates.
Instead, you must be vigilant to catch him in the act. When you do, calmly stop him and take him to the appropriate place to pee. Use a consistent command, like “go potty” every time he goes. Then praise him when he goes in the right place.
3. Get a crate
This was the real trick for us. I thought it was cruel when I first heard about crating a dog. Turns out, Tula loves it. The crate provides her with a sense of safety and security. The idea behind the crate is that dogs don’t like to pee where they eat and sleep. If you close them in for short periods of time when you are unable to monitor their behavior, then they are less likely to pee. Remember how long they can hold it, however, and don’t push them to their limit.
When you open the crate to let your puppy out, immediately take him to the place you have designated as his bathroom. Remember to give the same command and praise him. Tula had been sneaking out in the middle of the night and this helped us to finally train her out of it.
4. Set a schedule
If you get your puppy on a schedule, then you can alleviate so much of the guess work involved in determining when he has to go. Feeding him at the same time everyday will help with this process. Simply take him out to potty about 15 minutes after he has finished eating.
A good schedule would be to take him out at these times:
- Right when he wakes up, or even before.
- After each meal
- After each nap
- Right before he goes to bed
5. Extra tips
Pick up your puppy’s water bowl a few hours before bedtime to help him make it through the night.
Puppies get distracted, so make sure he is actually getting down to business when you put him outside.
Gradually decrease the times when your puppy is under close supervision.
Clean up all accidents immediately so he won’t keep going back to that spot.
I love my dog Tula, and I love my carpet. I am so relieved that they can coexist after all.
If puppy has already had quite a few accidents, then feel free to give Aaron’s Quality Cleaners a call. They are the best Fresno carpet cleaner and have many great success stories regarding pet accidents.
Julie Rosenfeld serves as an Administrative Assistant for Aaron’s Quality Cleaners, a carpet-cleaning company that services the Fresno and Clovis (CA) areas. She is the author of “Julie’s Corner” and provides information and perspective on topics related to the carpet-cleaning industry.
Aaron’s Quality Cleaners performs carpet cleaning, tile cleaning, aggregate cleaning and upholstery cleaning in Fresno, Clovis, Madera and Sanger.