If you’ve recently added a new member to your home, and it happens to be a Labrador puppy, then one of the things you’ll want to know is how to potty train a labrador puppy.
Labradors are good family pets that are known for their intelligence, making them easily trainable.
If you’re planning on getting a Labrador or already have one, it is best to train and teach your puppy from the moment they become your pet.
Potty training at a young age is extremely important to help your puppy develop good habits and establish its bathroom routine.
When puppies are not properly potty trained, they end up doing their business in any part of the house, which can cause issues in the long run.
According to some statistics, the lack of potty training is one of the highest reasons owners return or give up their dogs, as house soiling can become a huge issue.
To ensure that your puppy is properly potty trained, here are some of the things you need to know.
What You Need to Know Before Potty Training Your Labrador Puppy
Potty training, also known as housebreaking, is training your dog to pee and poo either outside of the house or in a designated area.
Training them to do this from a young age is needed so that they don’t just follow their natural instinct and excrete anywhere at any time.
It’s recommended that pet owners start training their puppies at the age of 12 to 16 weeks old, as at this age, they have enough control of their bladder.
At this age, they can slowly learn how to control when and where to pee and poo, learning to hold it instead of just instinctively doing it at any time.
Labrador puppies, in particular, are not difficult to potty train. Since they are sociable, intelligent, and love to please their owners, training them will come easier if it is done consistently.
It is also important to remember that the training will only do as well as the methods used. Consistency, attention, patience, and understanding are needed on your part as an owner through this training process.
How long does Potty Training last?
Potty training puppies can be a long and tedious task. It requires repetitive and consistent training so that the puppies can retain it.
It takes a new puppy to acclimate to your house for a few weeks, and it will likely be fully potty trained at the end of 4 to 6 months.
The training can also vary because of different factors, such as the dog’s size. Smaller breeds have smaller bladders and metabolize food fast, making them more challenging to train as they need to pee and poo more often.
Your methods, attention, consistency, as well as the learning history of the dog, can make a difference in the duration of the potty training, too.
However, if done correctly, some dogs can learn and be fully potty trained before that. All it takes is consistency in the training and the schedule for the dog to develop the habit fully.
How to Potty Train a Labrador Puppy
Here are the three basic steps in order to start getting your Labrador puppy potty trained.
Step 1: Establish a Routine for Feeding and Potty Breaks
The first step would be to establish a set routine for feeding and potty breaks.
It is usually recommended that puppies are fed twice a day. Doing so at a specific time will also let you know how long it takes for them to pee and poo after.
Sticking to a feeding schedule will slowly reinforce a time for your puppy to potty after meals, avoiding them peeing and pooping just anywhere.
Since they naturally eliminate their waste shortly after eating, when done in a consistent manner, they will learn to potty in their designated area.
Step 2: Choose an Appropriate Place to Toilet Train Your Puppy
There are a few options when it comes to where you can allow your puppy to potty.
This is primarily up to you as an owner and your preferences. The most ideal would be for them to potty outside, so it’s not inside of your house.
Taking your puppy out consistently to your garden or for a short walk outside around 30 minutes after a meal would allow them to associate needing to potty with the outdoors.
Active supervision and attention are needed to ensure that your puppy has finished doing their business outdoors. Some puppies may take longer than others to potty.
If you need more time for a walk or live in an apartment or in the city where you can’t freely let your dog potty outdoors, there are also methods for potty training your puppy indoors.
One of the most commonly used tools is pee pads or litter boxes. Although this may be more difficult and will need more training, this will ensure that your dog will only potty in this specific area of your house.
Pee pads can either be improvised with any absorbent material like newspapers or old towels, but they are also commercially available.
These store-bought pee pads are more popular as they are much more absorbent and easy to dispose of.
Since it isn’t a natural instinct for a puppy to pee or poo on the pad, you’ll have to get them used to it.
When starting out, let them sniff and walk over it to get them accustomed to the pee pad so they won’t be scared of it or play with it.
You’ll have to closely observe your puppy after it eats, plays, or sleeps, as they usually potty after that. When they start sniffing and looking for a place to potty, stick the pad to the area to catch their waste.
You will have to do this every few hours since puppies potty often and have to do so consistently until the puppy associates peeing and pooping with the mat.
After you have trained them to potty on the pad, you can then place it in a designated area in your house so that they can potty there.
Step 3: Reward Good Behavior and Consistently Stick To The Rules
Positive reinforcement can work wonders when it comes to training your puppy.
When your puppy is praised or given a treat after doing something, they will start associating them with the action that they did.
Praising or giving your dog treats after they have correctly peed and pooped where they were supposed to do so can speed up the process of your potty training.
Please stick to the rules consistently and only praise them or give them a treat once they have done it correctly. Doing so all the time, even when they make mistakes, will make the positive reinforcement useless.
Tips and Tricks for Potty Training Your Puppy
Please take note of the treat or praise that your puppy particularly likes, and use them for positive reinforcement when training.
Pick up your puppy’s water bowl a few hours before it sleeps at night. This will reduce the likelihood that your puppy will keep drinking and peeing during the night.
Tools & Techniques that Can Help with Potty Training Your Puppy
Disposable pee pads have been discussed as a valuable potty training tool. Still, there are also more long-term options, such as washable pee pads or plastic trays laid on the floor.
Placing a bell in their collar can also alert you where they are when they are moving to track them quickly when they might potty.
Potty training is also often done with crate training. A crate can be a valuable tool for potty training as if your dog is in the crate napping or after eating and it needs to pee or poo, it will whine or bark to let you know.
Mistakes to Avoid while Potty Training Your Puppy
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when potty training your dog is being inconsistent. Your puppy will only be able to establish a routine if you’ve helped them to do so.
Not being consistent will confuse your puppy and make the training way harder and longer than it is supposed to be.
Do not tolerate your puppy playing with or destroying the pee pad if that is your method of potty training. Since most puppies tend to play with anything, you have to establish that the pee pad is not for playing.
Another rookie mistake is moving the pee pad too early. If you have set a place for the pee pad to be when your dog hasn’t learned to do it consistently, then you can break its training pattern.
Ensuring that your Labrador puppy is potty trained from a young age is essential for its development and your relationship.
Although it can take some time and effort, it will eventually pay off in the long run when you have a properly trained dog in the end.
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