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We were so excited to bring home two puppies – the fact that potty training our new puppies weren't a quick matter put a slight damper on the novelty of having two cute puppies, but we persevered.
I quickly became the Monarch of Poop in our house, a title that I still hold proudly (insert eye roll here). But I will admit that our successful potty training routine is all due to my partner.
I thought I was prepared; I read a ton of books and I asked other pet parents, I watched dog training programs. I was ready to go to work. But the reality of having two puppies was overwhelming and I forgot everything I learned and covered the first floor with potty pads (a lovely sight and ineffective). That’s when having a cop in the house came in handy. His military and officer training put us on an efficient schedule that I want to share with you.
Potty Training Littermate Puppies in 4 Easy Steps
1 – EVERY TWO HOURS: Take the dogs out regularly; after naps, after playtime, after eating. Get them used to going outside and associating the grass with potty time. This seems easy peezy, right? Try applying this during the night. I set my alarm for every 2 hours and took them outside for a potty break for 2 weeks. It didn’t matter if they were sleeping, we went outside.
2 – POTTY PADS BY THE DOOR: If you have potty pads all over the house, remove them. I was told not to use them at all, but my boyfriend’s plan was to put one or two near the door. Amazingly, the dogs would aim for the potty pads (Maria and her team must have used them regularly), so when we would see them walking towards the door, we’d take them right outside. Now, whenever they need to go “potty” they head to the door.
3 – NEVER SCOLD FOR ACCIDENTS: Although accidents were a bummer, they were puppies and were bound to make mistakes. We took responsibility for all of their accidents because they gave us all the signals (the sniffing/circling move was a classic) that they had to go, we just weren’t watching. And when they did have accidents, we cleaned them up quickly, using an enzyme treatment (we loved Nature's Miracle Advanced Stain and Odor Formula) picked up at the pet store.
4 – DON’T EXPECT OVERNIGHT MIRACLE: When our dogs were finally potty trained, we offered our remaining potty pads to a friend who told us that her puppy was trained over the weekend. Well, LADEE DA! We weren’t that fortunate (and I think she exaggerated).
Rodrigo, our “first born” was trained pretty quickly (about 2 months before no accidents). He would wait patiently at a door waiting for us to take notice, sometimes whining a little to gain our attention. Sydney took some convincing; she just didn’t see why she had to go outside when there was a lovely rug over there. At least she pee’d on the rug by the door – progress.
We learned that Rodrigo can hold his bladder for a while; Sydney’s bladder is the size of a thimble and she needs to go out every 2 hours or so. We celebrated a year with no accidents by having the carpets cleaned. Gotta celebrate the little things.
Years later, when we brought home Scout and Zoey, we found potty training a lot easier because we had a game plan.