Puppy Training Tips: 4 Ways To Know If A Puppy Needs To Go

House Training a Puppy
House Training a Puppy
House Training a Puppy

Once your puppy is past a few months old and doesn’t need to be picked up and placed outdoors immediately after eating, you still need to be super alert to any signs that the puppy may need to go potty at times other than right after mealtimes. House training a puppy is a whole lot easier than most people realize. What you need to do is learn how to notice the signals that can tell you that a puppy needs to go to the bathroom. By paying close attention to his body language, it can save you the nuisance of having to clean up after a puppy because you’ll take him out before the accident happens. This can also save your little pup from the aggravation of being scolded when he was sending out signals that meant, “I gotta go!”

1) If a puppy whines or cries at you, this is probably an attempt to communicate the urge to eliminate. Think of this like a little kid being potty-trained who says urgently, “Daddy, I need to go. NOW!” If a parent doesn’t respond instantly to that child’s plea, the next thing he’ll hear is, “Forget it. I don’t need to go anymore,” followed by a little puddle at the child’s feet. If you don’t want to wind up like that with your pup, you’d better keep your eyes focused on his body language!

2) A puppy probably needs to go out if he suddenly puts his nose down and starts sniffing the floor, going in circles.

3) If a puppy starts panting, but it isn’t hot weather and he hasn’t gotten hot from running around, that’s another sign of needing to eliminate.

4) If a puppy lifts his tail while doing any of this, take note of whether his anus begins to open: this is the main sign that he needs to move his bowels. This may sound as though I’m suggesting you be disgustingly over attentive, but watching body language for signs of impending evacuation really can save you from an even grosser fate: scraping up fresh dog-doo from your floor!

Bonus tip: Give a tasty treat to congratulate your little genius for going outside, which makes puppy training a positive experience for your dog! Keep a jar of Halo Liv-a-Littles right next to the door so you can grab one on the way out to give your little one a treat after he goes potty where you’ve set him down.

–Tracie Hotchner


photo credit: gareth1953 the original via photopin cc

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