Welcoming a cockapoo pup or any other puppy into your life and home is a big commitment. Before brining your new puppy home, plan to take some time off work. This will ensure that you have the time available to settle your new pet into your home, and to start his training. One of the first lessons you will have to teach your puppy is potty training. Time spent focusing on this training is important so that the lesson is learned quickly.
Like people, all puppies are different and the speed at which they learn varies. It will take time and patience on your part while your puppy learns where he should potty and where he should not. Given time he will come to understand that the whole of your house is an area where he should not potty.
Since he is young, your puppy will need to potty on a regular basis, sometimes as frequently as every hour. Initially, you should be prepared for many accidents. Do not get angry with your puppy since he is learning, and if you lose your temper it will only confuse and frighten him. The lesson will take longer to learn. Whilst training, use simple and consistent commands of only one or two words. Over time, your puppy will come to understand your tone of voice with these commands and will know what you expect of him.
The First Steps of House-training
You need to identify the signs which indicate that your puppy needs to potty. He will likely be restless, he may sniff at the floor, or perhaps return to a place which he previously soiled. Keep an eye on the clock, since your puppy will likely need to potty shortly after eating sleeping or playing. When you notice the signs of your puppys need to potty take him outside. Return to the same spot each time and refrain from playing. At this point, your puppy needs to focus on going potty, and going in the right place which you take him to outside. Praise your puppy as he goes potty. Praise softly throughout, but not so much that you interrupt his behavior. When he is finished, give him a small treat of food and enthusiastic praise to reinforce the idea that what he has done is what you wanted him to do. Rewarding positive behavior will ensure that the lesson is learned more quickly.
During the course of training your puppy to potty, keep him close to you, and if possible always within your sight. Doing so will minimize the risk of accidents. You may find it easiest to accomplish this closeness by attaching a leash to your puppy. This way, your puppy will never be far from you, and he will not have the opportunity to fail in his potty training.
Using A Kennel
If you cannot watch your puppy constantly throughout the day, or are having trouble potty training him in general, you may wish to put him into a kennel or crate for a short time. Here is a great article on crate training. Alternatively, if you have a yard outside which is enclosed, you could put your puppy outside during periods of good weather. If you do choose to put your puppy outside, you may miss the times when he goes potty in the right place, and you may miss those opportunities to reward his good behavior. Therefore, during the early stages of potty training, a kennel is a useful training tool. Be aware that a young puppy cannot control himself for more than two hours, and so should not be left in the kennel for such a length of time.
There are a number of kennels available. Many are light weight, durable and of sturdy construction. They often fold away for storage. You may wish to consider a small folding crate for use when training your puppy.
There Will Be Accidents
Be prepared for the occasions when your puppy goes potty whilst in the house. If you catch him in the act, you may choose to correct him immediately with a firm no and take him outside to the designated potty area. However, this will not necessarily enforce the lesson for your puppy not to go potty inside the house. He will more likely learn that if he goes indoors, he must make sure you are not looking at the time. You may find that accidents have occurred in a closet or behind the couch.
Alternatively, try to make every preparation to prevent accidents occurring inside the house. Keep an eye on the pup, and if he starts to act like he needs to go (whining or sniffing and circling, for instance) bring him outside quickly. If he does have an accident, put him in his kennel for a bit while you clean the mess thoroughly by using an enzymatic cleaner. There are a number of products available for effective cleaning of potty stains.
Never hit or physically punish your puppy for his accidents. You will only confuse and frighten him, and he will not learn his potty training lessons any more quickly. Your puppy will not relate the punishment to his potty accident, he will think he is being punished for whatever he is doing at the time of correction.
Likewise, never rub your puppies nose in his potty accidents. He is unable to make the connection between his accident and your punishment, since his mind is always in the present.
There will be occasions when you notice the indications of his need to potty, but when you take your puppy outside, nothing happens. When this happens, take him back to his kennel and keep an eye on him for about ten minutes. Take him outside again to his designated potty spot, and see if he will go potty. Repeat this process as often as necessary, until your puppy goes potty. Once he has done so, he can stay outside the kennel. This consistency and routine will help your puppy to understand what is expected of him.
Given time, your puppy will understand the routine and what is expected when he needs to go potty. You will then need to expand his potty training to include going potty whilst on the leash, whilst in other areas such as when out walking, and also on a variety of surfaces. As your puppy progresses in this training, you will find that when you are travelling from home, he will feel comfortable to go potty wherever you need him to go.
Be prepared for mistakes and accidents during training. Your consistency as well as your patience and encouragement will ensure that your puppy will successfully complete his potty training.