One of the first lessons your Golden learns – if not the very first – is housetraining. Yes, you may dread this, but it’s necessary. And no, it’s not really as difficult as you’ve been imagining, that is if you know a few “secret methods” to speed this procedure up a little.
Let’s start with paper training. This comes in handy when you leave for work and the pup just can’t hold it much longer.
Just like its name, the objective of paper training is to teach your dog to urinate and defecate on newspaper placed in a specific place in your house. Most Golden parents choose either the kitchen or the bathroom because these areas are easy to clean.
Keep in mind not to place these newspapers too close to your dog’s eating area, for obvious reasons. No one, not even a canine wants to eat next to his “potty.”
Lay several layers of paper down on the floor in the room you’ve chosen. You’ll want to place enough down that the lower layers will stay dry when your dog uses these.
Initially, you’ll want to keep your pup in the same room you’ve chosen until he does his “business.” If he used the paper, remove the top several, soiled sections. Then place more layers, underneath the clean remaining sections.
This action is more important than you think. When you rotate the layers in this fashion, you’re leaving the scent intact for your pup. This makes it easier for him to “relocate” the papers and use the area again.
The key to the success of this training is you. The moment you take Goldie out of the crate, you need to take her outside and keep her outside for a predetermined amount of time.
As your pup grows, he can stay out of the crate for longer periods of time. Eventually, you’ll be able to leave the crate door open all the time with no fear of any more accident. Of course, this depends on you taking your dog outside regularly.
There are other advantages to using a crate by the way. Before dogs were domesticated, they actually lived in caves. It’s just instinct then for dogs to find a covered “cave-like” cover for security. You’ll discover that your friend may actually prefer not only to sleep in the crate but will routinely return there. The crate then serves as a sleeping box and a travel crate.
Still one more use for the crate is discipline. If your friend isn’t listening to your commands, you can pick him up and place him in there. Isolating him from you is a vivid illustration to him that you’re displeased.
Outdoor “Potty” Training
As soon as you bring your puppy home, outdoor training begins. In fact, as I’ve mentioned before, you’ll want to keep the little guy out until he does his thing. Simply walk him to the area (which means you have given this forethought prior to bringing him home) where you expect him to go.
Especially this first time, give him plenty of time to relieve himself. When he finally does it, praise him. Not only perform some verbal commands but pet him and scratch him behind his ears. Eventually, he’ll search for this area when he has to go out.
Keep in mind that puppies may have to relieve themselves as many as six times a day. You need, though, to take him out about every three to four hours. In order to help ensure success, take the little guy for a walk after each meal. There’s extra pressure placed on his bladder after he eats. So don’t let a long time go by between the meal and the walk.
The last walk of the day, by the way, should be as late in the evening as you can possibly make it. You know what this does, of course. It increases your pup’s chances of making it through the night accident-free.
The Clean Up
When your dog does his business outside, you should always clean up after him. This is true in your own yard, but it’s especially essential when you walk him in public places. Many municipalities in fact, have laws that enforce this clean up.
And it really is simple enough to do. Just carry a plastic bag or what’s called a “pooper scooper” with you. Then make sure you dispose of the mess properly.
Do you have children? When you “potty trained” them you no doubt encountered accidents. Well, the same is true of Golden Retrievers. No matter how careful you are – or how diligent your pet is – accidents are bound to happen.
Don’t punish your pup if he can’t hold it throughout the night. First, remember your pup has a short memory. He won’t realize why you’re punishing him while you’re actually admonishing him.
If you do happen to catch him in the act, then a strong, stern “no” is definitely in order. Don’t spank him – whatever you do, don’t stick his nose in it. It will probably only give you one more mess to clean up.