One of the many questions people have when bringing home their new fur-baby, is how often to take them outside. Whether they are 8 week old or 8 months old, it's important to take your dog out in an appropriate amount of time until you have created a consistent schedule that they understand.
Typically, puppies can hold their bladder for as many hours as they are months old. That means, if they are two months old, they can hold their bladder for about 2 hours. If they are three months old, they can hold their bladder for about 3 hours. So the rule of thumb, the number of months old is equal to how many hours your dog can hold his bladder. Of course, this will also depend on the dog breed and their size; smaller dog breeds may need to go out more often.
1. Keep your dog on a leash until they are potty trained. This is most important for younger puppies. Keeping them on a leash will encourage them to go, instead of wanting to play.
2. Take your dog out before and after meal time. This will allow for plenty of opportunity to go outside and not in your home.
3. Take your dog out first thing in the morning. If you have young puppies, you will need to let them out one to two time in the middle of the night.
4. Watch your dog and learn their body language to prevent accidents in the house. After awhile, you will be able to read your dog's body language. A good hint is when they sniff around the house, stop playing with you, circle around an area, or they will try to find a quiet area in a different room. This is when they need to go to their designated potty area.
5. Use a simple word like "go potty" or "hurry" to associate potty time. Use it consistently, and they'll pick it up quickly.
6. Praise or give treats every time they finish going potty outside. This will encourage them to go faster to get that reward.
7. Don't get them excited when it is time to go potty. Getting excited will cause the bladder muscle to contract. This will prevent your dog from going. Sometime, they will go but will not completely empty their bladder, and go in your home instead.
Bonus - Keep a log on how often your dog goes. Most dogs are very consistent about the time they need to go potty. One of our dogs, Thor, would go potty at exactly 10 AM everyday.
Things Not to Do
Accidents happen, but remember not to punish your dog when it do occur. They're just like babies and would not understand why they are being punished. If you catch your dog going, grab him gently and quickly let him outside to his potty area. Remember to reward when he finish!