A clicker is a small device you hold in one hand. When pressed it makes a clicking sound. Professional trainers use a clicker to signify when a behavior has been performed correctly.
It’s much more consistent than a phrase, which people tend to change or pronounce differently and can be confusing for a puppy.
It’s also much faster and your puppy will instantly know when they’ve done something correctly. When your puppy learns a new command (in this case “Go potty” or other mark phrase) it’s time for the ‘click’ along with praise and reward.
There are different methods you can use to reinforce puppy house training. A lot of your decision will be based on the type of housing arrangement you have. For those of you expect your puppy potty training to be in the yard of your home, that’s where you should start.
The easiest method to accomplish this type of puppy house training is to start out by purchasing a crate for your pup. These come in several sizes and you can purchase a crate that fits your puppy now, and purchase new ones as they grow.
Dogs do not like to eliminate in the area where they sleep or live, so if you give them more room in the crate they can create a corner for their elimination and sleep in an opposite corner. This is why the perfect ‘fit’ of a crate is just big enough for your dog or puppy to turn around and lie down.
You can also buy a crate the appropriate size you will need when your dog is full grown and simply barricade the extra space with a sturdy and safe object that will not pose a danger to your new family member. Under no circumstance should you use your puppy’s crate to inflict punishment.
The crate is not only going to be somewhere to safely put your puppy when you can’t be around to supervise while you are work or sleeping, but will also become your dog’s safe area or resting area. They will after a time go there on their own when they feel the need or desire.
How to go about puppy potty training with a crate is simple. When you start showing your puppy its new space, put them inside the crate with a chew toy and close the door. The first few short times, you want to stay in the room where the puppy can see you.
Do not respond to any whining. After a time when your puppy has calmed down and seems to have understood, get your puppy’s leash, open the door of the crate and immediately take your puppy out for a bit of exercise or play time.
The next time you practice follow the same steps, except for you staying in the room. This time leave the room, or stay out of eye sight, gradually increasing the time you are away.
Your dog or puppy potty training is successful when not only does your dog stop fussing when you put them in their crate but they go in on their own, as well as when they wait for you to take them outside to their designated area for eliminating.
For puppies that will be primarily in an apartment, your puppy house training will most likely is paper training. The most ideal space for paper training is in a location that has easy to clean floors, such as the bathroom or laundry room.
You want to choose the location based on the area least intrusive on your daily family life. Start by covering a larger section of the floor with newspaper or potty pads found in many pet stores.
As time goes by and you have been clicking and reinforcing positive results, start to take away sections of the paper until your dog potty training is a success and reduced to one little section of the room.
Please note that you should still have a crate for your puppy training and for while you are out of the house and cannot provide supervision. Just make sure after opening their cage you take them to their potty area to get them accustomed to waiting.
Picking a mark phrase like ‘go potty’ or ‘hurry up’ will still help your puppy learn the rules, and make sure you use positive reinforcement such as click and praise for a job well done.