July 15th •
Potty training can be a real headache, even with gentle, obedient breeds like Labradors. Fortunately, there are some easy steps you can take to speed up the potty training process and reduce the mess around your house.
Before you potty train your Lab, make sure you have all the gear you need. Here are the essentials:
The crate will be central to your Lab’s potty training. By crate training your dog, you show them that it’s only acceptable to do their business outdoors.
When picking a crate, go for one that isn’t too big. You want your Lab to have room to lie down and nothing more. If they have too much space, they’ll use this extra room as a bathroom. But if they can only lie down, they won’t want to go potty where they sleep.
You have to face it. Accidents are going to happen as you train your Lab. That’s why you should have plenty of stain and odor removers on hand to deal with any mess.
When you first start potty training, your Lab will likely go to the bathroom indoors. Use absorbent pads as a way of showing your dog where it’s alright to go to the bathroom inside.
As you train them, you can slowly get rid of the absorbent pads, letting your dog know that it’s no longer acceptable for them to go potty indoors.
Potty training is just like any other dog training. You need to give your dog a reward if you expect them to behave.
Take your dog outside to the area where you want them to go potty. Once there, pick a cue word that you will use when you want them to do their business. Say this word, and wait for them to go.
Only reward them when they go where you told them to. Give them a treat and plenty of praise to show them how good they’ve been. Slowly, your Lab will come to realize that going potty in this area- and only this area- gets them a tasty treat.
Also be consistent with where you take them. You really want to drive home the point that it’s only acceptable to go potty in certain areas.
Potty training can be confusing for many Labs, as they won’t understand right away why the whole world isn’t their toilet. Do everything you can to make the process simple for them, creating a routine feeding and potty schedule.
This will make it easier for your Lab to control themselves and wait until they are outdoors to go to the bathroom. If you feed them and take them outside at different times every day, they won’t know when potty time is coming, so they may just choose to go where they are.
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