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  • Walk your puppy every hour on the hour when you are home.  If your puppy is playing 
    heavily or can not go this long you may need to take them out more frequently.
  • Walk your puppy after every nap, meal, drink, activity change and  any time you see 
    your puppy start sniffing the floor or walking in circles.
  • Crate your puppy anytime you are not directly supervising them.  You can also 
    tether your puppy to you with a 4-6 foot long leash.  A crate must be just big 
    enough to stand up, turn around and lie down comfortably.
  • Even if you have a fenced yard take your puppy to the same spot ON leash 
    every time you go out.  Use the same door to exit the house.  Consistency is key 
    and you need to create a specific pattern for your puppy to learn from.
  • Give your puppy a very special treat immediately upon finishing pottying.  Do NOT 
    wait until you get inside!  On the spot, but make sure they are done or you will 
    distract them going and they will likely end up finishing inside!
  • Go to the potty place and stand there for 3 minutes.  Do not speak to, look at or 
    acknowledge your puppy.  Just stand there in one spot like a post.  If after 3 
    minutes your puppy has not gone, quietly bring them inside and put them in their 
    crate for about 20 minutes, then try again.  Follow this 3 and 20 rule until your 
    puppy has emptied outside, then treats and play!
  • If your puppy wakes up overnight, take him outside!  Same as above, 3 minutes 
    then back inside.  Don't worry about "teaching your puppy to wake up overnight".  
    He will eventually sleep through the night (or we will teach him to when he is old 
    enough!).  At this stage we need to create a strong association with going outside.  
    Besides, if you woke up overnight and needed to pee would you be able to go back 
    to sleep until morning?
  • If you catch your puppy in the act of having an accident DO NOT PUNISH HIM!  
    This will only teach him that going to the bathroom in front of you is not safe and 
    will encourage him to want to hide from you.  In bad weather or overnight this will 
    not be good!  Just distract him, scoop him up and take him to his correct potty 
    spot.  If he finishes there reward heavily.  Then go inside and clean up!
  • If you find that your puppy had an accident when you were not looking you need to 
    repeat this to yourself, "I was not watching my puppy, I was not watching my 
    puppy".  It does no good to show the accident to the puppy and it is NEVER okay to 
    rub their noses in it.  They have no memory for those things.  They may understand 
    that you don't like poop on the floor, but they have no idea they put it there.  It is 
    your job to prevent mistakes, not theirs!
  • Make sure to feed your puppy on a schedule.  What goes in must come out and if we 
    create a schedule we are better able to predict when!  When choosing a good puppy 
    food, look for one without cheap fillers like corn, rice and wheat.  If these are 
    among the first ingredients of a dog food, keep looking.  Dogs do not digest these 
    items well and you will see the results in higher stool volume, as well as coat, skin 
    and ear problems.  Avoid foods you can find in the grocery store.
  • Clean all accidents with an enzymatic based cleaner to really remove odors.  
    Products such as "Nature's Miracle" are great for this and readily available at 
    most pet supply stores and vets.  Using a black light can help highlight areas you 
    may have missed.
  • If your puppy continues to have many accidents despite careful management and 
    following the above suggestions, consider having him examined by a veterinarian to 
    rule out a urinary tract infection or parasite.  It is not good to keep trying to 
    modify behavior when there is a medical cause.
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