Trying to figure out how to potty train your new lab? In this video below, I go over the basics of labrador puppy training, and how you can prevent all accidents.
Step 1 is to create a schedule.
Lab puppies LOVE to chug lots of water, meaning, I like to schedule water intake for labs. This is because puppies can generally ‘hold it’ for one hour for every month old they are, but just like you and I, if we chug more water, we’ve definitely going to have to pee more.
Also, keep in mind that young puppies will generally need to poop pretty soon after eating as well.
Step 2 is to prevent all accidents inside the home Now this is the most IMPORTANT step. Why? Because peeing in itself is a reinforcing behavior. They feel discomfort, and the second they pee, they are reinforced because that discomfort goes away. So the more they get used to peeing in a spot, the more they’re going to continue peeing there!
The best way to prevent accidents is through an appropriately sized crate. Your pup should be able to stand up and fully turn around in the crate; however, we don’t want it any bigger than that, or your pup may decide to pee on one side of the crate and sleep on the other.
When your pup isn’t in the crate, you can either attach them to you or block off other areas so you can truly keep an eye on them the entire time.
If they start sniffing around immediately take them outside to pee.
Now, since we are human, if there is an accident inside, don't yell at your dog, or scare them in any way — this will simply make your dog too scared to pee in FRONT of you so you may find a nice gift in your closet.
If you DO catch them in the act though, quickly pick them up, take them outside and reward them heavily for going outside.
This brings us to the last step…
Step 3 is to reward heavily when they DO go outside.
Give at least 3 high-value treats, and lots and lots of praise!
Now — I’d love to hear, I know labs will literally eat anything but have you found a particular treat that your lab puppy likes better? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear.
Now — one little tip for troubleshooting. If you find that your pup won’t go outside for 5–10 minutes, go back inside and put them in their crate for another 5 minutes. Then try again, so back outside. Eventually, they will pee, but we want them to learn that the faster you use the bathroom, the faster you will get to play and have your freedom back.
Young puppies are easily distracted so might forget to pee when you take them outside because of all the smells — even if they need to pee. So if you take them back inside, they’re going to remember oh yeah i need to pee and then pee inside. So just remember — if your pup does NOT pee right away, then make sure they go back in their crate.
So those are all my tips for lab puppy potty training — while these steps may seem simple, they are not easy and require a lot of work.
Remember, puppies are here to teach us patience, and while they’re a lot more work than an adult dog, they are super duper cute.
I do want to mention if you’re annoyed with your puppy, it’s might be because you lack understanding of your puppy, and don’t worry, you’re not alone.
This is why I created a free on-demand webinar called — “The Five Biggest Dog Training Mistakes Pup Parents Make & How to Avoid them” so you can live a more peaceful life with your pup.
I also have a free Facebook Group called the Pawsome Pawrents Facebook Group — it’s free to join, and I try to go live there EVERY WEEK with a dog training tip.