The idea of how dogs and children are similar is fairly true so far in my motherhood journey. I realize my son is still a baby (only 6 months at this point), and therefore I'm still in the green period but I've earned some credit at this point I believe. Sleepless nights, and days. Feeding him and the animals before myself. Letting everyone out, and changing diapers before I get to go to the bathroom. Figuring out how to clean the house while holding my son, because I'm afraid to set him down or else he'll wake up, cry, or both. Listening to countless - and often not asked for - advice from others, on how I'm supposed to sleep when he sleeps. Have you tried that? It really messes up your schedule! Especially when this momma had to go back to work when he was just 2 weeks old.
But, that's not what this particular blog is about. This blog series is about how dogs and children are similar, and how they can be raised similarly. And this particular blog is about potty time.
Yes, my son is not potty trained yet. But, either are the dogs I'm talking about.
Potty training a dog can be a tiresome feat, but if done consistently and upbeat, it is a painless quest. There's a rule to potty training puppies: Medically, they can hold their bladder for one hour for every month they are. So, if you have a brand new 8-week puppy, then from the medical side your puppy can hold his bladder for two hours. Meaning, you need to take that sweet fluff ball outside to do his business every two hours.
There are a lot of variables here though. For a quick training process, I recommend cutting the medical time in half. If your dog is a small dog, then that also should be half-time, as their bladders are smaller than bigger puppies. Your puppy has been playing for 10 + minutes? Potty time. Drank water, ate food? Potty time. Bedtime? Potty time.
You get the gist, if you sneeze you might want to go outside. Haha no, it's not that bad! But if you keep up with this then you will have minimal accidents. An accident WILL happen though. Life gets away from us, or we think that they're fully potty trained before they really are. Don't worry, just clean it up with an enzymatic cleaner and move on about your day.
Hm, but how is this like a human baby Ashley? Well, you should be changing your baby's diaper roughly every two hours when they're young. Did they just finish a bottle? Probably peed. Did they just wake up? Peed. Did you linger too long while removing the old, before putting on the new? You were probably just peed on. But, don't worry an enzym - just kidding! You'll probably just want to change your clothes, toss those in the wash, and/or if you're lucky to have someone else there to watch the little pee monsters, hop in the shower to make yourself feel better!
Okay, so how does your puppy know that they did the right thing when they went outside? You went with them of course! The chances of success are tenfold when we're going outside, telling them they did a good job (Good potty!), and rewarding them outside. Not, once they run back inside the house. If you do that, your chances just dropped - why wouldn't they run back inside as quick as they could to get a treat? Oops, I remembered after eating my treat, that I had to pee. Now, my newest, and favorite pee spot is right in front of the door! Thanks for the treat mom! I imagine (because I'm not at that age yet with my son), that it's very much the same when potty training a human. We'll have to go in there with him, in the beginning, to make sure he isn't just playing with toys instead of going potty, and telling him he's doing a good job (have you seen those music playing toilets? That's exactly what I'm talking about when I say we reward in the moment)!
Another similarity, that's not as fun is diaper rash. This happens when you don't change the diaper enough (fingers crossed, you and I both never experience this). Dogs can also get a rash on their bellies if you're using a kennel, and they have an accident in the kennel and sleep on it (another thing hopefully neither of us ever experience).
So, can you see now that this particular training opportunity is the same? Maybe we don't use treats with the human child, but maybe we do!
Don't stress over an accident or three, instead focus on the good times. If they're outweighing the bad, then you're doing great mom! Keep at it, and stay pawsitive!
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* The Pawsitive Strides website is my Dog Training website.