Dear Crabby, How do you potty train a puppy?

Dear Crabby,

My daughter just brought home a cute little puppy. She is in college and lives at home still, so she said she would do all the work to raise it. However, she is gone all day and many evenings too. I end up cleaning up the dog’s messes and am up to my ears in puppy poop! What do you recommend?

Sincerely, Pushover Mom

Dear Pushover Mom,

I recommend that you kick your daughter and her dog out of the house. However, most parents that I say this to are not ready to do this yet. When young people make decisions as if they are independent adults, yet they are still living under mom and dad’s roof, it really bothers me. Bringing in a puppy is no light matter; I have been through that Dear Crabby with a Laptop Computerscenario a few times. It is a solid month or so before there is any sense of order and routine to count on. If this daughter of yours thinks she can take off in the morning and not return until late evening and that little puppy is going to just be there waiting for her, she is sadly mistaken. Of course she will need mom or dad to bail her out and raise this little canine for her! I think this is where tough love can come into play. Of course, me being who I am and all, I would toss her favorite sweatshirt into the dog’s cage or whatever play area you have gated off for the pup. When the dog messes in the house, keep the droppings for the daughter to smell and maybe accidently drop some into her favorite shoes or something. When your daughter says she is going out for the evening, tell her so is her puppy and set the little guy outside on a rope till she realizes that she has more responsibilities now. Alas, it sounds like that was not your real question to me though. I think you were actually asking me how to potty train your puppy, correct? There are a few different mentalities to approaching this topic. My father had a specific way that was quick and effective, but cruel. If he would see the pup wet in the house, he would rub the dog’s nose in it, then toss the dog outside and tell him not to come back until he was house broken. The dogs that survived this training, or stuck around for round two, usually made pretty good pets. However, the more acceptable method is to create a routine for the dog to schedule his day by. Start the day with a potty run outside, then a five to ten minute breakfast, followed by another potty break outside. Then place them in their crate for twenty minutes, followed by a third potty break. Repeat this same process for lunch and dinner and add some playtime in between. After about a month or six weeks, the dog will know his place and should have very little accidents in the house. Good luck, and let me know how it goes.

Sincerely, Dear Crabby

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