This is the second article I have written on this topic. Having a litter of 5 Australian Terrier puppies right now I am reminded why I receive so many inquiries about how to train a puppy. It's a lot of work potty training a puppy!
I have potty trained numerous puppies over the past 30 years including a few litters of Australian Terrier puppies. I have tried many different techniques. Here is what has worked for us and is working for us now with this new litter.
From the time a puppy is able to eat on their own, or at age 5 to 6 weeks, we start bringing the puppy outside. First thing in the morning, quietly take the puppy out. Do not talk "baby talk" to the puppy or he/she will likely pee on the floor before you get him/her out the door.
Go out with the puppy and watch them until they go. Then get very excited and happily praise the puppy for doing what was expected. Bring the puppy in, give the puppy food and water, play with your puppy, then after about 20 min take the puppy outside again and repeat. Do this 5-6 times a day.
During the day, when you are not holding or playing with your puppy, from this age until the puppy is potty trained keep him/her in a smaller confined area. A great investment is a X-Pen they come in a variety of materials, from wood, plastic or metal any will work. Set this up in an area where your puppy can be with your family, but not have full reign of the house just yet. On one end of the floor in the penned or smaller partitioned area, put down newspaper. Have his/her food and sleeping area at the opposite end. Or put their crate leaving the door open inside the penned area.
At night after the last time your puppy has been outside, just prior to your normal bed time, put him/her in a crate with a blanket. No food and no water. If your crate is larger than needed right now, you may have to partition it off on the inside so that your puppy won't eliminate himself/herself in a back corner.
We have followed this proceedure from the time our puppies were 6 weeks old. At 8 weeks old they began sleeping in their individual crates in separate areas of the house so they do not get used to hearing the other puppies during the night. Each puppy has her own blanket to sleep on and I have not needed to divide our larger crates.
The first couple nights a few of the puppies cried. Not one puppy had an accident in their crate over night. To give you an idea of hours our puppies sleep in their crates at night without an accident they go into their crates at approx 9:30 p.m. and I actually have to wake them up at 7:30 a.m.
Our puppies are almost 100% newspaper trained at 8 weeks and 5 days. Even when we allow them more area to play while we watch them, they will run to their newspaper area and use that!
I do not believe that puppies or in particular Australian Terrier puppies are difficult to potty train when given the proper and consistent training by their breeder and then continued by their new adoptive families. To the contrary, they are exceptionally easy to potty train and continue to amaze me at just how smart they really are. If an Australian Terrier Breeder tells you their puppies take 6 months to 1 year to housebreak, it's quite likely their puppies haven't received any training while in their care and I'd be suspicious when dealing with such a breeder.
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