How do you potty train a puppy when you work 12 hour shifts?

Answered by Ricardo McCardle

Potty training a puppy can be challenging, especially when you work long shifts. However, with some planning and consistency, it is possible to successfully potty train your puppy even if you work 12-hour shifts. Here are some steps to help you with the process:

1. Calculate your puppy’s “hold time”: Before you start potty training, it’s important to understand how long your puppy can hold their bladder. A general rule of thumb is that puppies can hold their bladder for 1 hour per month of age, plus one. For example, if your puppy is 3 months old, they can typically hold their bladder for up to 4 hours.

2. Get your pup used to their crate: Crate training can be a valuable tool in potty training. Introduce your puppy to their crate and make it a positive and comfortable space for them. Gradually increase the amount of time your puppy spends in the crate, starting with short intervals and gradually extending the duration.

3. Use pet gates to help you supervise: Set up pet gates in areas where you want your puppy to have access to, and confine them to those areas when you’re not able to directly supervise them. This can help prevent accidents and give you peace of mind knowing that your puppy is in a safe space.

4. Map out a consistent daily schedule: Dogs thrive on routine, so establish a consistent schedule for feeding, playtime, and bathroom breaks. Try to stick to this schedule as closely as possible, even on your workdays. Consistency will help your puppy understand when it’s time to go outside to eliminate.

5. Use a long-term confinement area when you leave for the day: If you’re going to be away for an extended period, create a long-term confinement area for your puppy. This can be a small, puppy-proofed room or a sectioned-off area with pee pads or a designated potty area. Gradually transition your puppy from using pee pads to going outside as they become more reliable with their potty training.

6. Learn to read potty language: Pay attention to your puppy’s behavior and body language. They may start sniffing around, circling, or pacing when they need to go potty. When you notice these signs, quickly take them outside to their designated potty area.

7. Don’t forget the treats: Positive reinforcement is key in potty training. Reward your puppy with treats and praise every time they successfully eliminate outside. This will reinforce the desired behavior and motivate your puppy to continue going potty in the appropriate place.

Remember, potty training takes time and patience. Be consistent, reward desired behavior, and be understanding of accidents that may happen along the way. With a little effort and dedication, you can successfully potty train your puppy even with a busy work schedule.