Potty training your pug puppy can be a daunting task. It doesn’t help that pugs are a breed known for their stubbornness. However independent they may seem, pugs are also people-pleasers who find satisfaction and reward in positive reinforcement. Couple this positive reinforcement with some patience, and your pup will be potty trained in no time.
Keep in mind that puppy training is owner training, too. The success of your training relies on your ability to provide a consistent routine. The stability of a schedule will solidify behavioral patterns in your puppy.
Here’s some tried and tested tips for successful pug house training.
Create a Consistent Routine
Pug puppies begin controlling their bladders between 12 and 16 weeks old, at which point you can start potty training by developing a routine for potty breaks. This routine is crucial, as it will serve as the foundation for the rest of your instruction.
Be sure to take your puppy out before and after extended periods of rest — including first thing in the morning, after they wake up from naps, before leaving for extended periods, and before bed. Giving them ample opportunities to potty will reduce the risk of accidents.
Additionally, your puppy will need to be taken out every thirty minutes to an hour throughout the day. For those just starting their pug house training, stick to thirty-minute intervals before building up to an hour.
When outside, introduce your puppy to a corresponding bathroom command. Terms such as “go potty” or “pee-pee” trigger associations between your puppy and their behavior. In time, these consistent instructions will cement in their mind as the language for the behavior.
Bathroom commands not only encourage your pup in the moment but also improve your capacity for communication in the future. Not only will you be able to let your dog know when it is time to go, but they will be able to answer in the affirmative if you are questioning whether their behavior is a request to go potty.
Pay Attention To Their Diet
A consistent feeding schedule will help your pug develop a consistent potty pattern, making planning for bathroom breaks easier. Once their internal clock tells them when to eat, their internal clock for going potty will not be far behind, giving you both a better understanding of exactly when bathroom breaks are needed.
Feed your pug three smaller meals a day when potty training. Though adult dogs generally eat two meals a day, food stimulates the digestive system of puppies faster. Smaller, more frequent meals help puppies better control their bladders and can minimize accidents.
Treats are great motivators. Be sure to give one to your pug puppy every time they go potty. By doing this, you will be creating a reward system they associate with going potty. Once they commit this behavior to memory, you can begin waning them from consistent treats, as weight gain could become a problem.
Once you stop rewarding your puppy with treats, remain steadfast in your positive affirmations of their behavior. Your pug will take your positive reinforcement as a sign that they have pleased you – a motivator for their breed.
Watch For Warning Signs
To help avoid accidents, be sure to recognize the warning signs that your pug must go potty. Much like the commands you will use when your pup is outside, these signs are their way of communicating their needs to you.
The most common ways your pug will let you know they need to go outside are by barking, whining, circling, sniffing, and following you around.
Less common ways a pug communicates their potty needs include looking restless, anxious, or heading to a spot in your home where they previously had an accident. Recognizing these subtle signs can help mitigate accidents.
Accidents will happen. Most important is remaining calm and positive towards your puppy and not punishing them by exhibiting behaviors that could instill a sense of fear within them. This fear leads to anxiety and will only exacerbate the problem, causing more accidents and stunted training.
If you catch your pug having an accident inside, instead of yelling or shaming them, try getting their attention by clapping or calling their name. Once engaged, call them outside to finish their business. Be sure to use the same commands and rewards with them during this process, too. You always want to reward the good aspects of their training, even when they make mistakes.
When you come across an accident, be sure to clean it up quickly. If you effectively eliminate any lingering odor, you can prevent your pug from associating the spot with the act. To best remove potty stains, you will want to use an enzyme-based cleaner.
Confining your puppy to a crate or a single room at the beginning of their training can help you better keep an eye on them and keep any accidents confined to a single space. If choosing crate training, be sure the crate is big enough for your pug puppy to turn around in but not large enough for them to have space to go potty.
In the early stages of crate training, using pee pads around the house can help minimize accidents. Be careful not to rely too heavily on these, as they can normalize peeing indoors for your puppy. Once you recognize their cues for potty time, put the crate and pads away.
Pug House Training: Practice Patience!
Some puppies will finish their potty training after a few months. Others could take twice as long. In the most extreme cases, it can take up to a year. While their success often lies upon your consistency in training, external factors also play a role, including their temperament and the age at which they started training.
Dogs, just like humans, are all different. Your pup is new to this world, and you are going to have to teach them everything. Be sure to keep your expectations realistic and realize that potty training does not happen overnight. The process will take a lot of patience, but the exercises will engender trust between you and your pug puppy.
About the author
Rachael is the co-founder and editor at Pug Facts. Owner of one elderly Pug, she’s dedicated to helping other Pug owners create healthy, happy, lives with their furry best friends.