Virginia Simpson and Chance

Christmas and New Year's Puppy

by Virginia Simpson, Unleashed Canine Obedience

I know; it seemed like a good idea at the time.  A cute little puppy under the tree; Christmas morning and the bright shining faces of the kids as they discover the new little bundle of joy; a fun way to teach the kids about responsibility; cute little wet noses and sweet puppy breath.  And now, as you stand outside alone with the freezing January wind blowing through your thin pajamas first thing in the morning,waiting for the little bundle of joy to decide to go potty on the freezing bit of turf next to you, you are wondering if you made the right choice.

But take heart, only eight weeks of freezing cold potty breaks until March and by then you should be well on your way toward potty training your new pup!  All kidding aside, it may be cold out there, but these next few weeks are imperative to developing good potty habits, and taking the time to be consistent and methodical now will pay up dividends down the road!

Teaching your dog to go the bathroom outside and not on your favorite rug is a “simple” matter of repetition and consistency.  Take your pup outside the same door to the same spot often enough while maintaining enough environmental control inside to keep any accidents from happening,and your puppy will develop a preference for the favorite substrate of the lawn outside versus the rug inside.  Remember the younger the pup, the more often they will need to go out.  An 8-10 week old pup will go as often as once an hour when awake.  When asleep, they can hold it a bit longer, but may have to get up in the middle of the night a time or two.  By 4 or 5 months they should pretty much be able to make it through the night no problem though.  So, keep in mind, it’s not forever! 

A more exciting puppy activity for you and just as important will be getting the little guy socialized once you’ve had a couple rounds of immunizations.  Just like us, it is more fun to hang around dogs that are well socialized.  Properly socialized puppies make safer and happier companions, especially when they are thoughtfully and carefully socialized with many different people, places and things.  Think about joining an organized and professional puppy social class where your puppy can not only socialize with other puppies, but also other people and hopefully some well-behaved children.  You should also be able to get many of your questions answered as well.  Just make sure to keep everything very positive and introduce new things at the puppy’s pace.

So enjoy!  The do grow up fast so take lots of pictures and if you have any questions, feel free to contact me with any questions!

Happy New Year!


Virginia L. Simpson
Certified Dog Trainer
Unleashed Canine Obedience, LLC
IACP Member #3141
Phone:  513.317.7484