'I have an 8 wk old puppy that I've had for 3 days..... He NEVER asks to go potty ... I get up twice a night and spend my days cleaning up after him & taking him OUT every half hour It's not working .... how do I make him understand that he needs to go potty OUTSIDE?'
But it only just struck me today how unprepared for reality first-time puppy owners truly are when it comes to housebreaking.... and that leads to all sorts of confusion and frustration.
So, reality check, what this new owner is describing is ABSOLUTELY NORMAL FOR AN 8 WEEK OLD PUPPY - sorry, don't mean to shout, but wanted to be heard :)
No matter what you might read in a book, or online, or in a big-name doggie magazine - you cannot housebreak a puppy in 7 days, or 10, or even in a month.
Just won't happen... well for 99.999999% of puppies anyway, there's always going to be the rare exception but I doubt you or I are going to own him.
Potty training a puppy takes a lot of time, patience, energy, consistency and... yes more time and patience! Some smart puppies will begin to 'get it' after a few days, or maybe a couple of weeks, but many more won't.
They're babies, running on instinct and with immature nerve or impulse control, this means they need to be shown what you expect them to do... and they need the time and encouragement to learn, one step at a time.
Crate training really helps, but it's not a magic bullet. No matter how you look at it, housebreaking is work and you're going to spend a lot of time on it, and lose some sleep into the bargain.
BUT, it's absolutely worth the effort. An untrained puppy is a nuisance and makes life messy, and untrained adult dog is impossible to live with... unless he spends all his time outdoors and that's not a happy life for him.
If more prospective puppy owners knew this it would make for fewer frustrated parents and fewer confused puppies. That could only be a good thing.
So, I'm just putting this out there in the hope that I'll reach some prospective puppy parents, and save them a heartache or two.
And maybe it will even help some who are in the early days and wondering what on earth is wrong with their pup - or their teaching methods.
If you follow the links in the above paragraphs you'll be taken to webpages that are jam-packed full of tips and advice to make housetraining your pup a whole lot easier.
Good luck. Hang in there, you'll get there, given time :)