Labrador Retriever - Watch Your PupBe vigilant and don’t let the pup make a mistake in the house. Each time you successfully anticipate elimination and take your pup to the potty spot, you’ll move a step closer to your goal. Stay aware of your puppy’s needs. If you ignore the pup, she will make mistakes, and you’ll be cleaning up more messes.
Keep a chart of your new dog’s elimination behavior for the first three or four days. Jot down what times she eats, sleeps, and eliminates. After several days a pattern will emerge that can help you determine your pup’s body rhythms. Most dogs tend to eliminate at fairly regular intervals. Once you know your new dog’s natural rhythms, you’ll be able to anticipate her needs and schedule appropriate potty outings.
Understanding the meanings of your dog’s postures can also help you win the battle of the puddle. When your dog is getting ready to eliminate, she will display a specific set of postures. The sooner you can learn to read these signals, the cleaner your floor will stay.
A young puppy who feels the urge to eliminate may start to sniff the ground and walk in a circle. If the pup is very young, she may simply squat and go. All young puppies, male or female, squat to urinate. If you are house-training a pup under 4 months of age, regardless of sex, watch for the beginnings of a squat as the signal to rush the pup to the potty area.
When a puppy is getting ready to defecate, she may run urgently back and forth or turn in a circle while sniffing or starting to squat. If defecation is imminent, the pup’s anus may protrude or open slightly. When she starts to go, the pup will squat and hunch her back, her tail sticking straight out behind. There is no mistaking this posture; nothing else looks like this. If your pup takes this position, take her to her potty area. Hurry! You may have to carry her to get there in time.
A young Labrador Retriever won’t have much time between feeling the urge and actually eliminating, so you’ll have to be quick to note her postural clues and intercept your pup in time. Pups from 3 to 6 months have a few seconds more between the urge and the act than younger ones do. The older your pup, the more time you’ll have to get her to the potty area after she begins the posture signals that alert you to her need.

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